Sunday, 12 August 2007
Floods in Cape Town South Africa

The weather is only getting stranger. I was on the phone to relatives in South Africa who told me it was raining so hard in Cape Town South Africa that they are scooping up water by the bucket load from their garden and pouring it down the sink.

If you have been to Cape Town before you will know that when it does rain it usually drains away into the ground, however its not doing that now because there is so much of it. In some houses in South Africa its naturally assumed that the water coming down the guttering from the roof can be allowed to flow out into the garden with no further drains. This design however could lead to flooded gardens. Soon these adverse weather conditions will start changing the whole structure of how houses are architectured in countries around the world.

So far there have been:

  • Massive floods in Britain
  • Heat waves in Europe coupled with forest fires
  • Severe flooding in parts of India
  • Floods in Cape Town
  • Unusually large insects such as spiders not native to the UK suddenly appearing in the UK and surviving the climate.

Mmm smells looks like global warming.

posted on Sunday, 12 August 2007 02:07:09 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1]

 Sunday, 18 March 2007
The enigma of carbon and global warming

I'm sure everyone's seen just what a hot topic the environment has really started to become and it appears that of late this has all started to center around carbon emissions. I suppose the thing that worries me the most is that people have been lead to believe that carbon is a bad thing. Carbon is basically one of the building blocks of life we are after all carbon based life forms without carbon we probably wouldn't exist. Just like most things, too much of something can sometimes cause an imbalance,  we breath in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide CO2, trees take in Carbon Dioxide and let out Oxygen in return through photosynthesis.

Its a simple enough process but there are other things that let out carbon such as cars, planes, factories and power plants. While the majority of carbon dioxide is actually not made by man but occurs naturally itself in the atmosphere from the oceans, volcanoes and natural biodegrading of plant life, the small percentage we contribute to the environment is thought to be enough to offset enough of the worlds CO2 to cause a global warming effect.  However people do not seem to realize that carbon is only one of the gasses thought to be responsible for global warming in addition to CO2 there is Methane, Nitrous oxide, CFC-12 etc. and what appears to have happened is a whole industry has sprung up around Carbon many calling themselves "carbon neutral" companies. There are organizations that have risen to start profiting on the idea of carbon credits. Now you can trade the right to create pollution and in theory if there is to much pollution the price of carbon credits goes up because everyone wants them or they in theory could face a fine.

How they measure how much carbon a company creates from production is probably another question but surely such a system can only help the world if major manufacturing countries such as those in the Asia economies sign up to the carbon credit idea? Another thing that appears to have got African states annoyed many with young economies only just starting is the imposing of these restraints on them. "Look how easy it is for you to go green" they are told."You have so much sunshine why not use solar power?". What many people do not understand is that solar energy is not enough by itself to power manufacturing in these countries and solar panels are still relatively quite expensive. Solar energy is also not very reliable, subject to popular belief they do get stormy weather in Africa and the sun isn't always available. I agree that more money should be spent investigating cleaner energy, but people in the developing world are often unable to afford it.

Maybe the cost of renewable energy should be offset against the tax's on fossil fuels?

posted on Sunday, 18 March 2007 13:12:02 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Monday, 12 March 2007
Politics and being Green

Its quite interesting how being green has become the next big political thing. Politicians have finally woken up to the fact on how important it is to be green, they have realized what a vote winner it can be for them.

What they seem to have done so secretly however is avoid the discussion about Britain's future energy requirements. I like many of you would love most of our energy to come from renewable energy sources, the problem however is that these renewable energy types are not yet very reliable. Wind energy is not the great solution it was thought to be and still leaves us at the mercy of the wind, it has also been campaigned against by ironically enough green campaigners. Solar energy also has its issues, the solar panels are still quite expensive and will take in some cases a life time to pay back for the energy they generate they also rely on sunshine which we don't have much of in winter. Hydro electric power is reliable but relies on there being a steady damn however it does not generate enough power for our means and it requires some change in fragile ecosystems when damns are created.  This only leaves nuclear power as emission free but with a far more serious issue later on - nuclear waste. So what on Earth can we do?  Well what ever is decided on you are bound to annoy someone, so it all comes down to compromise doesn't it?

I wonder if anyone will ever come up with the ultimate green abundant energy source?

posted on Monday, 12 March 2007 20:28:10 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]