Sunday, 4 March 2018

Courage not Hope

We Need Courage, Not Hope, to Face Climate Change

As a climate scientist, I am often asked to talk about hope. Particularly in the current political climate, audiences want to be told that everything will be all right in the end. And, unfortunately, I have a deep-seated need to be liked and a natural tendency to optimism that leads me to accept more speaking invitations than is good for me. Climate change is bleak, the organizers always say. Tell us a happy story. Give us hope. The problem is, I don’t have any.
I used to believe there was hope in science. The fact that we know anything at all is a miracle. For some reason, the whole world is hung on a skeleton made of physics. I found comfort in this structure, in the knowledge that buried under layers of greenery and dirt lies something universal. It is something to know how to cut away the flesh of existence and see the clean white bones underneath. All of us obey the same laws, whether we know them or not.
Look closely, however, and the structure of physics dissolves into uncertainty. We live in a statistical world, in a limit where we experience only one of many possible outcomes. Our clumsy senses perceive only gross aggregates, blind to the roiling chaos underneath. We are limited in our ability to see the underlying stimuli that, en masse, create an event. Temperature, for example, is a state created by the random motions of millions of tiny molecules. We feel heat or cold, not the motion of any individual molecule. When something is heated up, its tiny constituent parts move faster, increasing its internal energy. They do not move at the same speed; some are quick, others slow. But there are billions of them, and in the aggregate their speed dictates their temperature.
The internal energy of molecule motion is turned outward in the form of electromagnetic radiation. Light comes in different flavors. The stuff we see occupies only a tiny portion of a vast electromagnetic spectrum. What we see occupies a tiny portion of a vast electromagnetic spectrum. Light is a wave, of sorts, and the distance between its peaks and troughs determines the energy it carries. Cold, low-energy objects emit stretched waves with long, lazy intervals between peaks. Hot objects radiate at shorter wavelengths.
To have a temperature is to shed light into your surroundings. You have one. The light you give off is invisible to the naked eye. You are shining all the same, incandescent with the power of a hundred-watt bulb. The planet on which you live is illuminated by the visible light of the sun and radiates infrared light to the blackness of space. There is nothing that does not have a temperature. Cold space itself is illuminated by the afterglow of the Big Bang. Even black holes radiate, lit by the strangeness of quantum mechanics. There is nowhere from which light cannot escape.
The same laws that flood the world with light dictate the behavior of a carbon dioxide molecule in the atmosphere. CO2 is transparent to the Sun’s rays. But the planet’s infrared outflow hits a molecule in just such as way as to set it in motion. Carbon dioxide dances when hit by a quantum of such light, arresting the light on its path to space. When the dance stops, the quantum is released back to the atmosphere from which it came. No one feels the consequences of this individual catch-and-release, but the net result of many little dances is an increase in the temperature of the planet. More CO2 molecules mean a warmer atmosphere and a warmer planet. Warm seas fuel hurricanes, warm air bloats with water vapor, the rising sea encroaches on the land. The consequences of tiny random acts echo throughout the world.
I understand the physical world because, at some level, I understand the behavior of every small thing. I know how to assemble a coarse aggregate from the sum of multiple tiny motions. Individual molecules, water droplets, parcels of air, quanta of light: their random movements merge to yield a predictable and understandable whole. But physics is unable to explain the whole of the world in which I live. The planet teems with other people: seven billion fellow damaged creatures. We come together and break apart, seldom adding up to an coherent, predictable whole.
I have lived a fortunate, charmed, loved life. This means I have infinite, gullible faith in the goodness of the individual. But I have none whatsoever in the collective. How else can it be that the sum total of so many tiny acts of kindness is a world incapable of stopping something so eminently stoppable? California burns. Islands and coastlines are smashed by hurricanes. At night the stars are washed out by city lights and the world is illuminated by the flickering ugliness of reality television. We burn coal and oil and gas, heedless of the consequences.
Our laws are changeable and shifting; the laws of physics are fixed. Change is already underway; individual worries and sacrifices have not slowed it. Hope is a creature of privilege: we know that things will be lost, but it is comforting to believe that others will bear the brunt of it.
We are the lucky ones who suffer little tragedies unmoored from the brutality of history. Our loved ones are taken from us one by one through accident or illness, not wholesale by war or natural disaster. But the scale of climate change engulfs even the most fortunate. There is now no weather we haven’t touched, no wilderness immune from our encroaching pressure. The world we once knew is never coming back.
I have no hope that these changes can be reversed. We are inevitably sending our children to live on an unfamiliar planet. But the opposite of hope is not despair. It is grief. Even while resolving to limit the damage, we can mourn. And here, the sheer scale of the problem provides a perverse comfort: we are in this together. The swiftness of the change, its scale and inevitability, binds us into one, broken hearts trapped together under a warming atmosphere.
We need courage, not hope. Grief, after all, is the cost of being alive. We are all fated to live lives shot through with sadness, and are not worth less for it. Courage is the resolve to do well without the assurance of a happy ending. Little molecules, random in their movement, add together to a coherent whole. Little lives do not. But here we are, together on a planet radiating ever more into space where there is no darkness, only light we cannot see.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Brexit will help cause Armageddon

May will go down in history books as the PM who was gutless in making a decision, says no but with no alternative  She just kept meaning that in negotiations they will decide!  who is they the EU and her negotiators , but not her. May wants to pass the buck onto anyone who will make the decision.
She fails to stand up to the hard brexiteers  by saying we will leave the Customs union  whist offering no alternative , except one that is almost the same as we are leaving !

