Posts Tagged ‘Climate change’


I understand that a new phase of drilling has found evidence that 53 million years ago during the Eocene period there were palm trees, macadamia and baobab growing in Antartica. I can’t wait to see how the nay sayers hijack this. Apparently the scientists have also found Archaea which is a single celled organism that can indicate temperature at the time of their demise.

This is fascinating stuff and shows that life can go on. The investigation concludes that the mean winter temperature in Antartica was ten degrees centigrade, daily summer temperatures were in the 20’s. At the time of the eocene, CO2 levels were, apparently, almost double those recorded today. So in theory if the entire world population were to move to the continental Antartic we could live quite happily, like penguins standing huddled together. Not because it is a way of keeping warm, because there would be no room. The entire world would also have to become pescatorian as it is unlikely there would be much if any land capable of growing food. Who knows how long it would take for the seas to run dry of anything edible.

Furthermore, the Eocene period did not arise, in geological terms, overnight. There was a long period allowing creatures (no humans about then) to adapt to the changing climate. With the rapid increase of CO2 currently being experienced, there is little time for the diversity of creatures necessary to sustain mutually supportive guilds to adapt.  To take just a few examples, plants need to adapt to changed environments, but still need to produce pollen and seed. Bees are needed to pollinate the plants, they need to adapt and the bee population is already stressed by human attack and climate change. Mammals and birds eat fruit and scatter seed in their dung, they too will need to adapt, any one failure leads to a gap in the cycle of nature and, potentially, a failing of the system. These examples are of necessity over simplistic but usefully illustrate the point.

Of course the planet will regenerate, perhaps. But it will do so without people. The ultimate smack in the face from an abused planet.

Think about this, the Eocene was 53 million years ago. Homo Sapiens developed anatomical modernity about 200,000 years ago. The sun has about 5.5 billion years worth of hydrogen left, give or take. It is conceivable that in the time from our demise another civilisation could rise. They will probably use the carbon, stored by the earth from our bodies to fuel their vehicles cause climate change and repeat the sad cycle again.

The earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago, she has run about half of her life, assuming dependence on the sun. Multicellular life is believed to have formed around 580 million years ago. I can’t do the sums but that is about 3.9 billion years for life to even start.

Six million years ago our ancestoral line diverged from that of chimpanzees. The earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago and the planet existed quite happily for 4.4998 billion years before we pitched up 200,000 years ago. For 5800000 years the planet suffered no lasting consequences of our ancestors existence. It would seem that in what the beat of a gnats wing Homo Sapiens have managed to despoil our planet almost to the point of no return.

There is an expression used in these parts, ‘You don’t shit on your own doorstep’. Well, it seems we do.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19077439

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The whole of Europe appears to be descending into poverty, Greece we all know about, Spain appears to be borrowing money to sort out it’s position. There is talk of Italy being next. Will Britain be far behind?

This is obviously bad news for everyone but, when viewed against the dangers of climate change and world environmental degradation they pale into insignificance. The media appear to have lost any interest in these topics though. Am I alone in thinking that a recession has caused people to conveniently put these problems to one side?

The politicians and their big business buddies must be pleased there is financial chaos. It won’t put a dent in their income like it does for everyone else, they may lose the odd 100,000 but hey, they have Harry Enfields ‘Loadsa dosh’ stashed away. But it does divert interest from things that may dent, terminally, their ability to irresponsibly profit from the rest of us at the expense of this dying planet.

News is concentrated on the economy, Syria and that other vitally important event, … football. Now, I don’t mind people enjoying the spectacle of 22 grown men chasing a pigs bladder, but is it so important that hours of media should be devoted to it? It would be more interesting if the players had their wages reduced to the national average, (along with bankers politicians etc) and there was actually some benefit to mankind from what they are doing. At least the employment of the brain dead in this way prevents the unemployment figures expanding even further. Poor old Wayne, if he couldn’t kick a ball he would probably be something really worthwhile like a road sweeper. The lads and lassies who look after our refuse deserve more plaudits that overpaid footballers. What benefit has football really given to mankind? Thuggery, violence, and misbehaviour of every kind.

At least today the sun is shining and I won’t get wet on my way to the pen today.


Sadly not me. John D Liu, has put together this small film to highlight the benefits of bio diversity and stable ecosystems. A wonderful view for those who care and have time.

John poses a question at the end. In my jaundiced view the answer is greed and lack of concern for others.

