Amazon rainforest droughts linked to climate change

Before and after (after being above) image of a river in the Amazon rainforest

Why is this a problem? Well there are several issues that should concern everyone. The natural end of the line, is for the complete loss of the Amazon rainforest. There is much fear that it may be another tipping point, and that therefore, once the rainforest starts failing, it would accelerate the loss of the rest.

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Spade-toothed whale washes ashore in New Zealand

The Beaked whales are very hard to see, as they hold the record for length of time holding breath, with some having approached the 2 hour period.

As such, this family of whales are generally only seen occasionally. Assuming 10 minutes at the surface after each dive, you are talking about 2 hours every 24, and they also have very low profiles in the water.

As a result, dead animals washing up on shore from these species give a rare incite into this rarely seen family.

In this instance, one has washed ashore in New Zealand. The last sighting was in 2012, when a mother and calf washed ashore, but this was the first sighting for 150 years. It should be noted, that this species was described from a whale jaw-bone, as one would think, it is hard to describe something that is seen so rarely.

This animal has never been sighted alive. We have no idea if it is on the edge of extinction, or whether there are many of them, swimming deep in the worlds oceans. Below is a news article on this species, where you can see a video of the removal and an image or two.

Click here to visit page

South Africa’s ruling party (the cabinet) has approved plans to phase out lion farming and private rhino breeding

Were there a legitimate purpose for bred lions and rhino, this law might be bad, but for now there only use was canned lion hunting which is banned, and rhino horn which is banned and must stay that way

In theory, one might think that this is not good news. After all, if rhino and lions are being bred, surely this is to replace wild populations or similar work?

Unfortunately not. Lions bred in South Africa, are initially usually used as photo props for tourists to have pictures taken with the species. However, when they get too old for this work, they are sold to cannned lion hunts. This is where a lion (remember, it has been petted, so it sees humans as friendly) is released into a relatively small wilderness (usually not more than a few tens of square miles, in order to be so called hunted by wealthy foreigners.

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Electric car myths: Mike Parry spouting rubbish to Jeremy Vine – Useful as the electroheads do a good job of putting it right (if your hesitant to buy an electric car – this should help)

Jeremy Vine should know better. Mike Parry is an english broadcaster and journalist, I do not know how good a journalist he was, but if he had given his answers in writing for a newspaper article, he should have been fired as it is all rubbish. Look below for a list of the myths and a short outline of the rebuttal (watch the video for the full information)

