Talk about Newsnight

Ethical Man - Justin Rowlatt

An ethical blog...

  • Justin Rowlatt -
  • 9 Aug 06, 03:41 PM

ethicaldiary_203_120.jpgWelcome to my new "ethical" blog. Now I'm not the most computer literate of people so I don't really understand the difference between this, an ethical blog, and my previous ethical diary.

Ian - one of our online overlords - tells me that the important thing is that it will be easier for people to respond to the articles I post. Sounds like a bit of a mixed blessing to me but here goes…

My latest Newsnight ethical film is on how lobsters can help save the world. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Newsnight's Justin Rowlatt has agreed to take part in an experiment for the programme - to live as ethical a lifestyle as possible for a whole year...

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 05:13 PM on 09 Aug 2006,
  • kate wrote:

this 'ethical man' crap has got to be one of the worst ideas newsnight has ever had. an entire year? that's not serious journalism, that's moronic daytime-magazine-programme shite.
good luck with the blog though.

  • 2.
  • At 05:53 PM on 09 Aug 2006,
  • Mills wrote:

Blimey, a baptism of fire on the comments front Mr Ethical.
I quite like ethical man, he's suitably kind of 'ditzy' and slightly disaffected with the effort it takes.
I often have to force myself just to take out the recycling. A week's worth of newspapers can really take its toll going down our stairs to the bins...

  • 3.
  • At 07:28 PM on 09 Aug 2006,
  • Nick Murphy wrote:

Lets hope that people decide to make ethical comments...

I suppose that this blog is completly ethical? That you have an ethical internet supplier, an ethical computer, ethical blog software and an ethical electrical system to hook it all up to?

Other than that, welcome to the blogosphere!

My Best Wishes.

Could you try to mitigate the temptation to play it for laughs please? You're like a Rowan Atkins lookalike lampooning the hippies, and the issues you're dealing with are just too important for that. Your recent trip to the Green Gathering, where you got out of your car dressed in a suit and tie - don't you have a pair of jeans? - was just too much for me and I switched off. It's been thirty years since The Limits to Growth was published - the whole of your life? - and it really is about time people started to seriously examine their behaviour.

  • 6.
  • At 03:38 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Paul Jones wrote:

There are serious aspects to ethical behaviour beyond this rather petty attempts to dim light bulbs and ride bicycles. The starting point for true ethical starts with not killing sentient beings (i.e. animals)for 'meat'. Such and act might help penetrate and alter a mind set that the earth is there for man's satiation. Once this is well established man might then (even) stop killing man. TRUE ethical behaviour.

I enjoy the Ethical Man programmes - they are suitably light-hearted while addressing serious issues.

One question, Justin - you apparently gave up your car as part of ethical living, but according to this report, you drove to the green festival. Something smells fishy - and not just your compost heap.

Hi Justin!

Just a quick note to say I've been really enjoying the 'Ethical Man' features throughout the year -- it's great to see some humour and lightheartedness applied to what can be an ever so taciturn topic. Looking forward to reading your blog updates!

  • 9.
  • At 04:00 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Damon De Ionno wrote:

I was moderately interested when you were sniffing the composted human excrement. Other than that I'd rather see Newsnight focussing on news. If you must cover environmental issues, would it be possible to approach it from a scientific angle? I would've thought most of Newsnight's viewers would be extremely patronised to be told about water butts and not leaving the tap running when you brush your teeth.

  • 10.
  • At 04:01 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Shirley wrote:

Personally I rather like the lighthearted style of your Ethical Man programmes.... too much doom and gloom would put most people off... I think you should have a primetime slot on the news programmes too, and not just on the late night Newsnight (which sometimes I can't stay awake for after a long day looking after children from 6am!!) - Thankfully they are on the website too - keep up the good work!!

  • 11.
  • At 04:14 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • David wrote:

I totally disagree with Kate. The last edition gave me some good ideas for my house, keep up the good work

  • 12.
  • At 08:03 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Marilyn wrote:

Hi Justin: I've enjoyed your Ethical Man videos and articles. I wish our Canadian Government would use a similarly entertaining and engaging way of getting us to pay attention to living ethically (though it took me a bit to figure out that your 'water butts' meant our 'rain barrels'). Do you think we could all band together to convince Mr. Bush that Global Warming is for real - and that it's already here?

