Dirty Old City

London is a very dirty city. The quality of the air that Londoners breathe is just as dirty as it was when the great smogs on the 1950s killed so many people, but the London air does not now reveal itself in visible smogs. Instead the nitrous oxides and particulates that fill the air are relatively invisible.  Continue reading

Running on a cold and frosty morning

It was a cold and frosty morning, so I went running, not for long, but just to get some exercise. I could see the signs of modern heating with flumes from gas condensing boilers, this early morning. Many years ago I would have seen chimneys smoking but I did not see any at all. The air was very still and the only smoke I saw came from car exhausts as I breathed in harder to get my breath as I ran. There were some other runners on the pavement. They nodded in acknowledgement, which is a rare gesture in a London where folk keep themselves to themselves. Well wrapped folk walked slowly to their cars and started scraping the ice from windshields. I breathed harder.

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How London’s climate has changed

If you have never been to London do you know what is climate is like?

I have lived in London, where I was born and during my lifetime London has always enjoyed a temperate climate although the climate of London has been affected by the activities of humans, just like the climates of other great cities in the world. Humans have changed the climates of cities and there is no reason to disbelieve that humans are now changing the climates of the world. Continue reading

Damage we suffer from fossil fuel burning both seen and unseen

the Parthenon

 

Environmentalists today associate burning fossil fuel with carbon dioxide emissions, which in turn are associated with climate change and global warming. This is a relatively new association, although the theory of global warming has been around for over a hundred years.

 

Before the greenhouse effect took root in the popular imagination the main effect of burning fossil fuel that we understood was air pollution caused by burning coal and coal gas for electrical power and heat energy, and diesel and petrol in engines for transport. Continue reading