Archive for CO2

The Hypocrisy of Government and Global Warming

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, Budget Cuts, England, Environment, Europe, Forests, Government, Government Spending, Insanity, Modern World, MP's, Parliament, Senior Citizen, Summit, Traffic, Travel, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 06/12/2010 by floroy1942

Britain Needs Leadership. Not Hypocrisy!

Governments the world over are often accused of hypocrisy, but none can surely be as blatant as that of the British government. Two months ago I reported on a decision by the Tory-Liberal Coalition to sell off Britain’s forests (26/10/2010 – Death Knell for Britain’s Forests) for development to help in cutting the budget deficit, now it appears they have reversed direction, but not as you would expect.

A new government initiative is being trumpeted to spend £4.2 million on planting trees in urban areas. Called the ‘Big Tree Plant’ campaign, it aims at planting 1 million trees in Britain’s towns and cities over the next four years. They claim it will not only be “good for our bank balance but good for our well being“.

Preferable to Concrete!

As a project, I applaud it wholeheartedly but then if planting trees is such a good thing, why do far more damage to “our well being” by turning our forests into holiday parks and golf courses. To me it just doesn’t make sense and I am sure most people will fail to understand the logic.

It is true that people will feel happier walking down a tree-lined street than through a concrete jungle, because trees break up the monotony of bricks, mortar and glass shop fronts. But there is a far more urgent need for trees in an urban area, one that most should know, but few think of: Air quality!

It is no secret that trees, and indeed all plants, feed on the CO2 we pollute the atmosphere with and replace it with life-giving oxygen. In all things there is balance in Nature!

Flooding on the Increase

Check out the news on any day and you will find reports of landslides, flooding, hurricanes and typhoons, drought and severe storms across the world. Anyone over the age of thirty will be able to recall that these phenomena have increased dramatically over the past 15-20 years, and by all accounts are set to get even worse as the years go by.

I have consistently demonstrated on this blog my deep concern for the future of mankind, and the way we are destroying our habitat with harmful emissions and razing the one thing that will keep future generations alive even with global warming, the worlds forests.

I am 68 years old and will not have to suffer the disastrous consequences of our actions today, but I fear for future generations who will. It is not until ALL people realise just what we are doing to our planet, that we will eventually come out of the current global warming tragedy that is overtaking us now.

Of course, apart from the rain forest destruction there is the quantity of emissions we pump into the atmosphere that contribute to global warming. This is another problem requiring drastic action, but sadly, one that no nation seems to want to do more than talk about. They have held Global Warming Conferences now for some years, but as we all know, nothing concrete comes out of them because all countries put their own interests before those of the planet.

Is your Car Journey Really Necessary?

As the effects of global warming start to really bite I can see laws passed world-wide that will for example, limit all families to one car. Currently it is not uncommon for a single family have three and four cars because the parents and their offspring need individual transportation. It is still true today that more than 90% of vehicles on the road have only one occupant!

On the Ground and In the Air!

Air travel may also be restricted to essential journeys only. Gone will be your holiday flights to far-off destinations!

In my opinion, all the wild weather we are currently experiencing is due not only to global warming, but also the irresponsible destruction of the world’s rain forests. In Brazil recently it was reported that the Great Amazon Rain Forest was suffering its first major drought in history. Something must be badly wrong when a rain forest experiences drought.

A Target For Greedy Men.

To me there is little doubt that the Amazon Rain Forest is the main ‘powerhouse’ of weather patterns in the Caribbean, America and Europe. As it has shrunk over the years, so has the weather changed proportionally.

The sad fact is, the Amazon is not the only place under threat, for an identical situation is taking place in Africa and the Far East. There too forests have been decimated, and the weather patterns have changed as the destruction has progressed.

The Scale of Destruction

I am sure the trend can be reversed, and it would not be so difficult if only the will were there. Instead of continuing the wanton destruction of the world’s forests and the ceaseless pumping out of greenhouse gases, we should be doing our level best to reverse the damage we have done.

Many will say; “we need wood” and they are right, but there is nothing wrong in expanding the idea of “Sustainable Forests” that is already working in many countries.

Tackling the greenhouse gas problem is more complicated, but measures such as restricting the number of cars, unpopular as it may be, could help to tip the scales in our favour.

Natural Balance Will Return - But Will We Be Here?

There seems little doubt that Nature will return eventually to a state of balance, but the over-riding factor is, will WE still be here? Food for thought!

Roy.

Future Transport: Electric, Hybrid, Hydrogen or Bio?

Posted in Environment, Modern World, Nuclear, Radioactive Waste, Traffic, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 19/12/2009 by floroy1942

In 2020 the number of cars in the world is expected to reach 1.1 billion, based on the current annual increase. For years the buzz has been about what will replace the petrol/diesel engine in the future. What will finally condemn them to history in this increasingly environmentally conscious world?

For many our current vehicles will be replaced with electric cars, and there are already some models on the market. Some experts believe the future lies in hydrogen-powered cars, which are infinitely cleaner. There are people who swear by bio-fuels and the hybrid, but what is the most realistic alternative?

In my opinion, electric cars are a non-starter for several reasons. Firstly, they do not have the range and sustainable speed of the current power plants, and the battery banks are large, heavy, expensive to manufacture and dispose of. World-wide, the national power grids could not hope to handle the huge demands made upon them by a billion cars that require regular battery charges. Imagine any country, where millions of electric cars would be plugged into the mains supply every night to charge the batteries for the following day. There isn’t a national system in the world that could cope with such a demand. It would require massive investment in new power stations all over the world, which in turn would cause more pollution. It is fairly certain that to minimise any environmental impact they would all need to be nuclear, which then provides a massive headache and poses the problem of what to do with huge amounts of spent nuclear fuel rods. No, I think our attention should not be distracted to this non-starter.

Many believe in hybrid cars where the vehicle has both petrol and electric power and doesn’t need an external electrical supply. This would go a long way to reducing the environmental emissions for a while, but it would not get rid of them. There are claims by the manufacturers that a 40/60% saving on petrol consumption is possible. These vehicles are still dogged by the battery manufacture and disposal problems mentioned earlier. They are not the answer, but could be a stop-gap until a real alternative comes along.

Another major commodity in the equation is hydrogen power, but this too has its drawbacks. It is clean, easy to produce and its only emission is water, but, it is highly explosive. When mixed with air, the result is a highly inflammable gas and when heated, say in an accident where the vehicle catches fire, the result is a major explosion. These traits do not really make it a safe candidate to replace the petrol/diesel engine either.

Bio-fuels have oft been quoted as an alternative, but they too are not practical. There are already areas of the world where a shortage of many crops exists because farmers have turned over their land to growing the plants required for bio-fuels. No, bio-fuels as a replacement would mean many having to choose between keeping the car on the road or eating.

There is however one alternative that is cheap to run, has no effect on the environment, and any and all waste is extremely good for the roses. The horse!

Whichever way it goes, not much will happen for a long time to come because most of the patents for alternative power sources seem to be owned by the petrol companies, and they are not likely to want to see advancement in this field until the oil runs out.

May your journeys be short, and safe!

Roy.

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