  • 13.
  • At 11:39 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Jacqueline Hathaway wrote:

I have found the "ethical man" episodes very interesting. Justin has a knack of making such an important subject entertaining. Of course this is serious journalism. The thing that is easy to forget is that serious journalism doesn't necesarily have to be deadly serious.

  • 14.
  • At 03:22 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

Hi, Justin
I enjoy your wanderings in la-la-land - it's great to be reminded what is so great about living in a country where we cherish our fruitcakes. Being a confirmed "Kill 'em all, let God sort them out" sort of person, I can't say that recycling, peace, et al come naturally to me. I did consider it when our local council sent me a bin and told me it would save the world, etc. Then I turned it over and discovered it was made in America, the only country not to sign up to Kyoto. I smell a green rat, more making money than saving the world
So, I've gone back to my bad ways - either we burn all the rubbish and get the energy back, or else we should send it all the Maldives, so they can build up their islands above the rising tide.
Ethics are great as a guiding star, but if you gaze at the stars through life, you tend to trip over reality on the ground.

  • 15.
  • At 09:48 PM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • R. Peeke wrote:

I did like the ethical approach for the ethical man. It did give me some ideas, but... it does involve more money than most people can "lash" out on to "save the planet", wind generators are way too expensive for us. Earth closets are not really to feasable. ( Just ask our council.) We do have our own septic tank and do our own veg gardening though.
We duz what we can with what we have.

  • 16.
  • At 10:23 PM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • Nina wrote:

John Nash, I think you're just lazy.

What endlessly surprises me about the ethical man slot is how difficult it makes these things appear but living in London I find that the difficult thing is not getting hold of the right products, recycling, composting, it's the amount of money it costs. I would like a section of the programme that discussed the economics of being more sustainable. Who we need to put pressure on to drive prices down, how we can get small stores to stock energy saving lightbulbs and ecological cleaning products so it's easier and more convenient for consumers.

I want a bokashi bin (kitchen waste digester) because the likelihood of my next flat having a garden is very small. They're too expensive for me to buy though- why aren't these products sold at a lower price and produced widely? If Newsnight could focus on that it would be a step towards all of us having opportunities to be more sustainable.

  • 17.
  • At 11:06 PM on 16 Aug 2006,
  • Helen Ingram wrote:

Ethical man concept is brilliant, I am an ethical mum
can you do (I may have missed some episodes)

washable nappies (you can hire from the nappy trial service see etc)or buy from Twinkle, Lollipop etc
co-op has a new eco-car insurance
eco fuels would be good too eg chip fat can run a can research it...
look at The Organic Baby Book by Tania Maxted for organic food etc and the vaccination debate
ethical clothes/fairtrade see People Tree etc now in Top Shop and do some kids sizes and bay clothes
New Consumer mag even has ethical school uniform..I could go on and on see
green parenting mags such as The Green Parent, Juno if you haven't already
breast milk can be donated to Queen Charlotte's (Hammersmith) mty unit and others see - now that's green and ethical - it even cures people much older than babies from life-threatening diseases

  • 18.
  • At 05:03 AM on 23 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

john nash, it's good to see you here in ethical blog territory, how about a nice juicy animal analogy for me to sink my teeth into ? ;)

seriously though john, i appreciate where you're coming from, but there are many respects in which trying to be ethical - you could call it 'considerate' (remember john, that even the uber-male, far from the nest, hunting a tiger with nought more than his wits must be considerate, so it's not an exclusively female trait) - is positive for you, and can save money, for example, once one starts to resent overpacked auntie supermarket ready made food, one buys more basic ingredients, saves loads of money, and eats better food, my ethical [considerate]-man lifestyle is to a large extent driven by not having much money to spare, as some of my more extreme actions (below) suggest, but the broader considerate side-effects are more universal, we only affect change by our wallets, so simply by having a considered approach, and letting it infect every element of your life, you help yourself as much as the things you wish to dispatch to the final judgement with that gun ! :D

