Climate Change – No News?

There is very little in the news these days about climate change. That is odd, because in most parts of the world in the past year people have experienced unusual weather or extreme weather events, but humanity, instead of looking at these as a taste of things to come, has busied itself in fighting over land, enriching itself while impoverishing the environment and carrying on as though everything with the environment was normal, perfect and un-newsworthy as a result. Continue reading

The Difference Between Pain Relief and Curing the Disease

The House of Commons has solemnly concluded that the United Kingdom does not spend enough money on flood protection. This conclusion was reached after widespread flooding caused many people problems in the last winter. Apparently more money will be spent on flood protection in future, mainly on dredging rivers so that flood water may flow away more freely than before. Of course, if a patient is ill you must relief the suffering as best you can, but relieving the pain does not cure the patient; curing the patient will relieve the pain, but simply giving painkillers will not do much to prevent future pain. Dredging rivers is important pain relief, but does not cure the problem that causes flooding.

Humanity cannot cure the disease whose symptoms include flooding, drought and extreme weather events easily. The medicine that will provide a cure is too unpleasant for humanity to take, even if humanity holds it nose while trying to swallow. The medicine requires humanity to recognise that economic growth in the only way that humanity knows creates the disease and no politician would ever get elected on a platform which proposes to reduce or curtail growth in order to make the planet fit for humanity in several generations time.

Thus will will continue to administer pain killers until, like all pain killers, the drugs no longer work or their side effects prove worse than the pain.

 

 

An Epitaph For Humanity “It Was Not Our Fault”

Every week evidence emerges that climate change is affecting our wealth, our health and our lives but yet there seems to be a large number of people who think that climate change is some kind of conspiracy to suppress freedom or create wealth for the undeserving. Continue reading

Reviewing Budgets From an Environmental Perspective

I used to review each UK budget for its impact on the environment. Governments would be keen to announce a series of measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, or to save energy or to any of the myriad things that should be done or could be done to protect what we have now for our descendants. Continue reading

I told you I was ill

The British Isles is on the same latitude as Labrador, and is further North than Newfoundland, but it experiences winters which are much milder than either of those places. As I write Hopedale Newfoundland has a temperature of -14°C, but in London England it is a balmy 9°C. The reason for this temperature differential between places on the same latitude is the Gulf Stream and the jet stream. Continue reading

Links to Climate Change

There have been many extreme unprecedented weather events recently. Some claim that these have been “just one of those things” that happen in the world’s complex climate. It was, they say, always thus, that weather and climate changes.  Continue reading

Just In Case

There is a lot of weather in the world at the moment. Continue reading

What Global Warming, What Climate Change?

In the ten years since the new millennium global land mean temperatures have barely increased but even so the decade was the warmest for both land and sea temperatures, although the rate of temperature rise seems to have declined when compared with the rate of the previous decade. The last decade saw climate extremes and weather extremes that were greater than ever recorded.

  • There were more heat waves and more people died from heat waves
  • The decade was the second wettest since 1901
  • Sea levels rose at the rate of 3mm per annum,
  • There was a record decline in Arctic sea ice
  • Every year of the decade except 2008 was among the 10 warmest on record
  • Most countries had their warmest decade in 2001-2010.
  • No country reported a nationwide average decadal temperature cooler than the long term average
  • Throughout most of the decade the sun has been at its solar minimum, when temperatures would normally decline.

The End is not a Desirable Consumation

The tornado that ravaged parts of Oklahoma recently was one of the most powerful tornadoes that have been recorded. It was formed by cold air meeting hot air meeting winds, and demonstrates that in the face of the worst that nature can offer humans are relatively powerless. Continue reading

The Seeds of Our Own Destruction

Several thousand years ago tribes of people we now call Greeks settled in Attica, which was a rich and fertile plain. People always try to settle in rich and fertile land; sometimes if the land is used by others new comings try to possess it by fair means or foul, but four thousand years ago there were fewer people in the world and more rich and fertile plains than there are now. The ancient Greeks were ignorant of many things. They knew how to grow wheat, olives and grapes and also could husband goats and sheep. What they did not know was how to grow wheat in ways that prevent the soil from washing away. Continue reading