Archive for the ‘climate change’ Category

The Great Correction

March 7, 2017

The Great Correction, wonderful song and imagery from Eliza Gilkyson.

From her album Beautiful World.

She needs to release on bandcamp, not all the wrong sites that are owned and controlled by Big Business

Special thanks to 

Blockadia are the flash points, where paramilitary forces are used against protesters defending the commons. 

 

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Cob house within solar geodesic dome in the Arctic Circle

January 6, 2017

The Hjertefølger  family has been living on Norway’s Sandhornøya island, where they started their journey into sustainable living, since 2013. Their three-story cob home—built from sand, water, clay, and other organic materials—is encased in an aesthetically pleasing, and functional, solar geodesic dome by Solardome.

Placing the 25-foot-high dome around the five-bedroom, two-bathroom home gave the six-person family protection from strong winds and heavy snow loads, as well as cutting down on heating costs. The geodesic dome, which also covers a garden area, gives the family the necessary greenhouse environment to grow much of their food.  Apples, cherries, plums, apricots, kiwis, grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, squash, and melons are just some of what they can grow in an area that is without sunlight for three months a year.

Hard frost in the morning

December 29, 2016

Third day of hard frost in the morning.

Cold frosty day

December 29, 2016

Tuesday, frost all day, it never cleared.

Tuesday night, inky black sky, stars shining bright.

Wednesday morning a hard frost.

The sun was shining in the morning.

Fading light, since early afternoon fog rolling in, visibility dropping by the minute.

And yet only three days before, on Christmas Day, temperature was 15 C in Aberdeen, 14 C in Hull in Yorkshire.

Hinkley Point C

July 28, 2016

Hinkley Point C will cost 18 billion euros.

Correction, Hinkley Point C  has an estimated cost of 18 billion euros. Large infrastructure projects have a nasty habit of being over time and over budget. This is true of EDF’s latest project in France.

18 billion euros is larger than the capital value of EDF. Major shareholder in EDF is the French government. If Hinkley Point C proves to be, as many suspect, a White Elephant, it will destroy the French government.

The French Unions are oposed to Hinkley Point C and are considering mounting a legal challenge.

The new UK government is having second thoughts.

The price of electricity from Hinkley Point C is guaranteed for the next thirty-five years at double the current price of electricity.

The price of electricity from renewables has been halving every 18 months.

The offshore wind farms Siemens plan to build in the North Sea will deliver electricity at much lower price than Hinkley Point C

Hinkley Point C is a disaster and must be stopped.

Proponents correctly say we need reliable sources of clean energy. That is why we must push ahead with renewables, the more we have, the more reliable, as not reliant upon the unreliability of a  few sources.  Also resilient.

We must follow a Soft Energy Path, one wheres sources are matched to usage.

Nuclear power is hard energy, it is also very brittle.

installation of rooftop solar panels

installation of rooftop solar panels

Last week, my neighbour installed 14 solar panels on his south facing roof. Speaking to the contractors, they said peak output (on a good day when the sun is shining) is 3 kW.

Imagine if every house had solar panels, if new build was mandatory to have solar panels.

Inshore wind farms have been a disaster. Wealthy landowners reap the subsidies. Or did

We need to create community owned local area grids. Into which feed renewables guaranteed a fair price. Consumers would pay a  fair price. Any surplus energy would be fed to other local are grids via a publicly owned National Grid.  Any monetary surplus would either be fed back into the local grid or used to finance community projects, watering of the collaborative commons.

EU pushed diesel, thanks to lobbying by VW (the same VW that rigged emission tests). Net result nearly ten thousand deaths a year in London due to air pollution from toxic diesel.

In US and Japan, a different route of hybrid and electric cars.

One of the problems with electricity supply from renewables, is matching supply to demand. Electricity from the sun  during the day when demand also peaks. Wind blows at night when demand is low

Surplus generation, could be, at cheaper rate via smart meters, used to charge electric cars. Electric cars when not in use, with fully charged batteries, could be used when peak demand exceeds supply. Smart meters can also use the electricity for low grade heat, for example water heating and space heating, where being cut off for a short while does not impact on the user (especially if have manual override).