Nina, great idea, the bokashi bin, hadn't heard of that before - but you can sideline it by keeping small containers for used tea, coffee grounds, vegetable peelings and so on and putting them in the freezer as described below - this also means that the rubbish doesn't smell, and can take as long as it needs to become 'kerb worthy'

i do what i can to save water, i wash using one of those rubber buckets, plastic i know, but seems good for a lifetime, i do have one of those electric showers, but it's horrendously expensive to use and once you're in, it's too nice to leave ! i keep the bicycle in the shower

i have diverted the kitchen sink drain so that it fills a water cannister, using the kitchen sink to drain all used and cooking water, i am able to flush the loo soley using recyled water, seems quite wrong to use treated, eh ? this too much information ? ! the upshot of this, is that i'm managing to use only around 0.18 cu metres of water a week

i also do the recycling thing, and unrecyclable rubbish is running at around a half carrier bag a month, still hoping to improve on that of course

not having anywhere for a composter, i freeze my compostable scraps (loopy i know, but keeps it from stinking up the place) once in a while, i "liberate this organic matter into the wild"

the lowest wattage bulbs i use are 0.7watts ! as well as 1.5 watt led lightbulbs* (;jsessionid=1544ebcac24ff3f/shopdata/0002_LED+Bulbs/product_details.shopscript?article=0160_EXCLED%2BDome%2BBulb%2BWhite%2B%3D28W36%3D29 ), now these are very impressive things, plenty bright and stupidly low in energy use, in some places i use 0.7watt led bulbs* ( ), now these aren't exactly blindingly bright, but the dim neutral white light is reminisent of moonlight...defiinately bright enough for hallways and such, although initially expensive, they will pay for themselves with such low power

even the 4watt flourescent bulbs i have (externally identical to the 0.7watt led ones) are very frugal, but very bright indeed for four watts

this ethical man stuff is like most things that are at heart a good idea, scoffed at by those who are entrenched in their own ruts

we're not all mad ya know ! some of us want to be able to audit our own actions as we all should, plus, some of us can't afford not to be this way, but even if i won the lottery, there are many things that i wouldn't change (got to carbon offset that bugatti somehow)

good on you Justin !

*other lightbulbs are available !

  • 19.
  • At 12:50 AM on 24 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

another thing you can do to save energy is to fill up your kettle when you boil it, and fill a thermos with the boiled water, i don't have any proof that this saves electricity, but only using the kettle once or twice a day must be more efficent than several

plus, there's no waiting for a brew !

did you know...
if you have gas at home, you should use a kettle on the gas stove rather than an electric kettle. it takes 5 times more gas in the power station to make the electricity that powers your kettle.
The whistle is good!

  • 21.
  • At 01:17 AM on 31 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

where have all the posts gone ?

  • 22.
  • At 02:16 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • matt wrote:

hi, this thread appears to have lost some of its recent posts

  • 23.
  • At 01:17 PM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • Evonne O wrote:

After last night's show, I think that you should not ride a bike as it really does not suit you at all! I am not being nasty but your daughters can ride a bike much better than you!

  • 24.
  • At 02:39 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • There is an elephant pyramid in the room wrote:

...There's the real ethical bombshell, now it is time to think about the wholesale poisoning of us and everything else

forget global warming, remember big Pharmas failure, remember GM is still on the march, remember that big food doesn't care a bit about you, that big money just uses you to generate its money then dumps on you

Being ethical, is an act several billion mini revolutions of the mind

Big oil/pharma/money/war/food trades its money up and away from you

It is time to trade your money, no matter how insignificant the act may seem, down to the people around you wherever possible

  • 25.
  • At 04:19 PM on 30 Sep 2006,
  • Mork Anthony wrote:

Time is soon upon all ethical people to celebrate the 4th October 1936

The Battle of Cable Street, when Catholics, Christians, Jews and anyone else about with an ethical mind fought the police and the brownshirts

And perhaps, a date to think of the way fascism yet again is gaining government backing

Will Ethical man be celebrating this I wonder ?

Celebrate the 4th October

And remember the lesson they are still teaching us today


  • 26.
  • At 05:38 AM on 02 Oct 2006,
  • Mork Anthony wrote:

Poison in your water ?

