Archives

February, 2014

Did the wheel cause the weather?

So when the Thames was frozen over and people went to the Frost Fairs, how did they cope? Who knows, I wasn’t alive, but on reading the article embedded in this story, I would say they took it in their stride as no-one tweeted them it was going to happen, they had no idea where the next meal was coming from and going home was about finding something en route to make a fire with (not catching up on Corry).

What is interesting are the possible causes behind The Little Ice Age that occurred between the 14th-20th centuries. The effects were astounding; agricultural practices had to adapt to the climate and loss of land (claimed by flooding due to violent storms).

One of the suggested reasons for such enormous climatic changes and subsequent weather events was the plague, with so many people dying all of a sudden the landscape busily reclaimed itself and grew to richly make natural exchanges with the atmosphere again, then when everyone got well they carved up the landscape and stopped all that. How do we know? It’s nicely written in the ice cores, tree rings, speleotherms etc etc.

Another interesting suggestion takes this step much further back. Before the land was very well populated and a virgin landscape existed, the first few who cut the soil to grow food and irrigate it, did indeed make a difference. They fed their people, but instead of staying in one place, they moved on and carved some more, they grew in numbers and so did their footprint, even more so than we do today. Since man invented the wheel, a distinct signal has been imprinted in the climate record. Later on Richard Trevithick and friends made a significant imprint with the Industrial Revolution.

The point of the story here is, to realise our lot, adapt, change, gather wood for our fire, fight off the plague, but have a Richard Trevithick moment too. You can’t re-invent the wheel, but you can support and ask your MP today to arrange for carbon to be significantly cut with immediate effect. None of us will ever be sure what the modern day alternative to the Little Ice Age will be, it’s a romantic read, with beautiful pictures telling the story, so why not be a brave soul and fight for your country?

 

Should we stay or should we go?

The calamity has really finally arrived, for us in the UK at least.

Network Rail should be pulling out a plan from a top drawer saying “Don’t worry here it is”, the Government should have pulled a plan saying “Here it is, sadly we have to move people out, but it takes an event like this for everyone to believe – we have all been making this happen, we are all responsible, now let’s adapt and cut carbon to prevent it from getting worse.”
Ah, that would be great. People would have less trauma if they knew they would be supported, cared for, re-homed and something constructive to do.

No building or dredging is going to stop this. Of course, it would help, but for how long?
The real gritty science that everyone needs to grasp, tells us over and over again this STUFF has happened before and is here again now.
Where the past glaciers carved out a destiny in our country, those places will get wet. Look for them, find out, its time for you to educate yourself. Remember your Geography, sleepy classroom last ice age? Look it up now, remind yourself.

Those who are in their comfy homes now pointing fingers and moaning, need to get their pens out (because they can) and write a letter to their MP to ask if they ‘could please get with the climate picture’. There is only one big solution, addressing CARBON with immediate effect.

Using the atmosphere as a carbon dumping ground is no longer acceptable. A recent paper published in Nature has suggested we’re heading towards a 4 degree C increase by 2100. My daughter has just turned four. This rise could make the world uninhabitable for humans. It means my daughter, won’t really get a chance to see in her 90s, even if she was healthy….
(Nature 505, 37–42 Published online 01 January 2014 Steven C. Sherwood, Sandrine Bony & Jean-Louis Dufresne Spread in model climate sensitivity traced to atmospheric convective mixing).

You can also enjoy scan reading Should we stay or should we go an article I wrote highlighting the evidence is all here in nature, abrupt climate change has occurred in the past many times, merely showing this vulnerable world and its current experience is little in comparison. Yet if we keep dumping our carbon in the atmosphere – that 2100 date that makes people drift off disinterested might turn into something much sooner.

Reasons to be cheerful – you can:
(1) Write to your MP (support them they are as scared as you are)
(2) Do the Top Ten Carbon Cutting Pledges
(3) Make a personal flood plan, even if you live on top of the highest hill (you’ll know how to help others).
Print this off now, if you are lucky enough to have power. The Cornwall Community Flood Forum Booklet that includes a list of things to fill out to be ready