Earth Notes: Diarycast - End of Year Roundup (2021-12-28)Updated 2023-01-03 20:36 GMT.
By Damon Hart-Davis.
Hi, I'm Damon Hart-Davis, and welcome to Earth Notes' podcast on all things eco and green and efficient @Home!
28th December 2021.The last month at 16WW HQ, a tiny retrospective for another covid year, and a rant...
It has been yet another year of personal and business pains for virtually everyone in 2021.
And yet, for covid, climate change and many other things...
It is said that sociopathic traits are over-represented in senior management, for example C-suite execs. It is surely also true of too many politicians, and of owners and contributors to large swathes of the media. Those traits are visible in social media trolls too, and in those who refuse as adults to actually behave as adults. We are all imperfect, but being wilfully ignorant and nasty, and reckless as to the effects of your behaviour on others, is the pits.
There, I've ranted my unpopular opinion...
In other news...
I'm fairly sure that the 400Wh/day idle draw of my expanded Enphase battery fleet makes it decidedly non-optimal for this time of year, since that can be even a majority of the day's PV generation. The 1kW peak load shaving remains good, when there is something in the tank.
A faster per-pack charge or discharge, and lower vampire power would help. Maybe better firmware in the batteries, or Envoy, allowing deeper sleep for at least some of the packs when they can't all be needed at short notice on days like during this very gloomy December.
Not that this is astonishing: I still think that two packs is probably the sweet spot for 16WW, but maybe the summer will suggest otherwise?
The carbon intensities of each fuel used in the GB Grid Intensity page are now due to roll automatically on 1st January to the static values used by National Grid ESO's Carbon Intensity Forecast. I now have a tidy-ish way of representing how such intensities change over time.
Annoyingly, my headset used rather intensively for lockdown, broke. But I got to test the replacement with my favourite phonetic pangram.
[recorded on the new EPOS | Sennheisser SC 165 USB, 48ksps mono]
On the corona front: Omicron appeared and boosters were available and taken quickly, with our old local health centre (re)opened to administer them. And our children will likely be getting their next shots in January.
Along with most of the planet I am hoping for a more normal 2022, though it has been pointed out that that sounds just like "2020, II"! [or "too"]
There's more on my "Earth Notes" Web site at
Full diary notes:
- 2021-12-28: still growing the hair and beard!
- 2021-12-27: very assiduously, EPOS called me twice on my mobile today in response to my filed report, once in the morning with a couple of useful suggestions and once in the afternoon to find if they'd fixed everything. I gently suggested to Bharat from their Global Support that I would not know if the problem was fixed until I'd had at least one working day (the 29th) because this was still the Christmas break!
- 2021-12-26: I have been charging my Fairphone from the off-grid system only, but the weather has been so gloomy, and the battery for that so low, that I have gone for a charge from the mains given a tiny bit of generation, even some excess, today.
- 2021-12-25: I have stayed at home this Christmas, while the rest of my family has ventured to north London, again. Adding to the bodies travelling through central London in the throes of an outbreak seemed like a bad idea.
- 2021-12-23: a letter inviting our younger child to book a second vaccine shot arrived today.
- 2021-12-22: the original Amazon supplier of the Jabra sent a free-of-charge direct replacement, a EPOS | Sennheiser SC 165 USB, though I experienced some apparent software issues with them, which I reported to EPOS in due course. I had an excuse to test the SC 165 with my favourite shy Eurasian footwear pangram!
- 2021-12-20: Andrew Boff GLA member, assembly chair, and member of the Planning and Regeneration Committee visited Alison F and me this afternoon to talk about the CRE redevelopment. We discussed our concerns that, for example, the GLA's own rules were not being followed and may result in bad outcomes for biodiversity, climate change, fuel poverty, and so on. The planning meeting to sign off detailed stage one (and the rest in outline) of the redevelopment is tomorrow.
- 2021-12-09: my Jabra headset broke (physically snapped without obvious reason) and I'll have to get an alternative at least to make my regular Teams/Signal/Skype calls better, since my cheapo mobile headset has less good audio and is physically annoying eg the silicone earbud covers keep coming off in my ear.
- 2021-12-05: I was corona-boosted with Pfizer, and then Jean was a few days later.
- 2021-11-27: Omicron variant was detected in the UK ... the pandemic is definitely not done yet.