It is also nice to see Rwanda that much blighted country leading the world.

http://www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/ou-on-the-bbc-hope-changing-climate

 


I write this as a result of a link on the BBC website, the governments chief scientific officer states;

Professor Beddington said that a more rational debate was needed.

“We have to think about the future,” he told BBC News. “The future is really quite frightening. We are going to see enormous increases in the demand for GM food and who’s going to suffer when the food prices go up? The answer is the poorest of the poor”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18215022

So if GM crops are used and this affects biodiversity, the insect population in particular, they may be no way for open pollinating plants to be pollinated. If there are no such open pollinators all food production will be dependent on the large seed companies who can produce, while there is oil, the seed grain to grow the crops that ‘feed the world’. What happens when the oil runs out that power the production of GM seed grain and all open pollinating ‘natural’ grain has been destroyed?

That may be unduly pessimistic, maybe the companies can keep produce after oil is depeleted.  By that time they will be able to charge what they want for the seed grain as only they will be able to supply it.

I do not profess to understand the manner of producing GM crops. However, can we trust the judgement of scientists? Some while ago, when the hole was discovered in the ozone layer and there were noticeable / recordable  changes in climate the petro chemical industry was able to fund scientists who would say, ‘There is no such thing as climate change’ ‘CO2 emissions are not a problem’ and the world has carried on consuming as much fuel oil as it can. Does anyone else feel like a lemming? Now it appears that even the hard line nay sayers are revising their view on climate change. How long will it be before the GM is perfectly safe lobby are forced to change their collective minds. Before they realise that the grain they produce, grown in huge monoculture agricultural concerns, have destroyed the bio diversity essential for the well being of the entire planet.

My hero Bill has spoken at length about the interconnectedness of all things. Permaculture offers solutions to problema without creating more problems. No excess waste, no over consumption of energy to produce what is necessary. Layering and the creation of food forests are more likely to feed the population than basically barren fields dependant on manufactured fertiliser and providing little or no habitat for native flora and fauna.

Hands up if you think GM is good for the poor?


… and I’m not talking about the dinosaurs. It seems that the flora and fauna of the planet are dying in droves. Once the impact of humans reaches a tipping point, if we haven’t already, there is a danger of a chain reaction from which there will be no recovery. It seems to me that if we are using dying people in Bangladesh to make fat people thin (see previous post) then there is little chance that any government will care about a few dead plants or animals.

Last time the mass extinction was probably caused by an asteroid strike. This time it is a longer slower process caused by US.

Go here for an interesting clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbOXUza9ZeE&feature=BFa&list=PLB54216A640DB6141


Climate change is something that should concern us all, if it doesn’t exist, would it hurt to make small changes in our individual lives?

If it does exist those changes, by each and every individual may make a change. The clip shows one possibility, what would you do without hot water, electric light curfew’s and …. the kettle

It is the little things we miss.


 

I don’t read newspapers, their production is wasteful and polluting and recycling, while good, on a broad scale involves the use of energy … bad. Better to use them to grow potatoes, as described by Bill Mollison in the Visionaries programme in the 80’s.

The BBC website is always good for a (nervous?)  giggle though.

Yesterday the UK government were introducing secret trials. One days reporting. What knocked that important matter of the page, hosepipe bans. Now don’t get me wrong, this is important, but more important that safeguarding the liberties and rights of ordinary citizens?

On a positive note, and this falls in nicely with the hosepipe ban, climate change gets a mention. It seems ancient sea shells and planktonic skeletal remains recovered from across the  globe support the Aye sayers and destroy one of the major criticisms of ice core research levelled by the Nay sayers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17611404

When I started to read the report I felt despair, ‘Oh here we go again petro-chemical interests trying to de bunk what is frankly obvious if you walk around outdoors.’ But no, a well researched piece highlighting several causes and concerns over climate change. This is a complex matter but that is no reason to stand idly by with our collective thumbs up our bums and minds in neutral.

Earth wobble may explain some of the issues of climate change but this alone cannot account account for the hike in CO2 in the atmosphere. The biggest producer of CO2 is you and me, driven by our consumerist nature’s. Just look at nature, the green things consume, ie reduce, CO2. What does most of a humans life compose of, exhaling CO2, from their bodies, their cars, their factories, their energy production. How can that not have an impact on the planet? CO2 will after all kill you, that’s why, by law, I have to have a CO2 monitor in my home because I have chosen to heat my home with a log burner!