Archive for world energy consumption

The Climate Debate – Who is Right?

Posted in America, Britain, Children, England, Environment, European Union, News, Politics, UK, USA with tags , , on 28/09/2013 by floroy1942
The Report

The Report

It was interesting to read about the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who say they are now 95% certain that climate change is due to man’s influence. By ‘man’s influence’ they mean the amount of CO2 we are currently pumping into the atmosphere. This conclusion comes from many years of studies of our effect on climate by more than 800 of the most prominent climatologists, who analyzed the changes in climactic conditions we have seen over many years.

Few people can deny that during the past five years we have seen dramatic changes in the weather patterns across the globe. Massive flooding in America, Europe, the Far East, unprecedented heatwaves across much of Europe and the United States coupled with extremely destructive hurricanes and typhoons across many countries. Only a fool would deny any of these things, but sadly there are many who still do not believe in climate change.

Predicted Global Warming Impact

Predicted Global Warming Impact

A Summer Scene - Britain In The 1950's

A Summer Scene – Britain In The 1950’s

When I was young we had a lot of snow in the winter that gave way to a very discernible change to Spring. Summer’s were warm but not overly hot with occasional thunderstorms, and were followed by a gentle change into Autumn with warm days and an increase in rain. Winter came slowly and reached its climax in January and February before giving way once again to Spring. Those days are long gone and I have witnessed the changes first hand. Nowadays, Summers are shorter and very hot by comparison, and Winters are much colder with snow concentrated over a shorter period. Spring and Autumn have all but disappeared, for often they are barely noticeable. All this has not come about by pure chance.

Summer Drought

Summer Drought

Summers have recently been accompanied by long periods of drought in many countries which is having a direct impact on us. The long drought in the central states of the USA this year is a prime example. This phenomenon is not restricted to western countries however, for nations like Bangladesh and India have also suffered.

Monsoon Rain And Lightning

Monsoon Rain And Lightning

The monsoon season in these and many other eastern countries has this year been devastating and far more destructive than previous years. Across many South American countries, India, Bangladesh and China, the seasonal rains have caused death and destruction on an unprecedented scale. But this is not all. For the monsoon season also brings with it the deadly typhoons that have created havoc in Japan and other Far Eastern countries this year. The United States and Latin America have also had their share of destructive hurricanes, and while they are a seasonal phenomenon, they have become much more powerful and numerous.

This is just a snapshot of the changes that have occurred over the last twenty years or so but do give a good indication of how weather patterns across the globe have altered. It now remains to examine if mankind is responsible.

Coal Burning Power Station

Coal Burning Power Station

Since the turn of the last century, which saw the emergence of our Industrial Age, we have made unprecedented strides forward in technology, air travel, transportation and energy production to keep pace with these advances. These advances brought with them an increasing demand for power.

Carbon Emissions Increase By Year

Carbon Emissions Increase By Year

We all relied on coal-burning power stations as a means of producing power for the numerous factories that supplied our needs, as did homes for warming. This meant that within half a century man had increased the output of CO2 into the atmosphere by more than 1000%.

The seventies/eighties saw the emergence of nuclear power across the world which did help, but the factories were still pumping out huge amounts of this gas and we were still heating our homes in the same way. Over the years oil and natural gas have replaced much of the coal usage but this has not changed the output of CO2 much.

Man's Quest For Oil From The Ocean Floor

Man’s Quest For Oil From The Ocean Floor

We have begun to use up the world’s resources at an ever increasing rate, which is proven by the fact that in many countries, land-based oil and natural gas wells are now dry and we have to look to the oceans to supply our needs. We continue to search for oil and gas fields that will supply our ever-increasing needs, but eventually these natural resources will run out, and when they do……..

The Earth will automatically replace its resources, like for example, trees and plants that seed new versions of themselves via seeding, fish stocks replaced by breeding as with all animals on our planet. Deep down, new natural gas and oil deposits will form, but with these resources it takes a lot of time.

Just about everyone knows that trees and plants feed on the CO2 in our atmosphere and release oxygen, but tests on trees in many countries have shown that most are saturated with CO2 and cannot absorb much more. Coupled with this, woods, small forests and hedgerows have all but disappeared from European farmland as farmers strive to increase their profits. Huge sections, and in some countries whole tropical rain forest belts have been cut down to make way for farming and cattle grazing.

Rain Forest Destruction

Rain Forest Destruction

We humans can harvest a certain amount of the world’s resources and know they will be replaced by nature, but the sad thing is, we have for years been using up these precious assets faster than the world can replenish them. Scientists estimate that last month (August) we had overtaken the natural renewal processes for this year, and it would take 1 1/2 worlds to renew resources at our current annual rate of consumption.

The world’s power needs and the consequent pollution levels have been exacerbated by the continual increase in our population, which is rushing us to the point where we will not be able to feed everyone and the resources of the world will not be enough.

Too Many Cars

Too Many Cars

The most obvious example of our excess is the huge increase in motor vehicles over the last 110 years. In the late eighteen hundreds when the first motor vehicles became popular only the rich could afford them, and you could number them in a couple of hundred on our roads. Today, as we have become a more affluent society vehicles on the world’s roads have increased to a dangerous level.