Fundamentally it seems to boils down to 3 criteria.
1   We want to do trade deals with anyone , despite the fact that if we do it will undercut the rest of the EU when we compete against them, unfair marketing  As with any trade agreements  unfair competition is usually covered, so we gain very little except trying to duck and dive and make sharp deals for a quick buck to help those multinationals again .

2  Control over our borders and immigration, we already have the power to do so much already within the EU , but fail to use what we could achieve, But it does hurt people and that wants to be screened under a banner of Brexit not any party.

3  Sovereignty means just being greedy and just looking after oneself and not  negotiating a compromise and trusting others in partnerships of trade, and business in particular.
The making of our own laws is selfish , mainly because it victimises the other partners by not allowing an equal reciprocal arrangement.

I believe the Uk is becoming a very selfish and inward looking as a  country, and it will pay a very high price in all aspects of our society as we know it.
We are challenged enough already from external events which we are not addressing at all and in fact ignoring them in all respects at present, I mean Climate Change ; Air, water, land  and ecological pollution .
Globally we are at a precipice of collapse and all we seem to be interested in is looking at what colour our trade relations ships are and casting our friendships, trust, and families away into the pond to drown.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Revelations on Armageddon

Revelations on Armageddon

I watched James anderson talk today and was blown away by so many ideas that he shot to flames about Climate Change and how we should deal with it .

How chemical cycles shape our planet - The global challenge

Besides the technical details , he highlighted all the major issues we have to deal with , from           
1  Population growth and its consequences on Energy consumption.
2  Continued CO2 explosion into the atmosphere creating warming
3  Huge rise in methane from ice melt further enhancing warming
4 Huge rise in weather storms that inject water into the stratosphere causing OZONE depletion globally Thus effecting the High transmission of INFRARED light
 5 Just how little extra IR can affect all living plants and in turn all life on the planet
 6 Just how blase Politicians and scientists are about numbers and the effect they have on decisions.

This has not however changed my thoughts on how to deal with the problem , in fact it has re-enforced my commitment to try to awaken everyone that a quick solution has to be implemented sooner than later, we have not got time, the Clock continue to tick.

The biggest and quickest way is through economic measures like I have proposed before, this will not in itself endanger the worlds climate , It will however mean a fundamental change in political thinking to manage the social consequences of such action

We have not even started to think of such serarios and I call all in all scientific, economic and social fields to rethink the value of their work towards a such  mind changing events that are to consume us all eventually as a matter of utmost urgency.

I read that most businesses today believe  the environment , climate change and  natural and man made disasters are the biggest problem facing them , So they are beginning to awake , so must everyone else and demand quick and decisive action.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Migrants for jobs need a fair hearing

As a retired farmer who employed may casual and temporary workers over the years both British and EU workers  I can only confirm what many have found out on various TV documentaries that the British often fail as they do not have the drive and ambition to better themselves. It is essential for anyone to succeed to have drive, ambition and a target to aim for , without these failure will ensue. 
Another fact that I have seen is that few educated British want to do hard manual jobs, but only do the cushy office jobs with high pay, whereas the EU workers especially from Poland and other Eastern bloc countries really want to better themselves anyway possible and if that means hard manual work for a few years so be it.  
The British have had it far to soft for far to long  new incentives need to be put in place to recreate a whole new spirit of the work ethic , not for slave work or cheap labour but as a valuable  workforce and paid with respect and just rewards for whoever they are. 
With the latest on what jobs are equal at the Tesco male/female  job equality , it just shows we have a long way to go to really value all jobs more equally. 

Tax For The Planet

Just imagine scrapping all existing taxes ,Yes all existing taxes were replaced with a single NATURAL RESOURCE TAX, collected as near to source as possible  based on the damage all those resources cause to all ecosystems on the planet , yes including man, by their use and consumption. 

 This would really change the way we all use and consume all the natural resources we have available to us all via the goods and services we all use and consume.  Its a mindset change that we have to get used to , and at present progress, we are not getting anywhere fast, in fact by all accounts , if it was not for the economic austerity we have been having, the situation would be a lot worse.

Surely we all have to understand that everything we have on this planet comes at a price of some sort , whether it is direct CO2 emissions with NOX and a whole host of other airborne toxins  or indirect  killing of flora fauna and wildlife from covering with tarmac , concrete and even chemical farming practices, they all wreak havoc on the ecosystems.

