climate change


Rebelling

Weekend of Rebellion

After Pride over the Bank Holiday weekend, this last one was more focused on Anger. Are we working our way through the seven sins? Next week, maybe I’ll just stay in bed for Saturday and Sunday. A big feast the one after.

I can’t wait for Lust to turn up.

Extinction Rebellion was in town from Friday to today, closing a section of Deansgate to traffic, and making it civilised. I visited, and took photos, on Friday and Saturday. It actually upset me, in a strange way, because it reminded me of the Reclaim The Streets demos I participated in in the 90s. We didn’t see the change we called for then until fairly recently, and then only slow and flawed. We don’t have two decades to wait for things to get done about climate change.

Also on Friday was August’s Critical Mass. But I’d walked in, so I just took some photos.

Saturday saw my second visit to Extinction Rebellion, and the Stop The Coup demo, which started out in Cathedral Gardens, and made its way to Albert Square, despite starting in very heavy rain.

Then it was down to Platt Fields for something not angry- the Festival of Manchester. I got some nice photos, then there was more heavy rain, so I abandoned it early.

It’s going to be a busy Autumn, and I’ll try to get to as many of these demos as possible, getting photos and video when I do.


Flying around Incredible Edible in Todmorden

Last week, I was lucky enough to get a look around Todmorden, to see how the Incredible Edible group in the town has found ways to bring food and colour to its public spaces. Thanks to my action cam and a selfie stick, I was able to get a view of the project from the point of view of some of the insects it helps promote.


Newcastle professor says UK could produce 100% of its energy from renewable sources

Using the Internet of Things to cut energy use.

“In the years to come every household appliance will have its own IP address linking it to the internet and allowing it be controlled from an app on our smart phones,” he said.

This so-called ‘internet of things’ will allow us, and the network operator, to tailor demand to accommodate the unreliability of renewable energy.

“If the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining then we may be asked to use less electricity and our pre-programmed appliances will react as instructed,” explained Prof Taylor.

Source: Newcastle professor says UK could produce 100% of its energy from renewable sources


Carbon capture done properly

Scientists in Iceland have managed to turn carbon dioxide emissions to rock, which would make true carbon capture a possibility.

Scientists working at the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant near Reykjavik, Iceland, were able to pump the plant’s carbon dioxide-rich volcanic gases into deep underground basalt formations, mix them with water and chemically solidify the carbon dioxide.When basalt — a volcanic rock that makes up roughly 70 percent of the earth’s surface — is exposed to carbon dioxide and water, a chemical reaction occurs, converting the gas to a chalk-like solid material. Scientists previously thought it wasn’t possible to capture and store carbon this way because earlier studies suggested it could take thousands of years for large amounts of carbon dioxide to be converted to chalk.

Of course, the proper answer is to stop using processes that create carbon dioxide, and move over to renewables. Announcements such as this are likely to be taken up by the pollution industry as a reason for them to keep on dsestroying the planet, on the promise that a technology may come along to undo all their damage. This could be useful in many ways, but this isn’t the silver bullet that’s going to save the world by itself.

The final paragraphs conjure up some interesting visions of geoengineering projects- sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere to bring the balance back down to non climate change levels. It’s the sort of thing I imagined happening in the backstory to the Mongrels series, as the AIs bring the planet back from climate catastrophe to some sort of stability.

Source: Scientists Turn Carbon Dioxide Emissions to Stone | Climate Central


A wander around post-flood Salford

Two days after the Boxing Day floods, I decided to take a quick look at the aftermath along a short stretch of the Irwell.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

I started out in Peel Park, which is now Peel Pond.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

The geese were enjoying the children’s play ground.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

You’ve got to wonder what the flood has done to the asking price of these new builds.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

Debris caught in the railings gives an indication of how high the water got.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

An even bigger piece of debris still hooked onto the bridge.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

Gunky silt coats the road where the water topped the bank.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

Positive thoughts. Though this was on a building a way uphill from where the river had overflowed.

Salford after the Boxing Day floods

RIP The Mark Addy? It’s hard to see from this angle, but the silt/sand was piled up quite deep.

Water level at points along the Irwell were reported as the highest since monitoring began in the 1930s. I’d like to know if this December has been a record breaker for rainfall, or if some other factors contributed to the floods. There are still a few more months of winter to go, as well, so we might be seeing more flood damage yet.


