It’s camping time

Power stations and airports have been the targets of their anger in the past and later this week environmental activists are set to descend on London for the latest Climate Camp event.

Agree or disagree with the aims of these protests but they certainly put engineering and technology centre stage – even if only as the object of vilification when connected with oil, coal or, most of all, nuclear power.

On the other hand, renewables obviously score rather highly at the Climate Camp. The latest gathering will apparently include training on how to build your own wind turbine, which is certainly a way to promote interest in environmental engineering and is to be applauded.

Those of us who advocate a mixed approach to future energy provision would, presumably, receive a rather lukewarm reception at Climate Camp.

Perhaps we should stage our own event. Then again, a ‘renewables underpinned by nuclear and clean coal for a balanced, low-emissions and secure energy supply camp’ doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Whether or not Climate Camp goes with a bang that will surely be the case at International Rocket Week 2009, which gets underway near Largs in Scotland today. The annual festival of rocketry is very much in the spirit of engineering enthusiasm with a serious purpose and we wish it many a successful lift-off.

Andrew Lee