Why not phone your water company and ask them, tip: they will try to lie and fudge their way out of an answer

Press them and ask for clarification in writing, and they might just change their tune

Fluoride is a poison initially used by the Nazis in the deathcamps

Which side won the war ? I'm not sure any more

Get them to stop

Have them charged with public endangerment

  • 27.
  • At 11:40 PM on 02 Oct 2006,
  • Mork Anthony wrote:

On the subject of fluoride, i went into TESCO today, and asked why they only sold toothpaste with fluoride in it...the response from the chemist, who it is safe to assume is a member of some masonic order, said, "no we only sell toothpaste with fluoride in because it's what consumers want"...and "I couldn't GIVE A MONKEYS if it was used by the nazis"

Really ? 'consumers' want what was used by the nazis to subdue deathcamp detainees ?

Is that really Tescos position on this, clearly, another example of the powers that be not giving a monkeys what we want

And proof that if you respect ethics, big business doesn't respect YOU

  • 28.
  • At 05:01 PM on 04 Oct 2006,
  • Mork Anthony wrote:

Battle of Cable Street was today, when real people fought off the police protected fascists.

Lest we forget.

Lest we let them march on this time.

Which, at present, we are.

  • 29.
  • At 03:41 AM on 20 Oct 2006,
  • Graham Tattersall wrote:

I never even thought about asking for planning permission when I put my home made wind turbine on my house in the Rossendale Valley nearly THIRTY YEARS AGO !
Mind you, back then Councils weren't so PC and pedantic as they are now.
None of my neighbours ever complained about it, in fact it used to be a bit of a talking point, a bit like Fred Dibnah's Weather Cock! It cost me around £40 to make, including the electronic controls, but excluding the storage battery and by the time I took it down when I moved home, it had saved me over £200 off my electricity bills.
I got the best results from wind power because of the local geography which naturally funnelled the prevailing wind so that there was sufficient wind velocity for generating electricity on at least 300 days per year.
I did some experiments with solar generation as well, but the results were very uneconomic. Modern solar cells are much more efficient and no where near as expensive as they were back then, so I might have another go, as the idea of no moving parts appeals to me.

  • 30.
  • At 09:53 AM on 01 Nov 2006,
  • John Gauss wrote:

Ethical Man, Tues 31 Oct. I disagree with the plumber's advice not to install thermostatic radiator valves.
We constantly had some rooms which would overheat while others were comfortable. Consequently we would turn the radiators off for a period and then have to do the rounds later to turn them on again. It seemed impossible to turn them only half on.
Then 13 yrs ago we had thermostatic valves fitted. After a few days of tweaking the settings we have never needed to adjust them since and every room maintains its own temperature. The valves have paid for themselves in comfort and convenience alone.
Meanwhile at work, staff boil, open the windows wider, thus wasting heat, or freeze.

  • 31.
  • At 10:16 AM on 01 Nov 2006,
  • Richard Cox wrote:

How right Ethical Man was not to change his radiator valves out for thermostatically controlled ones. How could this make sense both in economics,energy and CO2 emissions? terms Surely prior to making a recommendation to fit new valves or any other energy efficient device, the specialist carrying out the study should take into account for example: the energy and CO2 emission cost for mining the materials, manufacture, transport for materials and tradesman fitting the necessary upgrade? Not to do so is nonsensical in terms of saving energy or CO2 emissions on property already built? Its called mass balance I believe!
The housing minister Yvette Cooper dropped in to tell Ethical Man why we now need the energy efficiency certificates. She failed! The Government have over many years carried out media campaigns on loft insulation, double glassing, Solar energy and alike and even offered incentives by way of grants for home improvements. The best way to promote these issues is as News night [Ethical Man] and the Government have done in the passed, by media exposure to the facts and assistance by way of improvement grants for older property. Furthermore changing the planning rules for energy efficient homes for the future will be essential. Spending a few hundred quid on a certificate will do nothing for the climate but will, I suspect, increase tax revenue for Gordon Brown. Is this stealth tax I ask myself?

I've pretty much been doing nothing worth mentioning. I haven't gotten anything done today. I haven't been up to much , but oh well. I've just been staying at home waiting for something to happen, but so it goes. Pfft.

I can't be bothered with anything recently. I've pretty much been doing nothing to speak of. Not that it matters.

