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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  15/12/2007  :  07:03
I thought it might be a good thing to have a topic devoted to this important subject.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 10/01/2008 : 08:25
The critics are coming out of the woodwork.  Ye main arguments I have heard this morning are 'Too little too late'.  Could be true but not a reason for not doing it.  'Won't make enough difference'; Any difference is good especially in the base load generators, this is where we are desperately short.  'Too dangerous';  they haven't looked at the comparative death toll of conventional versus nuclear. 

On top of this they are confusing nuclear power with varbon emissions.  They say that it will ony cut emissions by 4% and it isn't worth it.  They are missing the point entirely, the reason we need nuclear is for independent power supplies to stop the lights going out.  The fact that the carbon emissions are less is a bonus, not the reason for building them.

Teir voices are very shrill and when people start squeaking they are in trouble.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 10/01/2008 : 10:27
...and David King, until recently the UK Government's Chief Scientist, stayed calm in the face of Green Party squeaks - if it's the Today programme you listened to.

Stanley, you are spot on regarding security of energy supply. The EU gets about half of its gas from Russia - and Russia's state gas supplier Gazprom is widely known to be corrupt.

And when it comes to the comparative death toll of conventional versus nuclear energy, the really dangerous ones are the gigantic hydro dams on the Chinese rivers. One of those breaking could drown a million people downstream, especially on the Yangtze.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 10/01/2008 : 11:35
Danger I see now is that the acceptance of the need to replace the nuclear stations could take the focus of tidal barrages in the estuaries, that's the next big ecologically sound generating capacity they should be looking at. 


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 10/01/2008 : 15:16
There's a huge developing market for new cars in India and Tata reckons the Nano is ideally placed to get the country on to four wheels. Environmentalists say that so many Indians swapping bicycles and scooters for a car will have a disastrous effect on emissions and pollution. However, Tata says the Nano has passed emissions standards and returns more than 50mpg

Announced today     You wonder sometimes is it all worth it. Who are we to say they can't have what we have had. I suppose one could argue we didn't know what we wre doing, but you couldn'y say that now.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 16/03/2008 : 12:44
A Radio 4 review of the newspapers this morning mentioned an article in the Observer about the glaciers melting in Asia due to climate change. But they should also be making a fuss about the glaciers that are melting in the European Alps. When this is mentioned people often think it's just an inconvenience to skiers. When you tell them it will cause floods they think you mean a one-off flood, then it's over.But the truth is that glaciers melting in the European Alps will cause severe flooding and drought every year and have dramatic effects on the lives of millions of people. Crops will fail, water will be in short supply, transport will be disrupted, populations will be forced to migrate and there would be civil unrest, insecurity and perhaps wars.

How can melting glaciers cause all this? The glaciers and snow cover act as massive reservoirs of water derived from winter rain in the mountains. They hold back the rainwater and release it gradually over the whole year. This is the source of water for many major rivers in Europe. If the climate warms to the extent that glaciers disappear from the Alps this rain water will simply flow straight down the mountains all at once in winter, into the rivers and flood the plains and river valleys. This will affect more than just the land around the Alps. At least four major rivers, the Rhine, Rhone, Po and Danube, would flood down their whole length in winter, i.e. through a large area of Central Europe, from the Netherlands to the Black Sea. Not only would the floods damage buildings and wash away crops, they would wash away the fertile topsoil from agricultural land. The big rivers would be raging torrents in winter and the present river traffic would be impossible. Many major cities and towns in Europe would be flooded in winter because they are situated on the big rivers and at river level (the best place for trade but worst for flood security).

But at least the floods would be gone each summer - wouldn't they? Yes, but all the water from the Alps would be gone too. With no glaciers or snow in the Alps the rivers would run dry in summer, the plains would dry out, the crops would die. Many city populations depend on river water for their municipal and industrial water supplies - household taps would stop flowing and industrial zones like the Ruhr would come to a halt.

