Blowing (methane) bubbles – like there’ll be no tomorrow

Methane bubblesWe’re forever blowing bubbles – the beautiful but deadly kind; bubbling pockets of pure methane which is 84 times more dangerous than CO2.

Man-made climate warming is bringing disaster to the surface of our lakes and seas – especially in the Arctic.  As the permafrost melts methane is released into the air and absorbs the sun’s heat; not just compounding, but escalating the big melt.

Oh, and news just in (23 Oct), US & Australian scientists have uncovered soil microbes which are amplifying climate change as the world’s permafrosts melt: http://bit.ly/1pE02bs

What can you do? Identify your country’s energy minister and keep at them over the next 12 months to commit to dramatic CO2 reduction targets at the Climate Summit in Paris, 30 November next year.

Methane release graph Oct 2014

Vast methane plumes escaping from the sea floor of Siberian Arctic Sea

Last month’s Climate Summit in New York marked the largest such meeting of world leaders on climate change in history, and lauded some accomplishments: private finance came off the sidelines and over $200 billion of financial assets from the private sector were committed to move to greener investment outcomes in the next 15 months.

 

Graph shows methane megaflare on Laptev Sea slope in Siberian Arctic Sea at around 62m depth. “We are “sniffing” methane. We see the bubbles on video from the camera mounted on the CTD or the Multicorer. All analysis tells the signs. We are in a Mega flare. We see it mixed in the air and carried away with the winds. Methane in the air.” Ulf Hedman, Science Coordinator, Swedish Polar Research Secretariat.

More is needed. Much more – we must maintain the pressure on our respective governments to secure a meaningful, universal climate agreement.

Whether you’re a renewable energy eco-warrior or a supporter of cleaner, safer nuclear energy – we need to get ALL zero-carbon-emitting energy solutions on the table NOW. Environmentalist must cease the infighting – or within 20 years or so, there won’t be any tomorrows.

In the meantime, sign and share every online petition possible and/or donate what you can afford – here’s just handful:

www.greenpeace.org.uk/climate/arctic  www.savethearctic.org/ http://peopleandplanet.org/fossil-free   http://peoplesclimate.org/ www.foe.co.uk/act/help-keep-green-climate-fund-clean https://secure.avaaz.org/en/100_clean_final/?slideshow

Ebola: the world-leading policy distraction

UK borders unprepared for Ebola

NEW! IMPROVED! Government policy distraction!

Tired of bad news from distant countries? Looking for something you can relate to – however remotely? Well ,EBOLA IN THE UK is here!

FORGET about Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine! SWEEP ‘bring back our girls’ and Boko Haram under the carpet! DISMISS scientific certainties over man-made climate change! Isis? WHAT CRISIS? 1000’s of HongKongese CAN BE WONG! PHOOEY to VongKong typhoon! WHO NEEDS the million+ Pakistani poor washed away by monsoons anyway? After all half the world’s wildlife is still here!!

I could go on – but what’s the point? Nothing beats the headline: DEADLY VIRUS HITS UK BY CHRISTMAS!”  – even if it hasn’t killed anyone (yet, right? ed)

The real breaking news headline should be:

WORLD LEADERS USE PUBLIC’S FEAR TO COVER NEWS OF COLLAPSING PLANET!

 

*Thanks to the Daily Express the fear-mongering illustration

 

 

 

 

The Atom, the Environment and Sustainable Development

Good nuclearThe Earth Institute at Columbia University has calculated that a global nuclear phase-out scenario would lead to some 450,000 to 7 million deaths and 80–240 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent net GHG emissions pumped into the atmosphere. This emissions range corresponds to 16-48% of the “allowable” cumulative CO2 emissions between 2012-2050 if the world chooses to aim for a target atmospheric CO2 concentration of 350 parts per million by around the end of this century. In other words, projected nuclear power could reduce the CO2 mitigation burden for meeting this target by as much as 16–48%.

In parallel to the dramatic reduction in global CO2 emissions, nuclear technology is also key to creating innovative, environmentally sensitive products and methods. Techniques involving radiation can effectively replace pesticides to keep insect pests under control, and replicate natural mutation processes that can lead to new variations of plant species more pest-resistant and hardier than their predecessors. Radiation can be used instead of toxic gases to sterilize medical devices and has been instrumental in the development of new plastic-like materials free from chemical additives.

The Atom, the Environment and Sustainable Development is a new IAEA report, released on 7 October 2014, which explains how the nuclear fuel cycle (from both uranium and thorium) is able to support sustainable development using a variety of isotopic and nuclear techniques.  From an ecological standpoint the report takes the premise that to protect the environment, it is crucial to understand its complex relationships and determine how it functions as a system, i.e. how do pollutants move through the environment? What impact do they have on individual species and ecosystems? How do environmental pressures affect water cycles?

2050 is a mere 35 years away. Replacing coal, oil and gas with renewables will take considerably longer. But with cleaner, safer new nuclear technology in the mix we might just avert the worst scenario which climate change will otherwise bring.

Please show open mindedness and read the report – this is a critical debate to have if the environmental lobby is to work together to meet the greatest challenge of all time.

Global Discontent

Now is the winter of global discontent

Now is the winter of global discontent

 

As the UK PM emitted hot air at the UN Climate talks yesterday, the UK Environmental Audit Committee exposed David Cameron’s disastrous environmental record while he claims his government as the greenest record ever

UK Parliament report: http://bit.ly/1pcuCs4

Meanwhile, as world leaders ‘guffed’ green rhetoric http://on.mash.to/1va7sHS hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens around the world marched to raise their voices on the urgency for policy makers to cut carbon emissions now.

I was privileged to lead the AVAAZ London march

The ugly face of dissent (mine!)

The ugly face of dissent (mine!)

 

Greenpeace Tsunami hits Japan, ending illegal whaling in the Southern Oceans

A whale of a time - Greenpeace 310314

Japan terminates ILLEGAL whaling in the Southern Ocean! It may be a drop in the world’s seas, but it’s a symbolic tsunami – a wave of determined + courageous will which will save the lives of thousands of whales and set a global precedent.

Heartfelt congrats to Greenpeace, the Aussie gov and all the tenacious conservation + eco warriors behind the relentless campaigning:
http://bit.ly/1ot4hKY

No continent, no island, no ocean exempt from impacts of Climate Change

Hot earth

 

“Climate Change impacts will be felt on every continent across all oceans” a sobering statement headlining today’s report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):http://bit.ly/1mEjzL5

 

A new report by World Health Organisation (WHO) states that some 7 million deaths worldwide were due to air pollution in 2012: http://bit.ly/1dH1CZP

Cancer-related fatalities from Fukushima are estimated to be between 15 and 1,300 over the next 150 years: bit.ly/P8RXzI  Compare that to the 20,000 deaths directly related to the tsunami and some 600 attributed to the mandatory evacuation process.

Every man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind – John Donne, but these brutal statistics bear evidence to support the only clean energy choice we have left. Investment in a clean, safe nuclear future is now an imperative.

Space and Time, 1961

Thanks to The New York Times for a poignant reminder of a time when a (once-great) nation had a leader of such purpose + integrity that he instilled national solidarity behind a single space-age cause. 50 years, on only such unification – and a sense of urgency, might be effective in tackling climate change – the greatest true challenge of our times:

http://nyti.ms/1dG4dxB lessTime and Space