CLIMATE

45 years ago I started teaching geography and climate change was a key component of my geography lessons. I must have been a crap teacher as the situation has got steadily worse. The biosphere is struggling to maintain diversity and food chains. Ice caps and glaciers are melting, the acidity of the oceans is changing, weather events are becoming more extreme and frequent. I still believe it is every individuals responsibility to do what they can to ameliorate these issues, but it needs government and diplomacy to force the mega rich corporations and individuals to take immediate action.

CLIMATE ON TV

There should be a 10/15 minute broadcast the latest progress or not regarding climate change. This should include electricity generation on a weekly basis to show renewable/fossil generation. It should also have regular updates of electric car sales, houses insulated, CO2 levels.

All this could be supplemented with relevant innovations and analysis of government policies, both home and abroad (new coal mines, power stations etc.).

It should not be scaremongering, but should attempt to keep the issue at the forefront of everyones minds. Excerpts should be put on social media and politicians asked for comments on specific issues.

There is plenty of material available to make it an interesting programme with a valuable contribution.

Canada, Russia, Brazil and the USA and the Middle Eastern producers are all offering subsidies to fossil fuel companies to expand production. At present fossil fuels accounts for 60% of greenhouse gases – so basically governments are subsidising fossil fuel extraction using your taxes. Britain is not squeaky white on this with one of the 22 mega projects (although one of the smallest of the biggest.

SPRING

Migrating birds reported to be 3 weeks late in arriving. It is still chilly and some frost around in early morning. But NO MOW MAY is here. It rained today which was unusual, and looks like being mainly dry for the rest of the month although occasional showers – brilliant typical British weather forecast! Warmer than average seems to be colder than the average I remember!

CLIMATE EMERGENCY

Tory and Labour MP’s in a flap about ER activity. neither party has, is, or looks like doing anything regarding the emergency. So really there seems little alternative to direct action. The traffic jams caused are considerably less than those caused by Brexit. (and to those who say it is not Brexit – look for the traffic jams around calais – and explain why ferries are sometimes half full despite tail backs).

The vast majority of people in the uk support onshore wind farms. Quicker to install than most other forms of energy, as is insulation), but the Tories want to put nuclear power stations in poorer parts of the country instead. How about a new nuclear power station at Lechlade-on-Thames?

CLIMATE CHANGE

Despite the horrible events of the past few years Climate Change is the one which will make Covid and Ukraine have the relevance of teenage zits to a pensioner. The normal tory unintelligent are liming up to thwart moves for onshore wind claiming ‘it is unsightly’ – death from climate events is fucking unsightly. I think they look rather nice and would love to see one from my bedroom window – and they are not noisy – can we move the likes of Sleaze-Dogg, petty patel, Nadine dimwit, Heating-haggis, Zahalfwit, et al to live under the Heathrow flight path, or maybe a terraced house near a trunk road.

WEATHER – APRIL

Forecast for the month is typically British in the south west – rain, possible sleet, gales, sunny, a bit warmer than average but no prolonged period of settled weather.

ENERGY

National Grid Live Status shows that we are still very dependant on fossil fuels, especially at this time of year. We have become reliant on wind for renewable energy and not done enough to develop solar. As ever I am the worst sort of commentator as I have limited knowledge which may be worse than no knowledge!

Cutting demand is an obvious partial solution. Solar panels on all possible sites of offices and educational establishments that operate mainly in daylight is a no brainer. Governments and investors of all persuasions seem fixated on the large scale projects. Would lots of small scale projects undermine the privatised National Grid? I am surprised at the lack of HEP – water powered this country for centuries. Re-instated mill ponds would surely bring environmental benefits.

The stats show the continuing importance of nuclear power. I am cautious with Windscale, Three Mile Island, Fukushima, Chernobyl all in my memory, and we do not seem to have solved the nuclear waste problem. However, needs must. At this time of year we need an alternative that does not exacerbate climate change. The £13 billion pound cost of increasing the nuclear component from 16% to 25% it to passed onto the public. I am not sure the free market economy is working too well in this market. We have seen the privatised energy companies make huge profits (and the huge fossil fuel companies), whilst little has been done to help the poorest in our society. (I was fortunate to have been born with the benefits derived from a socialist government. The gap between rich and poor was still too large, but has grown exponentially recently). The current capitalist model is broke.

Apparently Tory MP’s with rural constituencies are opposed to relaxing planning rules for onshore wind farms. I suspect that 90% of people living in villages do not give a shit, it is the wealthy landowners they are talking about. I am sure the Daily Mail or Telegraph can run a spurious story linking wind turbines to cancer!

WEATHER

April looks like getting off to a chilly start with frost possible at the weekend. It certainly feels colder than the stated temperature. Heater on in the greenhouse last night and I think I may leave it on this evening and for the next few days.

WEATHER

I was wondering what impact a cold spell would have on wildlife? It is not predicted to be frosty which is something, but early nesting birds/broods could suffer? Butterflies? Blossom is out on many trees but they will need the bees to fertilise, yesterday there were lots of insects around. My bird feeders have gone strangely quiet in the last 3 days or so. Have they found a better source?

Plenty of Brimstone Butterflies in last week

GARDEN AND WEATHER

Lovely days, but cold at night with a slight frost on neighbours freshly mown lawn – my grassland ecosystem seemed frost free which makes me wonder about the moderating impact of rewinding lawns vis-a-vie the opposite impact of ‘the lawn’. I am sure that Iread that the average temperature in Atlanta, USA went up by 5C in summer when street trees were removed.