Posts

Bus Stops for Bees

Phoebe Weston wrote in the Guardian on 24 September 2022 that Utrecht in the Netherlands is planting miniature gardens on top of bus shelters. ( LINK ) Apparently a number of British cities are planning something similar. Any flat roof should work for a flower garden, which not only helps the insect population, but contributes if only slightly to atmospheric oxygen. There is no reason only to plant roofs. Parking spaces for cars would make good gardens too, and fewer parking spaces is an effective strategy for discouraging automobile use. Unfortunately the treatment of environmental protesters in the UK is not always friendly. Terry Macalister reported on on 23 September 2022 that some climate protesters in the UK are forced to wait in prison for months before even coming to trial. ( LINK ) Apparently the problem is a massive backlog of cases, but the effect is likely to discourage more people from protesting. David Malpass of the World Bank may be forced to issue an apology for this r

Big Oil lies

  It should surprise no one that "big oil" in the form of companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP have found the truth about their behaviour unwelcome, and are finally being forced to admit the truth in US congressional hearings. Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity, writes in the Guardian ( 17 September 2022 ): “If there is one thing consistent about the oil and gas majors’ position on climate, it’s their utter inability to tell the truth...” The co-Chair of the investigating committee is even more blunt: "The oil giants’ 'climate pledges rely on unproven technology, accounting gimmicks and misleading language to hide the reality...'” ( LINK )  The sad fact is that this lying has gone on for a long time. These companies make enormous profits and feel justified in continuing to exploit the planet because much of modern western society believes explicitly or implicitly that wealth-maximization is good and proper. In recent years a

Concrete dangers

It is old news that producing concrete is an environmental hazard. "Cement is a climate villain. Making it is thought to produce 5% of all global greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and factories." ( SCIENCE , 2016) Concrete may later absorb the carbon dioxide (CO2), but that is a long term process and we do not have enough time. Substitutes for paving roads with concrete are equally environmentally damaging. Erik Stokstad wrote:  "...  it's already clear that asphalt belongs in official inventories of air pollution sources." ( SCIENCE , 2020) The problem is broader than just with the paving materials. Much of the use of asphalt and concrete covers  places for plant and trees to grow. As O. Wallace wrote : " Looking beyond the usual suspects, many people would be surprised to find out that something as mundane as a parking lot could also be bad for the environment." ( ALLTHINGSNATURE , 2022)  More parking places makes it more convenient for peop

Cause and effect

  From a scientific viewpoint, there is a clear cause and effect relationship between the planetary overheating due to the climate crisis and the increasing number of natural disasters.  Damian Carrington wrote in the Guardian on 4 August 2022: “ The analysis of hundreds of scientific studies – the most comprehensive compilation to date – demonstrates beyond any doubt how humanity’s vast carbon emissions are forcing the climate to disastrous new extremes. At least a dozen of the most serious events, from killer heatwaves to broiling seas, would have been all but impossible without human-caused global heating, the analysis found.” Those who want more detail can look at a website called Carbon Brief that put together a database of  “attribution studies of more than 500 events”. There is no shortage of information about the causes of the climate crisis, and no shortage of information about how dire its consequences are. The problem is to persuade people to change habits and practices in

Heat kills

  Heat kills people. This medical fact is well known, and older people are more at risk than younger. In economically well-to-do countries such as the United States, people retreat to their air-conditioned homes,  even though air-conditioning contributes to global warming and ultimately makes the problem worse. Utilities pleaded with people to turn down their air-conditioners  in order to protect the power grid. Protecting the environment is rarely part of the rhetoric. In Germany as in the UK, many people do not have air-conditioning, since it is traditionally unnecessary. The wealthy can afford it. Increasingly some feel it is a luxury that they cannot to do without, even if it makes the real problem noticeably worse. The Guardian reported on 12 June 2022 that: “A study in  the Lancet last year  suggested that 740,000 deaths in India a year could already be attributed to global heating.” ( LINK ) Most people in India cannot afford air-conditioning, and cannot even to go to a public s

Fridays for the Future

 Fridays for the Future is alive and well in Berlin. Here are some links for people who might want to participate: https://fridaysforfuture.berlin/ https://t.me/FridaysForFutureChat Some information is only available via Telegram. Please support Fridays for the Future for the sake of God's creation.

Are Nuclear power and Natural Gas sustainable?

 On 6 July the European Union will decide whether to declare nuclear power and natural gas to be sustainable energy sources. An argument can be made, that they a could serve as interim sources in order to eliminate  coal and oil, but declaring them as “sustainable“ stretches the definition of the word. The declaration means that nuclear power and natural gas will get funds that ought to go to genuinely sustainable energy options. Here is a LINK to further information and form to express your concerns.