Steve Parlour

MIND YOUR LANGUAGE WHEN YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT RENEWABLES

Categories: Energy Policy, Policy

In their Comments feature, the Institution of Engineering and Technology published this article in Engineering and Technology in December 2016. In this critique, I highlight the misleading use of language and units in describing renewable generation technologies.
Typical claims for a percentage of electricity mean nothing, as you cannot have a percentage of something that is not a measurable unit. Similarly, using energy and power as interchangeable words for the same thing is deliberately misleading. The oversimplification has spread within the professional institutions; bodies that ought to be challenging the errors made in the public domain.

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DRIVING – AGE OR EXPERIENCE

Categories: Paternalism, Policy

Calls to raise the minimum age for driving a car occur when there is media attention on high profile accidents involving the young. Evidence is usually ignored and obvious questions remain unanswered. This article examines the effects of raising the driving age using lessons learned from raising the motorcycling age in 1972.

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The Economics of UK Energy Policy

Categories: Energy Policy, Policy

The evidence I gave to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee was published in 2016. The report on their inquiry on the Economics of UK Energy Policy will be published in 2017. My message was that carbon reduction by energy policy was a technical challenge for engineers. Treating it as an exercise in economics will guarantee failure.

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ELECTRIC CARS: THE BETAMAX OF GREEN TRANSPORT

Categories: Energy Policy, Policy

In spite of their claims, electric cars are not zero emission. Not having an exhaust pipe does not mean that the energy used has come from a green source. This article asks just how green are electric cars and compares them with internal combustion engine cars. It goes on to take account of the carbon footprint of all cars and then their whole life emissions. The problems raised suggest that there is a doubtful future for electric cars. What are the alternatives?

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PUBLIC HEALTH: ETHICAL ISSUES

Categories: Paternalism

In 2006, I contributed to a study by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics to a report being compiled to examine the ethical dimension of interventions for the individual’s own good. Areas covered were infectious disease, obesity, fluoridation of water and alcohol and smoking.

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MINORITY DECISION MAKING

Categories: Paternalism

As a member of the Political Studies Association, I presented a paper at this specialist group conference on the difference between the public understanding of the passage of legislation in the House of Commons and the reality. This includes the amount of legislation passed with a tiny proportion of members voting or ‘on the nod’ because a quorum is not present.

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PATERNALISTIC LEGISLATION

Categories: Paternalism

My DPhil thesis was a cross-disciplinary study including libertarian political theory, political philosophy and issue groups within the British parliamentary processes. The case studies are compulsory motorcycle helmets, car seat belts and cycle helmets.

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YOU’LL THANK ME FOR THIS ONE DAY

Categories: Paternalism

I presented this paper at Warwick explaining the various exceptions to Mill’s principle against paternalism but concentrating on the philosophical arguments on the protection of one’s future self as another person.

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