  • 34.
  • At 02:59 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Margaret wrote:

I find it disheartening reading about all the things we need to do to save the planet, and then I go and see an article claiming that it's all the cows on the planet responsible for all the methane CO.2 etc, so maybe we should close MacDonalds and all become vegetarians?

  • 35.
  • At 11:47 PM on 21 Dec 2006,
  • Richard Lewis wrote:

If you are prepared to question the efficacy of wind turbines (apart from the structuarl damage they will cause when you do eventually get enough wind force), you should also question the matter of rising sea levels.
Simple schoolboy learning: Q. What happens to water when it freezes? A. Apart from going hard, it expands.
Q. How much of seaborne ice is above sea level? A. One third, so the remaining two thirds is below sea level.

Therefore: Q. What happens to the ice (water) when the polar ice caps melt? A. It shrinks.

So why should we expect the sea level to rise?
And, even if it does, how many dried up oceans are there that can be refilled before it causes a problem?


  • 36.
  • At 03:50 PM on 22 Dec 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

It is Ministers who are not Fit For Purpose.

What a surprise - wind turbines take more energy to manufacture than they produce. Does this mean that BBC East News claim that the estuary wind farm will power 1/3 of London is bunk? I assume so. Who is the minister responsible for policy decisions, does he have any experience of the matters over which he must opine and does he have any experience of working in the real world. Perhaps this is where all our problems begin. Those we trust and pay to manage our country's interest are not qualified for the job. Never in the history of Britain (with the exception of Atlee/Wilson/Heath/Callaghan) has so much goodwill and money been wasted by so few on achieving so little. Whilst our pensions and environment collapse ministers retire with peerages, pensions and non executive directorships with former contractors.

  • 37.
  • At 11:50 AM on 23 Dec 2006,
  • Arquebus wrote:

Further to the comment regarding rising sea levels.

The North Pole is all ice (no land mass) and the majority of the ice is below sea level...when it thaws (sorry, if it thaws) and consenquently shrinks as it returns to being water, this even more reason to suspect that the scare of 'rising sea levels' is unfounded.

Regarding wind turbines, what is the point of erecting several hundred of them, off-shore between Essex and Margate, when on a good day they will only produce enough electricity for a third of homes in the London area? Plainly ridiculous.

Regarding re-cycling of waste, what is the point of sorting all the various materials into 'relevant' plastic bins (which are a drain on resources themselves due to manufacturing processes) for it to be all dumped in the same hole (or dumped at sea, or taken to China) as it was before 'recycling' became and issue. Even more ridiculous.

Green taxes?...Someone tell me how £10 extra cost on an airline ticket does something to save the planet. Does the Government or the Environmentalists manufacture lower Global temperatures (or make ozone in sufficient quantities to plug the hole in the the ozone layer)??
We are all being 'had over'.

  • 38.
  • At 12:37 PM on 04 Jan 2007,
  • Diane Smith wrote:

The big unmentionable in this debate is population- there are just too many of us on this planet and in this country. Perhaps the most ethical thing we can do is limit our families.

Sex offenders should be, should not be castrated

Help the homeless down the street and persuade them to look for work

People are less moral than 30 years ago

  • 42.
  • At 05:56 PM on 05 Mar 2007,
  • Colin wrote:

We're trying this in our own household but with 'patchy' success. You try getting my wife & daughter to turn the thermostat down! What is it about women that they have to dress like it's the height of the summer even in the winter?
We do all the usual things, energy-efficient light bulbs, recycling like mad, nothing on standby etc., although the car has stayed but we do use it a lot less and I seem to be developing leg muscles again!
Rather than recycling all your old newspapers have you ever tried making small plant pots from them, it's so easy. Then when your small seedlings have grown to become adolescents rather than upsetting them by taking them out of the pots to plant out, you just put the whole thing (paper pot and all) into the soil in the garden! Surprise, surprise, I find the 'red-tops' are quite good for this.
One thing that hasn't been as successful as I'd hoped has been my composting heap. I see Justin, that you've been given some 'magic' worms by John Cossham in York. What are they? Where can I get some? How can I get in touch with John of York? C'mon, spill the beans on the worms!
Good luck with the project.