A couple of weeks ago, a useless report on abuse by the Big Six, a useless report that cost millions to compile. A couple of their worthless recommendations was better use of price comparison sites (better called price fixing sites as paid by suppliers to set up deals) and if consumers had not recently change supplier, add them to a database to receive junk mail from suppliers.

One measure at a stroke would improve the situation, eliminate standing charges, a fixed rate per kW-H, or maybe two rates, one a special cheap rate when surplus exceeds supply (requiring smart meters).

There are no standing charges when paying for petrol, there should be no standing charges when buying electricity.

We do not need to nationalise the Big Six, introduce community owned and controlled local grids, and the Big Six would be driven out of business, as unable to compete.

Post-Brexit, we need investment in green infrastructure, investment in publicly owned railways, in locally owned and controlled electricity grids. What we do not need is bad infrastructure, HS2, Hinkley Point C, expansion of London City Airport or additional runways at Heathrow and Gatwick.

Farnborough International Airshow 2016

July 17, 2016
Red Arrows

Red Arrows

Every two years, a jamboree for arms dealers, a showcase for the world’s most lethal killing machines, but portrayed as a fun day out for the family.

Try telling that to families in Syria.

For the local people and businesses in Farnborough, two weeks of noise, one week of gridlocked roads.

F -35 peaked at 112 dBs.

Day 1, a heavy downpour, nothing exceptional to what we have seen this year, but the Airshow could not cope. Exhibition halls flooded, loss of power, mass evacuation from the halls, Airshow closed early.

Irony, aviation fastest growing source of greenhouse gases, airshow shut down by inclement weather.

Those expecting lots of flying, would have been gravely disappointed. Very little flying, long gaps between.

Red Arrows did a fly past, and that was it.

No Lancaster or Battle of Britain fly pass.

There was a flying fortress, it did a fly pass, and that was it.

Normally, on Saturday and Sunday, it is packed outside The Swan at the end of the runway, best place for viewing, but this year few people.

Airshow organisers showed their usual contempt for local people. No compensation for nuisances caused, but they could buy one ticket and get one half price.

Buffet lunch at Gurkha Palace. I was surprised to find closes at three o’clock.

The Swan once again ripping people off during Farnborough Airshow. A fiver to sit in the garden, £4-50 for a pint of beer.

Early daffodils

February 11, 2016

 

early daffodil

early daffodil

Last weekend, one solitary daffodil out in flower. At a guess, in flower several days earlier.

Since the weekend, several other daffodils in bud.

Very early for daffodils. Usually towards the end of March.

A few crocuses in flower.

At the weekend, strong winds, even though there had been heavy rain overnight, meant the grass could be mowed, though it was still muddy underfoot.

Since the weekend, grass spiked, a little every couple of days. Hard work.

Today, as it was sunny, though hard frost earlier, more grass spiked.

Early Onward peas sowed.

I would usually dig the ground. Not today, raked off the leaves, in went the peas.

I would also have sowed the broad beans I picked up from Infinity Foods, but could not find them.

Grass seed sowed.

2015 hottest year on record

January 21, 2016
20115 hottest year on record

2015 hottest year on record

According to data collected by Nasa and Noah, globally 2015 was the hottest year on record, and not even by a small margin.

2016 is expected to break this record.

Higher global temperatures means more energy in the atmosphere, more frequent and violent storms, warm air holds more moisture, heavier rainfall.

Hottest December on record

January 2, 2016
December 2015 warmest on record

December 2015 warmest on record

As expected, December 2015 has proved to be the hottest December on record.

The abnormal weather, leading to flooding not only across England and Wales, but also across the US and South America. has also led to the Arctic being warmer than zero centigrade.

Expansion of Heathrow?

November 14, 2015
M25 on approach to Heathrow

M25 on approach to Heathrow

M25 on approach to Heathrow

M25 on approach to Heathrow

Expansion of Heathrow, a third runway?

Think again, the existing infrastructure cannot cope.

Late Friday afternoon, on the M25 on the approach to Heathrow, nose to tail, one massive traffic jam.

The levels of air pollution on the approach roads exceed safe limits. Thus expansion could not be permitted, as would exceed legal limits on air pollution, never mind the contribution to CO2 and global warming.

not sure whether to laugh or cry

not sure whether to laugh or cry

But rest assured, Heathrow does care about the environment. They have wood-fired stoves to warm Terminal 3, or at least wood-fired heating.