Rise In Car Numbers

Rise In Car Numbers

With the increased prosperity in countries like China and India among others, we now have more than one billion vehicles on our roads. Each and every one of these vehicles throws out dangerous gases that enter the atmosphere and pollute. Many western families have three and four cars and this adds to the total enormously. Traffic today comprises mostly of vehicles with one person, i.e. the driver, whereas thirty or forty years ago there were seldom cars with a single occupant.

Cars Per Family

Cars Per Family

Of course it is not only down to the traffic, for factories have ‘sprung up like daisy’s’ as we increase our knowledge and demand more ‘gadgets’, and each one is spewing CO2 into the atmosphere. Many western nations have taken measures to control this excess but that still leaves the rest of the world, especially China. Countries like China and India have a long way to go before their technology catches up with ours.

General Public

General Public

To get an idea of the general public feeling on this issue I have once again read comments from readers of the relevant article on Yahoo (yes I know) and some of them are astounding in revealing the general public’s ignorance of what is at stake here. I could not believe the number of people who denied that there was a problem. Here is a sample of the comments:

“They  (i.e. the scientists) are being paid by the unelected EU dictatorship to lie to you, so that they can implement their corrupt method of paying tax”.

“CO2 is plant food not some noxious gas higher levels are a good thing”.

“This is just an excuse to impose a global carbon tax. This is all BS, don’t buy this scaremongering of global warming and overpopulation”.

“Its pole shift not global warming. no money in pole shift like global warming.. But then again the Tories could introduce “pole shift tax” ..Now where have I heard a similar sounding tax like this before…mmmmmm!!….”. 

“what’s that got to do with me I just wanted to be warm all the time”.

“this is not global warming it is global climate change, which is running on a natural cycle and not man made. Global warming aye right if it’s global warming why have I had to put on my central heating in the middle of September? As others have said if this is global warming Why is it so bloody cold?”  

(I am not responsible for some of the bad English in these comments.)

Flooding Across The Globe

Flooding Across The Globe

From these random comments it becomes clear that the uneducated general public do not buy this story for one minute. Most are convinced that it is all a plot by the government to extract more taxes from people, and that the world’s scientists are in the pay of the government to back up the lie. If the world was not obviously heading into a period of climatic unrest, these remarks would be funny, but the sad thing is, it will take some monumental disaster of world proportions to change their minds and make them believe. The disasters around the world during this last year do not seem to have been enough to do the job.

Recovery

Recovery

Part of the problem is that in general, people have become so insular that if it does not affect them personally, they are not interested. None of them can think ahead 50 or a 100 years to what life will be like for their descendants, they just don’t care so long as it does not affect them. It is indeed a sad reflection of what we have become.

Naturally, it is up to each individual to make what they will of the evidence before us, but for me, comparing what life used to be like with the present day, I think we are headed for trouble. Having seen the changes throughout my life I am just glad I am seventy years old and not seventeen.

Roy.

France Leads The Way By Turning Out The Lights

Posted in America, Britain, Environment, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 02/02/2013 by floroy1942
Shanghai At Night

Shanghai At Night

According to reports, France has taken a major step towards saving the planet without even realizing it. The French government have apparently just passed a law that forces shops and office blocks to turn out their lights at night, quoting “light pollution” and “electricity savings”.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

The law states that all of these buildings must turn off all lights within one hour of the last person leaving, or by 01.00hrs every night and the projected savings in electricity are staggering. It has been calculated that this one measure will save sufficient energy to power 750,000 homes for an entire year! The actual figure is two terawatt/hours of electricity a year. When you consider the implications of this, it is an enormous saving of power at a time when demand is growing at an ever-increasing rate year on year.

World Energy Consumption On The Rise

World Energy Consumption On The Rise

As we have more and more gadgets in the house requiring this precious resource, plus of course the introduction of electric cars, the energy demands of today’s society will grow to such an extent that the power companies will be unable to fill demand in the future. This in effect, will necessitate a mass building programme of extra power stations which will need more of the Earth’s resources to feed them.

London

London

When you look at the night skyline of  all the major cities in the world they are a mass of light from glaring advertisements to whole skyscrapers lit from top to bottom. If you think about it, this is wasting power on an unprecedented scale the like of which is incomparable. We are using coal, natural gas and nuclear power to satisfy our increasing needs, and this is before millions of people ‘go green’ and buy an electric car to ‘save the planet’.

Power Guzzler!

Power Guzzler!

There are many people who are against nuclear power, but what they do not realize is that as demand increases we will need many more power stations to keep up with demand. If they are all gas or coal powered we will hasten the day when the whole planet will have the problem currently inflicted upon the people of Beijing, China. A poisoned atmosphere!

Sydney Australia

Sydney Australia

For this reason it is wise for us all to look at ways to reduce our power consumption, and the step that France has taken is the right way to go. It only remains to be seen how soon all countries follow this lead and impose the same law. When you think about it, I am sure you will see that it makes sense.

Roy.

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