By changing the fundamental  way we collect our taxes, it would really change the whole mindset from planning and design through sourcing and manufacture to distribution and retailing to final consumption, with a  method of recycling the waste to mitigate some tax!  

The consumer of all goods and services will then really appreciate what impacts various options carry with them, as the price for those with dirty credentials will be very expensive while those with clean and truly sustainable credentials will be of lower cost. The consumer pays for the mess either way. We need real accurate guidance to what is truly good for the planet, and if they persist in bad buying habits they must pay the price themselves , not place the burden on everyone.

Individuals at work or home have to  take responsibility for their actions , and a taxation system like this would place the real value of all natural resources use at the consumer end and they would then drive the direction through sound natural business ans consumption habits.  

Also  there would less chance of individual tax evasion, fraud and avoidance, making it far fairer than now. It is like increasing fuel duty but at source for all Natural Resources, This could be achieved in one term of government with various taxes being transferred to the new regime of tax collection providing a stick and carrot throughout the transition. 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Big Ideas

Big Ideas
There is a shortage of ideas that really could work in a simple and positive way that benefit all sectors of the economy, technology and environmental factors, to that end I have been proposing a new approach to way way all natural resources are revalued to reflect both the benefits they offer and also the damage that is caused by their use , misuse, and overuse.
To this end we have completely rethink the way we value all Natural Resources and I believe we have to make them the center of the whole economy.
If we are to keep some form of capitalist society it has to be controlled in its excesses by placing a cost on all Natural Resources relating to the damage they can cause to the environment just by employing them in new and innovative ways that cause pollution and destruction to the very sustainability of all ecosystems.
So to the big idea, this is to Scrap all existing taxes and replace with a single Natural Resource Tax , applied at source and calculated according to Revenue demand and the damage caused by their use and consumption. This would change the whole mindset of society from ideas to design through to manufacture, marketing and final end choice by the consumer.
This has to be linked with what I call SMART economics , where the economy is driven by finding new ways of reducing dependence on the Natural Resource misuse and by having reducing GDP whist at the same time gaining a better standard of living for all.
Imposible ? not at all just good will, change of mindset, and most important of all giving the ordinary citizen the spending power to change what they buy and the choices they are given,so if goods and services have a high pollution footprint they will automatically attract an excessively high proportion of tax and greener sustainable goods and services would attract lower tax burden , but with the consumer having higher spending power , they will automatically move away from the polluting consumption habits to a greener and cleaner option.
Big business and governments have seriously failed over the past century and have consistently abused the use of all Natural Resources.
Along side this would be a radical reform of the health, welfare and benefit system and could be run along the lines of a Universal Basic Income UBI, to replace all the existing benefits and credits we have today, It would also demand a higher level of self discipline in health with citizens taking more responsibility for preventative procedures, and with cost to the individual for non compliance .
Citizens have to take far more responsibility for their own actions with both benefits and consequences of such action on their income from UBI .
Education should also be within this scope , with real education that is appropriate for all at all levels from technical, practical and academic catered for equally and without favour.
Everyone to be treated equally but still within an economic system that sets rewards, and targets for those who are more able whist at the same time respecting that everyone is not equal in body and mind but there is a chance for all to thrive and prosper in an environment that respects Nature and nurture and the body and soul of everyone.
Money=Energy+ pollution

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Cycling is the future......

Cycling is fast , fun and good for health and environment. Making cycleways segregated and most importantly without obstructions of crossings , traffic lights etc is essential to make the transition from cars to cycles as a form of transport rather than just for fun and leisure as most in Lycra and mountain bikes do.
Easy access and parking at shops and facilities need to be also a high priority in planners and architects designs along with charging points.
Planning Rules are a big obstacle for cyclists in the future as their is still lots of plans granted next to highways that will future development of segregated cycleways.
Surely when any plans are drawn up the first consideration now must be easy shortcut cycleways to enable everyone to access facilities easily on a bike.
Every planner, transport and building have to really address the problem and even change existing plans to accommodate cycleways.
It is just not good enough to have painted lines and hope that is it, many do not use them as they are dangerous, slow and a hazard to everyone, So they do not get used unless they are in a particularly dangerous place or they take a short cut, but jumping on and off the highways to join many of these painted lanes are so so dangerous in their own right.
If cyclist were to obey every rule of the road and use them it would mean many would stop due to lengthy journey times , danger fo having to stop start and on and off bike losing balance etc etc
I urge all planners to take to their unsuitable bikes from home to schools to shops and to work of course. Just find out how bumpy potholed drain ridden your ride is and just how unsafe you are making our roads by your designs, maintenance and layout of most cycleways.
I urge government to make all manufacturers and suppliers of bike to ensure they are safe for the road by insisting they are sold with mudguards, lights and a carrier like most on the continent, and that users of public highways do have legal bikes on the road.
Times are changing and we have to change fast to meet the challenge. of stress, over crowding, health, and of course the planets ecosystems .