Better Safe than Sorry?

We seem to be in a succession of really serious crises, but things are not what they seem. First, we in the United Kingdom experienced a crisis about Brexit. Then we experienced a crisis about floods, which led to an upsurge of interest in climate change. Now as I write the nation is in crisis about the corona virus causing COVID19.

The common features of all these crises is that we are constantly told that they are incredibly serious and we are caused to fear them. The 24 hour news cycle repeats and repeats and repeats again stories that teach us that the crisis, whichever it was, is serious enough to cause large scale death and destruction of our ways of life. This 24 news cycle spews propaganda creating intolerance and hatred.

Yet when the crisis ends we find the nation has voted for Brexit and that crisis is put on the back burner. We find that the rain stops, the floods recede and that crisis is put on the back burner. Now we are in the middle of a Corona virus crisis, a pandemic no less because as I write nearly 13,000 souls have lost their lives after catching the virus. That is 13,000 out of 7.8 billion souls. We are assured that it is necessary to change our ways of life radically to prevent.

I understand that the average age of death of corona virus in Italy (apparently the nation which has had the most corona virus deaths) is just over eighty years old. I would expect that most of the 13,000 folk who caught the virus and died were either over 80 and/or had a serious underlying medical condition which may have ended their lives whatever virus they caught.

The UK government has offered some very sensible advice – particularly about hygiene. Good hygiene is the enemy of all disease, and as a nation perhaps we have become rather lax in enforcing the best hygienic standards both at home, in our work places and in some hospitals. However the government has offered some advice that I find hard to understand about self isolation. The measures taken seem to have panicked much of the population into buying more than they need and it is likely in some cases the constant repetition about the threat of corona virus has caused some to become so anxious that they experience symptoms that they do not have.

It is always better to be safe than sorry, but we must bear in mind that the remedy must not be worst that the disease.

It is a shame that governments across the world do not take the view that with climate change it is better to be safe than sorry, but that is another story to which the 24 hour news cycle has not yet returned.

Carbon Dioxide Concentration in the Atmosphere

I regularly look at atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration even though it is invariably bad news. in the past twelve months CO2 in the atmosphere has risen to 408.53 ppm, which is a rise of 2.53 parts per million compared with 12 months ago. It seems relatively clear to me that this is shown in the extent of sea ice in the Arctic and the extent of ice in the Antarctic, both of which are reducing and in very modest sea level rises.

I think that now it is not about reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that humans push into the air, but about removing carbon dioxide from the air. It is not about targets, which as one commentator pointed out on these posts are usually politically motivated boasts but about hard measures of which there are insufficient around.

Does Anyone Care

Those who measure atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are finding that in April their measurements show the highest ever readings. This seems to be reflected in global heat. February 2016 was the warmest month ever in 137 – years of record keeping. This is the tenth consecutive month that the monthly temperature record has been broken.  Continue reading

2015 – The warmest year on record?

Many eminent scientists confidently expect that 2015 will be the warmest year that humans have recorded. 2014 was previously the warmest year. The so called pause in global warming has been illusory. Continue reading

The times they are a changing

I was annoyed to read that some scientists had reported that in future the British Isles will have longer bursts of heat waves and be warmer, as a result of global warming. The story was widely reported. I am sure, as far as I can be, that global warming is taking place and that the climate of these islands will be different in future from its present climate, but I do understand that when predicting the future there are literally more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our science. Continue reading

The Long Run

In Karachi and the surrounding areas of Pakistan many people are suffering from heat exhaustion and some are dead as a result of very high summer temperatures. Karachi is a city of some twenty million inhabitants. It has poor infrastructural services – electricity is in short supply and clean water is short in summer- and this makes life almost unlivable when temperatures reach 45 Centigrade, as they have recently. The record temperature recorded at Karachi is 47 degrees Centigrade, which it hit in 1979. This is not a pleasant start to Ramadan. Continue reading

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Increases

In April 2015 the US measuring station at Mona Loa in Hawaii measured 403.26 parts of carbon dioxide per million in the atmosphere compared with 401.29 ppm in April 2014. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration state that world atmospheric carbon dioxide levels exceeded 400 ppm across the whole of the earth. The statement is based upon only 40 measuring sites, so it may be inaccurate, but for the first time all 40 sites reported measurements in excess of 400 ppm. Continue reading

Irrelevant Promises

Both the United States of America and the European Union have promised to cut carbon dioxide emissions by between 26% and 28% compared with what they emitted ten years ago. The promised emission reduction takes effect from 2015, ten years from now.  Continue reading

Cold Comfort

The International Energy Agency has calculated that annual global carbon dioxide emissions in 2014 were 32 giga tonnes. This figure is significant because if the figure is right it shows that the growth is emissions has remained stable for the first time when there is no global economic crisis. Continue reading

Don’t Mention It!

There are some people who think that you can avoid events happening if you do not mention them. On one level this is mere superstition. If you avoid thinking about climate change and global warming you will not prevent it happening; in fact you are more likely to increase it happening because not thinking about global warming means that you will not think of any measures to combat it, slow down its pace or make any preparations which may help humanity when the time comes that the planet is much warmer than it is now. Continue reading