About Me

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Weston Super Mare, Somerset, United Kingdom
Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Robin Whitlock. I am a freelance journalist with a special interest in environmental issues and renewable energy. I have numerous published articles to my credit and write regularly for a number of renewable energy websites. I am also a writer for Renewable Energy Magazine and a sub-editor for Renewable Energy Focus. I am currently based in Bristol, UK. Besides renewable energy and green issues I have a wide variety of other interests which includes World War 2, mythology and folklore, gardening, railways and lots more besides. You can also reach me on either of my two email addresses, which are: robinwhitlock66@hotmail.com and robinwhitlock1966@gmail.com Thanks!

Hire Me!!

Hire Me!! - Freelance Journalist specializing in environmental issues and renewable energy
Writer for Renewable Energy Magazine
Sub-editor for Renewable Energy Focus
Contributor to Holmes Digital Media websites (Solar Guide, Renewables Guide, Boiler Guide, Builder Guide)
Contributor to Cleversolar blog and Find Energy Savings
Published in numerous national magazines
See below for writing samples

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Electric cars: Charging on the move

New research at Stanford University is looking at a system which could charge electric vehicles as they travel:

http://www.asktheexperts.org.uk/electric-cars-charging-on-the-move.html

Monday, 17 October 2011

We are the 99%

A blog piece about the Occupy Bristol encampment on College Green, published in Bristol 24-7:

http://bit.ly/nm5Mn5

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Teens Not Vamps: Why Twilight Cannot Be Taken Seriously As A Vampire Tale

The vampire's in Twilight are pretty pathetic, for a true rendition of the vampire icon you have to look elsewhere:

http://www.bkserv.net/LFC/article.aspx?articleID=246

Bolt From The Blue: Electric car sets new speed record

Who says electric cars can't perform? The students at Brigham Young University have just proved you wrong:

http://www.asktheexperts.org.uk/bolt-from-the-blue.html

The South Bristol Link Road - an outdated idea and a waste of public money

The South Bristol Link Road is a project that takes us back to the bad old days of the last, Thatcherite, Tory government according to George Monbiot. Personally I agree with him, and so do many in those areas which will be affected by it.

http://www.bristol247.com/2011/10/12/robin-whitlock-south-bristol-link-road-will-cut-our-community-in-half-81199/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Bristol247+%28Bristol247.com%29

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Business and Breakfast

Bristol's Sustainable Business Breakfast is a really good way in which to network with other businesses interested in environmental issues and sustainability:

http://www.bristol247.com/2011/10/06/robin-whitlock-business-can-learn-how-to-go-green-over-breakfast-26343/

Monday, 3 October 2011

REC solar panels: The most efficient panels you can get

REC panels achieved top place in the Photon field performance test this year, beating at least 46 competing brands:

http://anolis-re.com/news/rec-panels-go-to-no-1-in-the-photon-report

The Great Green Delusion

When it comes to the environment, the UK just isn't doing enough:

http://bit.ly/nSbVf6

Thursday, 15 September 2011

EcoVelocity: The UK's First Green Motor Show

So far I've been a bit sceptical of the green motoring scene, but I was pleasantly surprised when I went along to EcoVelocity. Read all about it here:

http://www.asktheexperts.org.uk/ecovelocity-the-uks-first-green-motor-show.html

Monday, 15 August 2011

Riots and Robocop

Chris Brown, the editor of the 24/7 Bristol news website has just published my first piece for the site. I'm honoured actually as in my mind its the best source of news in Bristol.
http://bit.ly/rdvo2Q

Friday, 5 August 2011

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Join the Solar Gold Rush

Rates of return for Feed-in Tariffs on solar PV systems under 50 megawatts (MW) are due to be reduced, the reduction taking effect in April 2012

http://bit.ly/pVe9QF

Schools benefit from Feed-in Tariff funded solar power

One of my latest articles for Solar Energy Experts:

http://www.solarenergyexperts.co.uk/b-free-power-for-schools

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Is Jatropha the way forward for biodiesel?

Jatropha, an otherwise worthless weed found growing in tropical and sub-tropical regions on wasteland, has over recent years been hailed as a really good biodiesel crop, as, apparently, growing it does not threaten agricultural production or rainforest areas. However, there's actually more to it, and Jatropha therefore might not be as free of problems as many would like to think.

http://www.asktheexperts.org.uk/fuel-from-worthless-weeds.html

Friday, 8 July 2011

CIGS solar pv panels

I've just started writing material for a new client, Prescient Power of Leicestershire. My first article for them was a short piece explaining what CIGS solar pv panels are. Basically they're a kind of thin film solar PV panel. At first they weren't that popular compared to ordinary monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels, but a Germany company has recently improved the efficiency to around 20 percent and now they are starting to take off, especially considering that an American company has improved the design so that they are now taking the form of tubular based PV that can be mounted on any roof regardless of orientation. The science behind CIGS can be complex, but read the article and it will provide you with a brief explanation.

http://prescientpower.co.uk/info/index.asp?page=cigs-modules-456

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Graduate rebellion

First, I discovered Graduate Fog and that was really great, finding someone who had the balls to speak out for graduates, but now I've discovered someone else, a grad by the name of Lucy who has noticed that the UK is suffering the same experience that the US had to go through some years ago, that is to say that anyone wanting employment is expected to give up their personal freedoms and become a virtual slave.

