Heating Your Greenhouse in Europe This Winter

Started by Bern, September 03, 2022, 09:59:17 AM

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Headline from article in the UK Guardian. 

Britons to burn their bills in weekend wave of cost of living protests


This is an interesting occurrence in the UK this weekend.  It's difficult to get a good idea about how large and extensive these protests were.  Were they well attended?  Are similar protests occurring in Germany and on the continent?  I find it very difficult to get decent news here in the US about what's going on in Europe.


Russia Today (RT) was taken offline at the beginning of the Ukraine war and I found today that it is back.  Here's a headline from them about the utility bill protests in the UK.

Britons burn energy bills to protest soaring prices (VIDEOS)


There does not appear to be major participation in these protests.  The comments from "ordinary folk" that appear below the article might bring you some amusement. 

David Pilling

Your link:

"This site can't be reachedwww.rt.com's server IP address could not be found."

Maybe I need to find a proxy server.

Protests... not here, not yet. I have heard talk (on the BBC etc) of people not paying their bills. It is easy to take action against individuals but not against many thousands. In addition people's utilities are not disconnected lightly these days.

The context is the "poll tax", which was a tax Mrs. Thatcher introduced and after protests led to her downfall. A lot of people would not pay it. It was a tax per per person (head hence poll) to raise money for local government.

Seemed fair to me. I was surprised at some of the people who would not pay.

There is unhappiness - the energy price crisis is portrayed as being caused by big business and profiting big business. Huge amounts of money are being transferred from the people who pay the energy bills and now tax payers to the shareholders of companies. Some will be going back to the government, those companies pay lots of tax.

AFAIK No one has said we won't pay because the money is funding Putin's war.


Russia Today, Pravda, and the Kremlin websites were all removed here shortly after the Ukraine war started.  I visited them to see what the Russians were saying about the war, but either Uncle Sam or the ISPs had censored them.  Is His Majesty's Government doing the same thing in the UK?  I wonder if the EU is blocking them?

Here's the URL for Pravda.


Here's the site at the Kremlin for the President of Russia.


It's too bad you couldn't get RT.  The comments made me think that people were paid to write them - I think they're called trolls in internet lingo.

The week ahead will be interesting with the Ukraine war, sanctions, energy crisis, inflation, currency issues, and stock market meltdown all teed up for us to experience. 

I'll be bringing many of my plants inside for the winter this week as it is unusually cold and very wet for this time of the year.  I've enjoyed another good growing season.

David Pilling

Hi Bern - Pravda and the Kremlin are no problem to access. RT still is, but I can read it via a proxy in the Netherlands.

It is a bit disappointing if it is being blocked. It is not clear to me who has the power to block things on the internet in the UK - can always be the local name server is at fault, does happen.

The RT TV service had its licence taken away at the start of the war. Maybe that would cause some internet providers to block look up of the ip address.

It appears name to ip address lookup fails for RT. A bit like on satellite, where RT has gone from the programme guide but the signal is still there and probably you can watch it like any other satellite service which is not listed. I expect if I found the ip address via some other route I would be able to access the RT website.

Martin Bohnet

As for protests, in Germany it's mostly the East - no surprise here, as that's were the right wing populists are the strongest. The current panic here is that "people are not willing to save gas" - some clever analyst compared 2021 September gas use to this years, completely ignoring that second half of  September 2022 was severely colder than average - about 5 Kelvin below average, to be precise - no wonder poeple start heating early.
Martin (pronouns: he/his/him)

David Pilling

Given mismatch of supply and demand seems to be the trouble, reducing usage is a good idea. Whilst we've seen pictures of attempts to reduce usage in the EU, here there has been no effort at all. The people who appear on TV and make critical comments have laughed at the idea.

Boris Johnson's trouble was that he could not bring himself to go the full Oliver Cromwell and cancel Christmas (because Covid). Liz Truss does not want to give a sniff of the lights going out, so we sail on lights blazing... (like the Titanic).

It would be interesting to know if the price rises have translated into less use.

Reading Russia today, it lacks the Tokyo Rose/William Joyce thing, tell us something (bad) we don't know. The BBC brings us bad enough news everyday. Today we were treated to a fireman telling us not to use barbecues indoors (if you've turned off your gas boiler). And... news a gas shortage would lead to electricity generators being turned off.

David Pilling

Quote from: Bern on October 02, 2022, 05:17:41 PMIs His Majesty's Government doing the same thing in the UK? 

Seemingly they are, there is legislation:

 "(2) A person who provides an internet access service must take reasonable steps to prevent a user of the service in the United Kingdom from accessing, by means of that service, an internet service provided by a designated person."

I didn't know that. (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/477/made)

Finding the ip address is not enough.


The congressional elections in the USA are upcoming and will happen on November 8th. However, here in Old Dominion and hotbed of rebellion against the Crown, early voting is allowed.  So, today I dodged the raindrops to cast my vote. The polling location was not crowded; it was staffed by enthusiastic and competent volunteers; I was in and out in ten minutes. For years I've been voting for the lesser of two evils, but I've finally awakened to the fact that this approach is not working well.  So, today I cast my vote with a write-in candidate.  I choose my neighbor.  She is intelligent, honest, trustworthy, diligent, thrifty, competent, compassionate, kind, witty, charming, and so on.......  All of these fine qualities make her totally unelectable under the current state of affairs. Nevertheless, that is exactly what I did. Sometimes you have to take a stand, even when the tide is manifestly against you.

