In a conversation on CNN Bill Gates states by 2050 climate change will kill as many people as Covid has and by 2100 5 times as many

The video in question (I will include it below this article) is actually discussing the pandemic and Bill Gates predictions for the future.

However, in passing he points out that the current likely global warming to take place in the next almost 3 decades before 2050 would leave us with a planet warm enough to kill roughly the same number of people a year as Covid has. More scary, by 2100 the death rate could be 5 times as high (and it should be remembered that these are direct deaths rather than indirect deaths from starvation due to crop failure).

Look at the global effort to fight Covid! It is true that world wide it has killed roughly 2.5 million, however this number must be put in context. The number of deaths in 2019 was roughly 60 million, or approximately 1% of those alive. As such 2.5 million is just a blip up on the radar – it is a change of less than 5%.

Roughly 1/3 of the human population lives within 5-10m of the sea (vertically). More concerning, roughly 200 million live less than 1m above sea level. If we meet the current 2 degrees c target, limiting temperature rise, the sea is expected to rise somewhere between 60cm and 110cm.

In this situation, roughly 3% of the human population will have to move, given the expectation that weather will get worse as the temperature rises, the actual percentage that will have to move is likely to be far higher.

Remembering all the indirect problems such as weather changes, loss of remaining forests, desert expansion and many more, the world we are heading towards leaving for our grandchildren is one that we would not want to have to live in.

These comments about global warming are just examples. They are not the main point of the interview. 

Humanity has shown an incredible ability of working together effectively during the pandemic. 

This must continue, we must address climate change to halt the doomsday scenario that our most educated are predicting we are heading towards.

For me (and for the website) one of the most exciting points is that a large part of the fight against climate change could be succeeded in by undoing the damage to many ecosystems around the world.

This would be surprisingly cheap and could lead to far higher financial benefits than the costs involved. It would serve a second fantastic goal of halting species loss, and allowing many wildlife populations to recover.

Two birds with one stone is always good. When they are both so essential this is fantastic news.

A second attempt to introduce lynx into Northumberland is being proposed

The UK has been predator free (at least large predators that can threaten humans and have to regularly kill to survive) for roughly 300 years. Wolves disappeared around 300 years ago, bears are thought to have gone extinct around 1,000 years ago and lynx are thought that have gone extinct about 1,300 years ago.

Wild lynx can be incredibly impressive when seen, but most of the time they are not seen even by though whose job means they spend their time in the same habitat. Not that people don’t try, lynx are charismatic animals and people will spend much time trying to get a glimpse
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Plans for first deep coal mine in 20 years, the Cumbrian government is now having to reconsider permission for a deep coal mine

At a time when many people are discussing whether we can even afford to continue to extract the fossil fuels we have already started to extract, and when the government is talking about leading the world in cutting fossil fuel use, the local Cumbrian government has given permission for the first deep coal mine in 30 years.

This decision by the Cumbrian local government has been remade on three occasions. The government of the UK in Westminster has claimed this is a local matter and that they have no right to get involved. Obviously this is patently absurd – what’s more if we are to have any chance of meeting our emission reduction promises the government must immediately abandon its foolish position, and make it clear that it is not going to happen.

Clearly despite the promises made about reducing carbon emissions, and the progress made in places such as virtually the end of coal burning for power, are not baked in successes and we must make sure to keep the pressure on the government to keep going and indeed ratchet up the speed of which we deal with a problems.

Stupid attacks on renewable energy – Texas blackouts cannot be blamed on green energy

With incredibly cold weather hitting Texas (the beach is covered in snow), fox news has been making a big thing of the fact that some of the wind turbines are not turning supposed to leave because they froze – and that this is the cause of the blackouts.

Icicles are growing very large as a result of extreme temperatures for far longer than normal

This is factually incorrect. According to data from the Texas government wind turbine shutdown server accounted for less than 13% of the total outage. A bigger problem is freezing of oil and gas equipment throughout the state.

So here Tucker Carlson has found a picture of a wind turbine that is not turning, and has claimed that all wind turbines have had to stop because of the cold weather (he actually stated that unbeknownst to Texans the state has become totally reliant on wind turbines). In actual fact data from the state shows that 87% of the shutdown is in other forms of energy – and the vast majority of this is is fossil fuel power that has failed. Just to note, in the week tucker Carlson made his comments the electricity output of windmills significantly exceeded the expected output.

A significant amount of Texas electricity still comes from coal alongside hydropower, and has an increasing reliance on natural gas. Renewable electricity generation is cheaper greener more sustainable in the long run and can be distributed across the state making power cuts increasingly a thing of the past.