If you've no idea what I am on about just have a look at this. Powerful stuff:

http://montrosetractatus.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/amen_graduate_fog/#comment-2

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Medical Matters....

I'm not a doctor of course, but I do have a keen interest in education and particularly anything to do with university and graduation. Recently I started writing for Gap Medics, an organisation that helps to advise school leavers and students on how to go about entering Medical School. I've already written a ten page report for them, and now I'm following it up with short articles on various subjects. The first of which is here:

http://bit.ly/l5hmY5

Bristol's Green Capital Plans

There's lots of exciting things going on in Bristol, not just music and culture and so forth, but also a great many more inspiring and innovative environmental projects. Bristol is quickly becoming the UK's Green Capital as far as I can see. See my article in Energy & Environmental Management Magazine to find out more:

http://www.eaem.co.uk/opinions/bristol-bids-%E2%80%98green-capital%E2%80%99-europe

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Solar energy articles

http://www.solarenergyexperts.co.uk/free-solar-panels-for-your-home-guide
http://www.solarenergyexperts.co.uk/pros-and-cons-of-installing-solar-panels
http://www.solarenergyexperts.co.uk/buying-photovoltaic-solar-panels-dos-donts

I've just completed a series of three articles for solarenergyexperts.co.uk, a really good website which has masses of information on solar energy and solar panels, to which I've just contributed I might add. The first article (links above) explores the subject of whether you should accept the various offers of free and low-cost solar panels offered by some solar panel installers or whether you should buy your own. The more favourable option seems to be that of buying your own as there is much more money to be made through the government's Feed-In Tariff's scheme.

The second article is more general, looking at the pro's and con's of installing solar panels. It's a very good idea, especially considering the savings to be made in the long term, but there are some things to be aware of.

Finally, a much more useful general article covering the do's and don't's of installing panels, as well as a short guide to how solar panels work and some useful links.

Friday, 20 May 2011

The Battle of Stokes Croft, Bristol

As many people in the UK and perhaps beyond will now know, some people in Stokes Croft, Bristol, got a little upset about the intrusion of the supermarket giant Tesco in the area. A campaign to stop Tesco opening a store in this particularly unique and perhaps Bohemian part of Bristol has been waged for over a year, all to no avail, since the Council's planning department passed approval and that, in part, is what caused some people out on the streets on April 21st to get a little irate, aided by around 160 police that is. Anyway, here is my article written for The Ecologist magazine on this whole episode:

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/895229/underhand_tactics_and_smear_campaign_alleged_over_controversial_tesco_store.html

Monday, 9 May 2011

Batteries that run on sea water

It's true! A team from Stanford University is attempting to develop batteries that run on sea water, or more specifically entropic energy which can be extracted from the difference in salinity between fresh water and sea water. The process uses ions of sodium and chlorine, of which there are more in sea water. They use fresh water to start off with. The fresh water is charged and then subsequently drained and replaced by sea water. The charge is held inside one of the two electrodes which is made of manganese dioxide (the other electrode being made of silver). There is no need for a membrane as in other new types of battery. I've written an article on this for AskTheExperts which you can find here: http://bit.ly/moaFeT

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Britain's Coastline in Danger

My recent article for world.edu. There's some more articles written by me on that site looking at Nuclear power and other subjects, so tune in...

http://world.edu/content/uk-coastlines-danger/

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Work Shy Graduates?

It's sad to see that 'graduate bashing' is the new fashion trend. So annoyed was I at what graduatefog had to say on the issue that I decided to add my own contribution to the debate. We seem to have become the new lepers in society.

http://searchwarp.com/swa709231-Work-Shy-Graduates-Graduate-Bashing-Is-The-New-Fashion-Trend-It-Seems.htm

Monday, 14 March 2011

William Stanley Jevons

I thought that after my last article on the Jevons Paradox received such an enthusiastic reception it might be a good idea to write another one, but this time having a look at Jevons himself. So this is it. Jevons Paradox with a bit of background concerning the chap who formulated it.

http://searchwarp.com/swa708813-The-Efficiency-Illusion-William-Stanley-Jevons.htm

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The Deadbeat Poets

I also do music reviews, and hoping to increase this area of my writing. So far I've linked up with indie-music.com and here's a review I wrote for them recently, on the subject of the Deadbeat Poets:
http://www.indie-music.com/bands/comment.php?mode=view_comments&type=band&band_id=10029&template=script_comment.tpl