David Pilling

Bern - a bit like an ideal democratic system where no one who wants to be a politician is allowed to be, and the people who run the show are picked at random or by popular acclamation. Here they are tallied as "spoilt ballots", so I don't know the details, do write in candidates have to stand.

It might be a blow when a parliamentary official in fancy dress appears at the door, "bad news Sir", "everything that goes wrong in the UK for the next five years is going to be your fault".


I've never heard of a write-in candidate winning an election in the US.  I'm fairly sure my neighbor will get only one vote.  I'm not even going to tell her what I did so as not to unsettle her.  I'm sure she would have anxiety about a parliamentary or other official showing up at her door asking her questions about her political intentions.  There was a genuine independent candidate on the ballot and I considered voting for him.  However, after reading his bio, I deemed that he could be just as unsuitable as the two candidates from the established parties.  I considered voting for a cartoon character like Minny Mouse or Elmer Fudd, but I wanted to be more serious about the situation and to vote for a real, living person.  In this way the ballot will be counted and it will not be discarded as "spoilt."  Write-in candidates are allowed and there is a place on the ballot specifically for them.

It's interesting that you were able to find a reference to actual legislation allowing (mandating?) the censorship of internet sites.  I'm sure there is similar legislation in the US.  Then there is the voluntary censorship of content if it is deemed inappropriate according to corporate policy.  So what may seem to be a case of mild free speech can be censored as extreme or hurtful, etc. according to corporate standards.  And when all else fails, it now appears that there are secret laws as well as secret courts with secret rulings and mandates, at least as I understand some of the Edward Snowden revelations, that can force compliance if necessary.  Are you aware of similar secret laws and courts in the UK? What about in the EU?

David Pilling

The legislation contained a range of things aimed at the Russian regime when the war started. Russia Today had its licence to broadcast taken away. Chelsea football club owned by Roman Abramovich had various sanctions placed on it.

I've used the 'net since 1992, I've always thought that civilisation would come to the wild west, but I was dismayed to find the ip address of RT blocked. No doubt experts know what is blocked. I am also not happy when I find a note at the bottom of a Google search saying that results have been removed to comply with EU data protection law. Or with the US based websites that block access to comply with GDPR.

There are in the UK "super injunctions", legal protection that wealthy people can obtain to prevent information about them being reported - what makes them 'super' is that reporting of the injunction is also banned.

UK Media have a list of things they won't report - for public well being reasons (kidnappings, copycat crimes). There is a system of D notices the government can use to stop reporting. In addition the UK is part of an intelligence sharing alliance with the USA.

There has been a recent coroner's court case (Molly Russel) an outcome of which may be much tighter control over online content. We find that large companies like Apple are happy to block the PBS list. You'd think they'd get a person to look at the content, it would be marked as "harmless" and that would be the end of it. Instead someone gets rewarded by how many emails a computer blocks.

If in future one has to buy certification to publish on the web (think of the jobs created, economic growth, and harm prevented) or to get on Google, I would not be at all surprised.

YouTube appear to have closed down debate over Covid. Some of the stuff was insane (vaccination makes you magnetic) but good stuff has gone with the bad.


"Germany Needs To Slash Natural Gas Consumption To Avoid A Winter Emergency"

Here's a headline that sure to grab your attention.  It's from a website called oilprice.com.  It's your go to source for non-green energy news and commentary.  Here's the link.


I've been watching the gyrations this week for the US 10 year treasury yield as well as the US stock market. When the UK government recently did an about face on their tax cut for higher income households, the US 10 year yield plummeted and the US stock market skyrocketed.  Meaning, of course, that inflation has subsided and the FED, BOE, and the ECB can go back to buying bonds and monetizing the debt.  That is, until yesterday when OPEC announced a cut in oil production.  Oops, inflation is now back and the central banks can't monetize the debt just yet. Today, predictably, the US 10 year yield is rising and the US stock market is falling.  Oil and natural gas prices are rising and the prices can be seen on the dashboard on the main page of oilprice.com.  Anyway, this site might be decent source of energy related information this Autumn and Winter.  It's too early to tell, of course, but it might be a tad better than the MSM.  Time will tell. Finally, today the FED publishes their weekly graph on the average 30 year fixed mortgage rates for US housing loans.  I'm sure it will be another up week. 


In the UK, utility bills are now sort of fixed - but everyone will be paying for the subsidy for as long as it takes, assuming world fuel prices drop at some stage (although the crude oil cartel agreed to reduce production - aka increase prices - yesterday).
The only utility that is not easy to be cut off from in the UK is mains water, as it is a big deal in public health. gas or electicity can be cut but that leaves a huge bill or bankruptcy waiting...................

As for heating the plants - I am not heating the greenhouse this year - I have constructed large bubble-wrap "cloches" over the benches and I am only heating those, not the entire greenhouse.

David Pilling

14% of users in the UK are on prepayment meters. Of the rest some can't be cut off in Winter, old age pensioners, people with children, chronic conditions.

Reading the article about Germany Bern linked, does Putin think that General Winter will save Russia again. Napoleon, a previous victim was a violet fancier.

"Norway expects to earn record $131 bln from oil and gas in 2023"
Trending on Google today "Are Scottish people Norwegian?"

Joe Biden is mad with the Saudis for backing Russia...

Fed up with all this off topic stuff? I've turned on an option that lets you ignore boards of your choosing. If you go to your user name (top left), click on the down arrow, then "Ignore boards" is an option.