Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Biosolids Conference

I'd  had very short notice of this event  (see my last post) so, even having perused the website, I'd not fully realised that biosolids means the organic 'fruits' of  sewerage.  I'd had in mind  the broader concept of biomass.  Euphemism getting in the way, perhaps, but apparently the experts in this large and fascinating field stick together and use familiar words with different meanings :  their 'cake' is not edible!   The invitation was to give a keynote speech about a green vision for the economy.  As I was short of time I'd adapted  a speech given by Caroline Lucas.   Luckily I was able to arrive an hour or so before my slot to eat and talk with stallholders (selling sludge management machinery, consultancy etc) and listen to other presentations. It was a steep learning curve. I discovered they are (in general) a green-minded group, so I chopped out of my speech the bit about climate change.  They are very aware of greenhouse gas emissions (as the photo of the presentation by ADAS shows).  They  want government to stop backtracking on renewable energy, and they say that regulation often gets in the way of greener ways of doing things as it's too inflexible.  Apparently the policy makers don't listen: e.g. they promise to meet at a plant and then change the venue to London, so they never really get to grips with the industry's issues.  Clearly, better communication between all sectors is needed (as it is with everything).  I'm really glad I had the opportunity to meet the biosolids gang...and I now have an invitation to speak at Leeds University, and a few contacts in this crucially important and, it seems,  misunderstood field. see

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