Why some scientists are worried about a surprisingly cold ‘blob’ in the North Atlantic Ocean

This isn’t the plot from The Day After Tomorrow, luckily, but could still lead to some serious changes in sea level and local weather patterns.

Which is nice.

Some researchers think the cool temperature anomaly suggests a slowing of ocean circulation.

Source: Why some scientists are worried about a surprisingly cold ‘blob’ in the North Atlantic Ocean – The Washington Post


July was the warmest month on record

Next time someone tells you there’s been no ‘global warming’ for some arbitrary number of years, just point them at this. Most of them are too depply buried in their superstitious need to deny to comprehend, but it might get through to one or two.

The July average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.46°F (0.81°C) above the 20th century average. As July is climatologically the warmest month for the year, this was also the all-time highest monthly temperature in the 1880–2015 record, at 61.86°F (16.61°C), surpassing the previous record set in 1998 by 0.14°F (0.08°C).

Source: Summary Information | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)


Where to Move to Escape the Worst Effects of Climate Change – The Atlantic

Switzerland might be a desirable place to live—certainly in general, but also as a way to avoid the effects of climate change—for a few reasons: It’s landlocked, which means it’s buffered from rising sea levels. And officials in Switzerland appear to be taking climate-related threats seriously—which is not the case in much of the rest of the world. The country was the first to submit a contribution to the international climate agreement, promising to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. (In the United States, for comparison, President Barack Obama’s new energy plan would require a 32-percent cut in carbon emissions by 2030 compared with 2005 levels.) But that doesn’t mean Switzerland is impervious to the effects of climate change. Warmer temperatures mean more melting snow—Switzerland has lots of it—which means higher risks of flooding and rockslides.

Source: Where to Move to Escape the Worst Effects of Climate Change – The Atlantic


The deniers’ little brains are overheating

Wednesday was Britain’s hottest July day on record, and got a lot of prerss coverage because it was a record breaker, and because we’re British, and love to talk about the weather.

It’s also a pointer to the way this year is shaping up to be the hottest year on record*, so the deniers need to make themselves feel better by pretending it, somehow, didn’t happen.

Take John Redwood, the Tory MP who looks like a house elf and is supposedly rather clever. In a post entitled What a scorcher?, he desperately tries to insinuate that the media is putting out climate change propaganda, by pretending they reported it as the hottest day ever. It appears that many of his readers are gullible enough to fall for his dim trick.

Britain’s hottest day on record was in August 2003**. What desperate lies are Redwood and the like going to come out with if we have a day this year that tops it?

*Beating out last year, isn’t it odd how the ten hottest years on record have happened during the eighteen years when the climate change deniers like to claim there’s been no warming.

**Oddly enough, a year that fell in those eighteen years when the deniers claim the world’s not been getting warmer.


The Texas Floods Are So Big They Ended the State’s Drought

“Rain just doesn’t fall in a civilized fashion in Texas,” says Ronald Kaiser, a water expert at Texas A&M.

The extremes of Texas’ water problems could be a model for growing areas of the world as climate change gets worse. Extreme dry spells followed by devastating floods- which nonetheless top up the water supply.

One question, and I’m sure it’s a dumb one, but I’ll pose it anyway. If they’ve been pumping water out of the aquifers for years, surely they have the beginnings of an infrastructure to pump it back in when there’s an excess above ground. It wouldn’t be any good flood control, but it might help clear the standing water afterwards, as well as topping up the stores.

Source: The Texas Floods Are So Big They Ended the State’s Drought | WIRED


A portable solar cooker, just what every Road Warrior needs

I keep finding cool kit that I could incorporate into Pickers. This solar grill is just the sort of thing you might need if you were trekking around a harsh wilderness. No fuel, no smoke (unless you overcook your meal), light, and portable, my characters would probably have one stored away somewhere.

Source: The GoSun Grill Is a Portable Solar Cooker | Digital Trends


Making Alcohol Fuel With a Solar Still

So I was writing a scene earlier today, based upon the idea of a solar powered still producing ethanol for fuel. By the power of teh internet, I have found that it is possible, and that people have already built there own- Making Alcohol Fuel With a Solar Still – Renewable Energy – MOTHER EARTH NEWS.