For the first time, I wish to say Ted Cruz was actually honest about this. He pointed at California problems last year, but owned up in a tweet. Now he must follow through, and the rest of Texas – pointing at clean energy does not help the state, instead Texas must embrace clean energy diversify and and spend the power generation out. With the huge amount of sun that Texas receives it should be one of the simplest States to go fully green.

Greg Abbott, the governor, has foolishly blamed the green new deal for the power cuts. Now world some people might suggest this is an obvious impact of the green new deal,it should be noted that the green deal has not been implemented in any way whatsoever. To blame something that has not been implemented seems rather foolish, indeed given that so much of texas’s power comes from fossil fuels it’s not possible to blame green power in any way at all. More disgusting, Greg Abbott went on MSNBC just before going on fox news and told a completely different story, talking about the failure of oil and gas networks (and how the natural gas distribution networks are frozen) and how this is what caused the power cuts. It should also be noted that other states in this part of the USA have worked on their gas and oil facilities and made them weather-proof, and these states did not have the power cuts. In other words, these cuts are not only down to weather problems, but also down to Texan politicians failures (and it should be remembered that Texas is almost entirely controlled by the republicans).

Another thing to bare in mind is that the climate change models predicted this. This is why climate scientists prefer to talk of climate change, instead of global warming. It is true that if you take temperature readings from across the world, the earth is warming, as predicted, however more importantly climate scientists have predicted less stability – on average temperatures across the world will rise but there will also be significant increases in extreme weather, both heat waves and freezing periods.

I wonder how it benefits fox news to continually be seen stating totally factually incorrect statements and myths about clean energy. Of course missed in this statement is the problems Texas have with extreme heat. There are thought to be almost a million people in Texas, who are currently at danger from extreme heat, this figure is expected to rise by 75% in the next 20 or so years. 

Frankly, fox news needs to be called out on this every time. They have been bringing up this as an issue a couple of times a year for some time. It is factually false, and gives watchers the false belief that somehow cleaning the grid will change their life – given the regularity that it comes up people will think it’s a severe problem, one that can only be addressed by not using carbon neutral technologies. This is obviously absurd, not only are turbines a cheaper source of electricity, they are hugely cleaner and help keep temperatures at levels that people can live with.

Pablo Escobar’s zoo’s hippo population has grown from about 30 to between 65 and 80 – what might happen in the future?

Pablo Escobar was a drug kingpin in Columbia. Extraordinarily successful he had the money for some pretty impressive personal items including a zoo. Rather alarmingly, when Pablo Escobar’s rein over his crime and drug empire ended, his zoo was not looked after. A variety of things happened to the animals, but the hippos were largely left in the wild to their own devices.

The problem is that with vast amounts of food and no natural predators in numbers have multiplied rapidly and is currently thought to fall between 65 and 80.

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Bio-fuels are necessary if humans are to stop burning fossil fuels so what’s wrong?

Battery power is great for cars and taxis. Recently Tesla has shown you can make a viable electric lorry – claims the range isn’t far enough are absurd. Name one country when a lorry driver is allowed to drive for more than 4 hours without break – modern chargers can give you 4 hours of range in 15 to 30 minutes (a Tesla 3 or Y can have 180 miles in 15 minutes).

However, there are areas where fuels will be used, like rocketry. Now it is true that no one has yet made a rocket fly on biofuels, but that’s a different problem.

Continue reading “Bio-fuels are necessary if humans are to stop burning fossil fuels so what’s wrong?”

Can bio-fuels help humanity save the planet from run away global warming? yes but…

Battery power is great for cars and taxis. Recently Tesla has shown you can make a viable lorry- claims the range isn’t far enough are absurd. Name one country when a lorry driver is allowed to drive for more than 4 hours without break- modern chargers can give you 4 hours of range in 15 to 30 minutes (a Tesla 3 or y can have 180 miles in 15 minutes).

Continue reading “Can bio-fuels help humanity save the planet from run away global warming? yes but…”

Perhaps one good thing come out of the epidemic-Chinese people are finally prepared to change behaviour towards wild animals

Unfortunately as the wealth of the Chinese middle class has grown, these several 100,000,000 extra people have wanted the traditional medicines that supposedly there ruling ancestors once enjoyed. The start of the epidemic that we are just starting to recover from, was caused by poaching of wild animals. It is likely that there are many more forms of bacteria and virus living deep in rainforests and other wildernesses around the world. Might the risk of a further outbreak, finally force the Chinese government to halt the insane poaching that its people have caused around the world?

In order to deliver these raw materials for so called chinese medicine (I say so called, as no scientific study has been able to show a link between any of these treatments and a change in human conditions) animals have to be hunted. These animals are protected, and so this demand drive poaching that can locally eliminate these animals from ecosystems.

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