  • 43.
  • At 10:00 PM on 05 Mar 2007,
  • Phil wrote:

Ethical Man may be able to reduce his family's CO2 in the short term but in the long term it doesn't look good. Having three children and replacing two footprints with three, isn't going to help the planet. Sorry Bee.

Not as bad as India where 22 are born to every 8 that die. When are the BBC going to mention the real crisis - human population explosion, and this will wreck the planet.

The change of our climate is, is not natural

Witchcraft is, is not evil

People should be allowed to go naked in certain recreational areas only - Or specify those areas and you have another persuasive speech topic

  • 47.
  • At 04:18 PM on 20 Mar 2007,
  • Cedric Craigson wrote:

Don't underestimate ethical man.Since I have given up public transport in favour of walking and replaced dairy with soya I feel like a new man.

Vulgar language during primetime TV is, is not okay

Pot should be, should not be decriminalized

  • 50.
  • At 10:22 AM on 12 Apr 2007,
  • Tony Woodcock wrote:

NEWSNIGHT – 11 April 2007

What a feast of one-sided, BBC/Guardian Culture bias we were presented with last night.
Someone the BBC has termed “Ethical Man”, was seen sniffing other people’s poo and lying in a coffin of manure, being covered in potato peelings and worms. What, pray, is indicative of moral behaviour about that? “Ethical” my turban and tutu! And what happened to his suit? Was it burned, wiping out his “carbon footprint” for a month? Or was it dry-cleaned several times at the TV licence payer’s expense, wiping out his “carbon footprint” for a year? What idiot nonsense! We might as well have watched someone prancing about frenetically in a grass skirt and chanting Voodoo magic.

We were then treated to a political love-in by two MPs who looked as if they had come from a Mr. Bean gurning fest. Even the pathetic, useless, “modernised” Tories produced a girly-haired nonentity to spout the religious mantras of the new Guardian Culture orthodox religion of Global warming. At least he had the grace to look embarrassed as he dripped on about reducing CO2.

I waited in vain for any view opposing the received religion of the liberal intelligentsia. No one, not even the acclaimed scientific sceptic from Danemark, seemed to have heard that rise in CO2 FOLLOWS periods of global warming and cannot therefore be responsible for it. Many scientists agree that rise in CO2 is a RESULT not a CAUSE of higher temperatures on earth and follows several hundred years after a period of warming.

I demand, as a licence payer, that the BBC should balance this propagation of a deliberately falsified theory with an equal programme giving a one-sided alternative view on Global Warming. And please let it be hosted by a BBC presenter who does not sneer, or shout down speakers, displaying their personal bias against views with which they are unfamiliar or too ill-informed to understand.
Cllr. Tony Woodcock (Civic Centre, Poole)

  • 51.
  • At 06:09 PM on 12 Apr 2007,
  • Harry Randall wrote:

Eminent scientists in their respective fields have expressed their views on global warming. I present direct quotes made by them during the C4 programme:-

• All the models [computer] assume CO2 causes warming. The obvious way to produce a more impressive
forecast is to increase the amount of imagined CO2 going into the atmosphere. We put in an
increase in CO2 of 1% per year. It’s been 0.49% per year for the last 10 years, before that it was
0.43% and 0.42% for the ten years before that. So the models have twice as much greenhouse
warming going in than is known to be happening. It shouldn’t shock you that there is more warming
than is occurring”.

•During the post war economic boom, the temperature fell.
World temperature [NASA figures] over 120 year period 1880-2000,
rose from 1880 to 1940, fell in the economic boom years 1940 to
1975 and rose until 2000. CO2 and temperature do not go together.

•Al Gore [in his film] correctly states that when there’s more CO2, the
the temperature gets warmer. He failed to mention the link is the other
way round. Temperature leads CO2 by 800years. Temperature rises and after a few 100 years,
CO2 follows. We can say temperature causes CO2.

•There is correlation between what the sun is doing and the temperature on earth.
Solar activity rose sharply to 1940, fell back for four decades until the 1970s,
then rose again. Scientists studied sun spot activity with temperature variation.
They found a link between solar activity temperature variation on earth. [going back 400years].

