Don't you just love 'low carbon design'

Paul Mobbs mobbsey at
Fri Feb 25 13:35:53 GMT 2011

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Obviously there was a severe beard and sandals shortage amongst the designers 
- -- otherwise the idea might have worked. I've seen yurts and hippie buses, 
that cost a fraction of this price, kept warm with far less high-tech 
trinkets. Then again, thinking in local-authority mode, I saw a hybrid 
solar/wind powered traffic sign in Warwickshire the other day installed tight up 
against an oak tree! (BTW, Warwickshire also seems to have started to put 
nasty spikes on their low carbon traffic signs in order to stop the gadgets 
getting nicked and redeployed for more enlightened purposes).

'ippie tech is far better then low carbon! -- we need a change in outlook, not 
a change in energy supply!

Perhaps if the proponents of green tech. understood the basic principles in a 
little more detail they wouldn't hand the anti-environmental brigade a gift on 
a platter like this! -- e.g. this same article was syndicated to Fox News 
across the USA,
...and for what the Glenn Beck fan club make of it over there see


Foiled by the winter: The £25,000 eco-classroom that can't be used because 
solar panels don't provide enough heat

Kate Loveys, Daily Hate, 24th February 2011

Eco-campaigners who built a classroom powered by the sun believed they were 
paving the way for the future.

Instead they have been taught a valuable lesson - there is not enough sun in 
North London to sufficiently heat their building.

The much feted zero-carbon Living Ark classroom was opened three months ago to 
great fanfare.

It boasts laudable green credentials and is made from sustainable wood, 
sheep’s wool and soil. The roof is made of mud and grass and it has its own 
‘rain pod’ and solar panels.

But there is snag - its solar panels only provide enough energy to power a few 

As a result the classroom is bitterly cold and uninhabitable for lessons.

Parents have branded it ‘useless’, an ‘expensive piece of wood’ and a ‘great 
idea for the Caribbean’.

The Living Ark was built at Muswell Hill Primary School, North London, at the 
cost of £25,000.

Local councillors, at Labour run Haringey council, who were behind the 
initiative, opened it with great fanfare in December as a beacon of their 
climate change policy.

But today a local parent at the 419-pupil school said teachers weren't 
allowing pupils into the classroom because it was too cold.

‘What is the point of a classroom that can’t be used when it’s a bit cold 
outside? My kids have been told it’s too cold for them to use as nobody can 
figure out how to heat it,’ said the parent, who did not want to be named.

‘This is just an expensive piece of hollowed out wood and no use to anyone. We 
are living in Britain, not the Caribbean.’

The ‘waste’ of money comes as councils across the country are facing a severe 
shortage of school places.

By 2018 they will need to find an additional 500,000 primary places due to a 
population surge.

Charlotte Linacre, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, accused the 
council of wasting money on pet projects which do not benefit pupils.

She said: ‘It’s an awful waste that so much money has been ploughed into this 

‘This project fails to meet the needs of staff and pupils by giving them a 
classroom that is most useful when the kids are on their summer holidays.

‘Lessons have to be learned at the local authority. They must stop spending 
taxpayers’ hard earned cash on expensive pet projects that do nothing to 
improve pupils’ education.

‘All this will teach kids is how poorly planned and costly local authorities 
projects can be.’

Lib Dem Councillor Gail Engerts said: ‘It is such a shame that, considering 
the fanfare, it emerges that this facility cannot be used by the children all 
year round.’

Headteacher Jill Hughes defended the project and said she hoped classes would 
be held in the classroom when the weather gets warmer.

She said: ‘We’re delighted to have the Living Ark - its a tremendous resource 
both for the school and the local community and is an important part of the 
Muswell Hill low carbon zone initiative.’

- -- 


"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
(Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

Paul's book, "Energy Beyond Oil", is out now!
For details see

Read my 'essay' weblog, "Ecolonomics", at:

Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
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