Scientists knew ten years ago that this process was beginning but the politicians wouldn't listen until very recently. And even now they are doing too little. I can't offer an easy solution but at least I can bring the problem to your attention and urge politicians to become more committed and to make the big interventions that are necessary. It's not going to be easy because we have to change the way the world behaves, not just the UK. Climate change takes place more through the Earth's atmosphere and ocean system, rather than the land mass, and we humans have to share the atmosphere and ocean system. For the first time, the global population is going to have to work together. If we don't stop bickering and get on with tackling the climate problem, we'll be back to the Dark Ages and fighting for our food, water and shelter again.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 16/03/2008 : 17:09
Tizer, in another R4 programme they went into this in detail and said that the fastest melting glacier in the world is in Norway.  Is the prog called home planet?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 17/03/2008 : 11:46
Stanley, you are right about the Norwegian glacier - the Breidalblikkbrea which is thinning by about 3 metres a year. It is mentioned in a press release from the the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) which I think gave rise to the report in The Observer (and there have been other reports yesterday which I hadn't seen at the time I wrote my post). I've posted the release on my science news thread here.

I wanted to emphasise the European glaciers and their effects on flooding and drought in European countries because the emphasis in the past has been largely on their effects on sea level alone. Which meant that many people thought it was OK as long as you didn't live on the coast. I've concentrated on the Alps but the UNEP release also points out mountains in Norway and Sweden and also the Pyrenees.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 17/03/2008 : 13:56
It's like seeing a train wreck and knowing that the signalman is hard and fast asleep.  If there is anybody about in 100 years they will be appalled at the way we did studies, passed resolutions and 'learned lessons' without actually grabbing the situation by the ears and doing something about it.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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softsuvner
Regular Member


604 Posts
Posted - 17/03/2008 : 18:40
The other week there was a programme in the C 4 "Unreported World" series about Bangladesh. Flood-plain areas that were once flooded for a few weeks are now becoming permanent marshlands. Whole parts of the country are disappearing, and people resort to living on islands of silt that can disappear in days. Many of the people are being forced to move to huge slum areas of the capital city.
 
The programme was followed by one of those re-location shows where a couple were thinking about moving to a nicer "country" area in the UK or France on a budget of a mere third of a million. Every house the woman was shown, she pulled a face likea slapped haddock and said "oh that won't do" to some petty item or other.

I am sure that no irony was intended in the jutaxposition of the programmes, but it wasn't lost on me. Sometimes we should remind ourselves that it is not our country that is at the sharp edge of climate change......yet.

Malcolm


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 17/03/2008 : 19:56
Malcolm, and those Bangladeshis are more aware of the effects of climate change than we are, yet they contribute almost nothing to causing it. I think people in the Far East and those in developing countries are often still more tuned in to the balance between human beings and the Earth's biosphere. They understand what happens if you mess up, but over here in the West people are too busy talking on their mobile phones or playing their Ipods. (I might be busy on my PC now but at least I was out this afternoon spreading about 3 months of wood ash around the garden stored from my log burner!)


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 18/03/2008 : 07:30
Have you seen the sofa advert that says you can have it all now.  I get angry every time I see it.  A good dose of austerity might be just what we need......


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 18/03/2008 : 11:50
...and the ads that say "Go on...you're worth it".


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 18/03/2008 : 16:42
The thought struck me last night as Jack and I watched TV.  Not one of the adverts was for an essential product, they were all for indulgent add-ons to the serious business of life.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 18/03/2008 : 17:01
I have this image in my mind, like something out of Dr Who, with lots of people getting up from in front of their TVs and walking zombie like down to Tesco or the sofa shop or the car showroom. I rush out and shout at them but they ignore me and walk onward, until there are great streams of humans down the streets and into the shops.

I'd better go and get my pills .


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softsuvner
Regular Member


604 Posts
Posted - 18/03/2008 : 19:19
I suspect that sofa ad is the one from a firm who have place on the road to Bakewell. When I was looking for a sofa once,  a friend persuaded me to try them.
I found something that I liked, but it was totally impossible to get a cash price out of them! I could have had it "free" for 12 months or 3 years, but the salespersons couldn't, or wouldn't, do me a cash deal.

In the end I went to the local "expensive" store and did a deal. had to order it and wait a month, but as it turned out, a lot cheaper than "you know who".

Malcolm


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