•By the 1990’s, tens of billions of dollars in the USA, the UK and elsewhere were directed into
research on global warming. A large proportion of these funds went into building computer
models to forecast what the climate would be in the future. Climate models are only as good
as the ASSUMPTION that goes into them. They make hundreds of assumptions and all it takes is
one assumption to be wrong for the forecast to be way out. All models assume that CO2 is the
cause of climate change rather than the sun or the clouds. The analogy is – your car goes wrong
and instead of looking at the engine eg. the sun & clouds, you go for the nuts on the rear wheel.

Let's have a balanced debate on the BBC Ethical Man.

Harry Randall

  • 52.
  • At 08:26 AM on 17 Apr 2007,
  • deb wrote:

Help - what grants etc are there?

i am having to give up work - earlier to become a carer for my husbband. i will have to survive on an earning replacment benefit - cannot earn a penny MORE than £87 a week!! £87.01 and i am in serious trouble... there is NO grading - so i cannot afford to teach any more....

i have solar pannels, and was thinking of a wind turbine - i live in a very very windy place.

i would like to up grade the loft insulation.

how do i find out if i have cavity wall insulation or not or even if i have a cavity in this old house.

i have completed one of those energy efficiency surveys on line and it has raised MORE questions than answers - anyway they never give an indication of just how much they would cost or how to work out an average cost say per square foot of foam insulation - per double glazed window.

in this ethical world it is assumed that you will take out a credit agreement and i want to know how much i will have to save - ie up to at least 75% of the cost. all these folk come to the house and WON'T tell you the costs until after at least a 45 min 'chat' plus a credit talking too. now i don't think this is ethical.

why should i be discriminated against because i want to pay now, and so save money, and get very very little consumer protection - because i don't want have a credit agreement or be in debt. these calculations of credit, loans, HP etc KEEP the cost analysis of return on you capital outlay - not in YOUR favout but in their. surely those who pay up front shouls be rewarded by a better after sales service, extended warranty etc. now that IS ethical

There are too many, not enough handicapped parking spaces in our city

  • 54.
  • At 03:00 PM on 26 Apr 2007,
  • Steve Earl wrote:

Why is he called "Ethical' Man?

I try to lead an ethical life. I am honest, polite and I try to help others. I obey the law and I never ever drop litter.

However I think the "we are all guilty" environmental fascism of "Climate Change" is a complete and total scam.

Does this make me "unethical"?

On the contrary I believe the environmental bullies are the truly unethical ones, and the BBC in floating this stupid idea, with all it's usual self righteous, "holier than though" arrogance, is simply perpetuating the apalling myth that environmental zealots somehow automatically occupy a moral high ground.

I've just been letting everything happen without me these days. I've pretty much been doing nothing , but oh well. More or less nothing notable going on to speak of. I just don't have anything to say these days, but maybe tomorrow.

Life begins at conception, begins at birth - Or come up with another stage and develop a different persuasive speech topic

A higher energy price is a sacrifice we have to make for cleaner fuels

College education is a basic need today

Cheating Is, is not Unacceptable!

Prejudice will always be a part of society

  • 61.
  • At 01:17 AM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Michael the friend of D wrote:

Hello my name is Michael.
Ones I made technical and economical
which allowed me to do almost impossible,
to earn on energy saving technologies. (Unfortunately most of benefits took some my opponents.)

With the interest I looked at the issues of Ethical Man on BBC. Some things looks not very attractive to me, however the idea of such experiment is dedicated to be studied.

Since I replaced all light bulbs (but two) at home where do I live it gave the economy effect which promises to be returned in next years. (In the country where do I live electricity is expensive and economy lamps are even more expensive than in U.K. for example).

After that I did some eventual research on energy consumption around me. Which finally led me to some ideas. I hope it may help to build economy models, since beginning point was economy.

For example, one of my discoveries was
that power point transformers in some electronic devices waist about 30% energy,
in other devices this waist reach only about 5%.

The brief history of power supply transformer looks such; The earlier models,
waisted about half of energy.
Later models of 50th years wasted about 35%
In 70th construction was changed to have about 20% energy waist. Later this percentage was improved to about 5%.
However what was my surprise when I found out that because of some reasons of mass producing instead of transformers with 5%
energy waist the mass producers often install there devices
with about 35% energy waist.
They did grate step back explaining it with reasons, which look like very doubtful.