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Business as usual is not an option says the Jevons Paradox

Published on Searchwarp this evening, my explanation of the Jevons Paradox and what it says about attempts to solve climate change and oil depletion through waste reduction and energy efficiency programmes.

http://searchwarp.com/swa700658-Spitting-In-The-Wind-Why-Energy-Efficiency-Wont-Solve-Climate-Change-On-Their.htm

Proud to be a graduate: A note to society, you can't kick us into the gutter that easily

I seem to be getting rather angry of late, not surprising when you consider how many of us graduates have been treated badly by the government and the business leaders who promised us good jobs after graduation. So I wrote this article about it. Worthy of a potential columnist perhaps?

http://searchwarp.com/swa700584-Proud-To-Be-A-Graduate-A-Note-To-Society-You-Cant-Kick-Us-Into-The-Gutter-That.htm

Friday, 11 February 2011

A wee solution to traffic pollution

Scientists at Heriot-Watt university are developing fuel cells designed to extract hydrogen from human waste. It could be the energy solution we've long been looking for.

Available on Ask The Experts from February 2011
http://asktheexperts.org.uk/a-wee-solution-to-traffic-pollution2.html

Bear Necessities

The US government has just given protected status to polar bear habitats in Alaska, but neither the oil industry nor Alaskan politicians like it one bit.

Available on Ask The Experts:
http://asktheexperts.org.uk/bear-necessities.html

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Information Commissioners Office finally finds its teeth

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) was set up to protect data security, particularly with regard to the Data Protection Act. At first it was accused of being rather lame, but recently it has acted by fining a local authority and an employments services company for breaches under the provisions of the act. This article looks at the implications both for business and the data security software market.

Viewable from March 2011 on http://www.millhousedata.com/

The Clouds Are Gathering

Examining the popular phenomenon of Cloud Computing and what it means for the IT sector in the years to come.

Viewable from March 2011 on www.millhousedata.com

How to win business through social bookmarking

Social bookmarking is sometimes seen as a somewhat amateurish method of storing and sharing information, however in reality there are several advantages for businesses, including the provision of a hassle free method of drawing upon bookmarked information relatively quickly. It can also help professionals in the creative industries sector by enabling solo creative artists to market and promote their own work.

Viewable from March 2011 on www.millhousedata.com

SAP acquires encryption software from Secude

A look at the US computer security software giant SAP and its latest business deal. The article also examines the advantages of using Single Sign-on and Secure Login software as a guard against data leakage.

Viewable from March 2011 on www.millhousedata.com

Microsoft applications: Issues to be aware of

Examines a number of issues regarding Microsoft software including various problems with MS Outlook, MS Office for Mac update 14.01, compatability with AVG 2011 and potential for malware attacks on the Windows Graphics Rendering System installed into Vista, Server 2003 and XP.

Viewable from March 2011 on www.millhousedata.com

The growing global potential of IT outsourcing

This short article looks at the trends in IT outsourcing which may be increasingly in demand following the cuts made by the current coalition government.

Viewable from March 2011 on www.millhousedata.com

Demystifying File Transfer

An article exploring the various ways in which computers send large amounts of information from one destination to another, from email attachments to P2P (Peer to Peer) and the well known FTP protocol. It also looks at the various ways that FTP can be penetrated by hackers and what has been done to prevent such attacks as well as the various programming processes by which file transfer operates.

Viewable from March 2011 on www.millhousedata.com

More Computer Bods Please: The demand for IT professionals is soaring

There's a healthy demand for IT professionals right now and there is every indication that this growth area will increase in the years ahead. This article examines the growth trend in the IT sector, especially in the specific areas of retail IT support and computer security. It also looks at the disparity in IT recruitment between the genders with far more many men being employed than women.

Viewable from March 2011 on www.millhousedata.com

The Ever-Present Enemy: Microsoft's Defences Against Cyber Attack

This article was written for the website of Millhouse Data Solutions and looks at the increasing danger of cyber attack from attackers and what Microsoft is doing to guard against it. The article includes a report from last year of Chinese hackers infiltrating websites using 'Zero Day Vulnerability' attacks. It also raises the question of whether people are being too complacent when loading new software on their PC's, assuming that the new application will have security built in. Finally, the article recommends downloading Microsoft's EMET free security software as an added protection against attack.

Viewable from March 2011 on www.millhousedata.com.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Is Paganism a Political Religion?


I wrote this article for the spiritual and holistic magazine Kindred Spirit which appeared just before Christmas. I was inspired by Brendan Cathbad Myers book Dangerous Religion when I thought of the article topic and in its production I interviewed such notable figures as Emma Restall-Orr, Professor Ronald Hutton and King Arthur Uther Pendragon, all key and greatly respected characters in the British Pagan scene. The article asks whether Pagan religious traditions are inherently political, given their close attachment with the earth and nature.