My suggestion is to use electronics without
improper energy waist.
Eventually I made device to define the quality of transformers. Which may be suitable to test some electronic devices,
on subject of such waist.

P.S. I'd want to contact those who interested in some unusual project connected energy waist reduce, and sensible economy effects. However it requires cooperation between several interests,
where all promise to be rewarded respectively. I should say that example of
the Ethical Man helped to figure out such interests. My excuses for such secrecy,
but it's not yet a time for announce.

  • 62.
  • At 01:15 AM on 20 Nov 2007,
  • Michael the friend of D wrote:

Well it looks.
There were not so many posting after my previous one. That's my new idea.

The sewage channels.
Beg your pardon, if this subject will be
a little bit inattractive.
Usually there are two types of waste
waters (called together sewage).
The soapy water and several remains as food
and waste. Actually. Soapy water,
is simplier to be cleaned without filtration.
and even some substances may be resulted,
of such water.
After the waste itself has most of energy,
may be turned into gas.
Being mixed those two kinds of waste
destroy the positive facilities of each other.

My offer to separate sewage of users,
with special device (some kind of switch), and after,
send it to some sort of station trough two pipes. One smaller (in diameter) high pressure
for soapy water, other one larger for smaller amount of tougher water which has accumulated energy in some technologically
enough essence. Ironically being mixed
they have to be transported with big pump
trough large pipes (which may makes their separated transportation even cheaper than the mixed some).

It is not as expensive as some one may think, may be even cheaper than as usual.
(Any way time after time sewage channels
must be served and even replaced.)
This idea came to me about 15 years ago,
during the attempts to find some magic
solution for some problems.

  • 63.
  • At 02:10 PM on 20 Dec 2007,
  • drod tunstall wrote:

Justin Rowlatt has got it spot on!

The Christmas problem which starts in August every year is just an inticator of a fatally sick and debauched society.

What we are witnessing (and we are all part of it) is equivalent to the fall of an equally debached and sick society.

The Roman Empire.

To hasten this happening, why not start Christmas in May or June?

Even better, have Christmas all year through then no one will be able to afford a mortgage!

It'll get things over with quicker and put us all out of our misery!

Live on Scrooge, my hero.

Energy Waste Counter.

A matter of this project to provide people with technical device, which would resolve to count not only totally spent electric energy, but also the energy which could be saved.

The Principle of work.

Any (or almost any) device which spends energy, produces some kind of signals,
which go back to the power point. These signals are known as noises.
some of them may be not suggested to be present at the electrical wire beyond
the socket, other may be tolerated. But in almost any case they present. In each case a character of each noises produced by each device are very individual. And and each of them is dependent on the construction and the usage mode of each device. As a result of dependence on device construction, the noises produced by device may discover the way how, this device spends energy. In other words: watching the noises in power point, we may analyze the way how some or other device is working, and is it what we may count as energy wasting.

For example the TV-set may produce the noise of pulse power unit, or it may produce, the noise of cheap transformer. The motor of washing machine may produce some noise or another, depending on the kind of motor and kind of its switching and the mode of the washing machine. The light bulb may be simply switched on or produce the signal, of electronic unit of energy saving light bulb.

Human versus machine.

Surely there are different noises produced by different kinds of constructions. And in each case, the construction, may produce very different noises, which respect to several measures of energy waste. Furthermore there are no common idea about what is the energy waste. But [b]if count from the point that such counter will count the energy, which could be saved, if some thing will be replaced with more energy saving one, it would do this.[/b] Of course the acceptable price of thing for replacement could be very individual in each case. As well as whole result of such device may be not only the single value,
several kind of figures which would suggest several alternatives. Also such device could be customized. It could receive additional information from servers, and with agreement of its customer and other respective users, supply the individually collected information to server. It can for as a kind of the social networking, with possibility to improve results, on the basis of collected information. Finally it may be a prototype, of devices to measure the consumed energy not only by its amount.


Generally this device should be a little device connected to power source,
or just linked by the [b]isolated[/b] loop of wire one of wires at the power point.
Inside it should have very fast specialized microprocessor to analyze noises with some attached memory. This microprocessor possibly could be fed, from the loop of wire. Also it should have some ability to be connected to computer
or to some network (as the Internet, or some specialized).

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