  • Politicians invented the electric car as a half way house to getting rid of all cars- apart from the absurdity of suggesting that politicians (UK politicians at that) invented the electric car to help control us and get rid of cars is ridiculous. Apart from anything, the electric car was invented in 1832, so they have left it a long time. Furthermore, if politicians were putting their finger on the scales, perhaps they would have stopped combustion engines in the first place. we are unfortunately almost 200 years since the invention of the electric car and just 0.4% of worldwide cars are electric. In 1900 38% of cars were electric in the USA, it is only underhand behaviour that got rid of them (in the same way that the EV1 disappeared in the USA in the 1990s
  • All electric cars require cobalt, and all cobalt is mined by children – obviously false. It is true that in artisan mining in places like the DRC child labour is involved, however more cobalt is used in de-leading petrol. In other words, the combustion engine market is requiring more child labour for mining the cobalt. Furthermore, being expensive, most if not all car companies have reduced or taken care to buy from the right places. Tesla has removed cobalt from its batteries entirely.
  • “Batteries are heavy, electric cars twice the weight of combustion engine cars” – this is rubbish. The video could not find a single car park which had banned electric vehicles. Experts have suggested that heavy cars may require stronger car parks etc. however the simple fact is that all cars have got heavier. The Nissan quashqui is 1600kg, and while a tesla 3 is about 150kg more a bolt weighs less. Furthermore, given the move towards SUVs, the average car has got far heavier. No car park in the UK has banned electric cars from their whole car park (though some have banned from specific sensitive areas).
  • On a similar vein, he suggested that tyres would get shredded into the air, and therefore create particulates. While all cars do slowly wear down, Kwik fit has found that tyres are lasting longer on electric cars. Also using the break pads less (regenerative breaking does much of the work) means less particulates from this, which is thought to produce the majority of the dangerous particulates in the air.
  • Not enough chargers – It is true that it takes more planning to drive an electric car, however it should be remembered that the majority of people charge at home, while they sleep. As such far from having to wait for a charger, it takes less than 30 seconds when you get home to plug in, and 30 seconds to unplug in the morning. It is true that the situation is not the same for everyone – I drive a 2014 tesla, and charging on the go is incredibly simple. The video shows a supercharger stop with a long line of cars, but this is incredibly rare. The car knows when you need a charge, and if you are on a journey that will need a charging stop, it will place it on its route – given they are all their chargers, it also knows which chargers are in use, so generally will reroute you on, to a less busy charger. I think I have only waited for a charger once or twice in over 2 years of driving.
  • Suck all the electricity out of the grid – this is just stupid. Apart from the fact that this is not how chargers work, Were everyone in the UK driving electric cars, their electricity demand would account for roughly 1/3 of UK electricity. While this seems a lot, it is far less energy which is consumed by combustion engines. Through simple time of use charging of electric cars, demand is moved to low use times, like the middle of the night. It is true that if there is 100% adoption, we will need a few more power plants (or indeed a few hundred more wind turbines). The fact of the matter is that while Mike Parry might believe that he is the first to come up with this issue, he is not, and mitigation is already in place. He suggested we would need 10 new nuclear power stations to run the cars.
  • Largest lithium mine in peoples bottom drawer – this is simply stupid. The Tesla s p85d has 7104 batteries in it, so to put this in perspective, if every house in the UK had one of these in a bottom drawer, we would have enough batteries for 3998 tesla s. Even if we were generous, and said that all the cars were tiny with half the battery size, we are still talking about only 8000 cars. Given the UK has sold between roughly 2 million and 3 million cars each year (over the last few years) this means that we would have the batteries for between 0.33% and 0.5% of the batteries required – not to be sneezed at, but not going to make a big difference.
  • Slow charge from a 3 pin socket – this story started talking about someone who bought an Ipace, and was bothered by the fact that its battery took 2 days to charge. Now, if you have jaguar money, you can easily buy a wall connector, which will charge your car overnight – in other words another issue. Of course it charges slowly from a 3 pin socket, an electric car does require a lot of power (moving people does require a lot of power) but far less than the alternative combustion engine car
  • “the battery takes 45 minutes to charge and then 100 miles later bang its empty” – this is another absurd lie. Our car is over 10 years old, we still have 200 miles of range on our car. Do we ever charge for 45 minutes on the road? no, our average charge is perhaps 20 minutes. Shortly after buying mine, I drove to north-west Spain. Most of my charging stops were 10-20 minutes, and generally I was ready for a break. Have we had to change how we drive, well yes, because before a long road trip would only include stops to charge and go to the loo, however on that long journey, I was probably only stopped for an extra hour or so on what I might have stopped, and anyone wanting to eat on route or with children would have needed to stop anyway. It may well mean you have to stop at specific motorway rest-stops but this does not seem a big sacrifice. Now, here is one place where your choice of electric car is important. Should we buy another electric car at some point, we would look for another Tesla. This is because they are so efficient, they have fantastic range. If you have a car which can drive over 200 miles (many can do over 300 miles, the most recent tesla S can do over 400 on a single charge) how often will you actually have to charge on the go? I know there are people who do crazy drives across Europe (as someone who has in the last 15 years driven to Romania Sweden North west spain and Croatia) and therefore will drive more than 400 miles in a day, but it really is not a big hardship to pull into a rest-stop and go have a bite to eat (after all, most people at this point are on holiday).

A further misleading video came from Rowan Atkinson a while ago. As such, while I am writing this article, I thought I would include a dissemination of this video as well

  • Electric car batteries only last 10 years – rubbish. Our car is 10 years old, and it has lost around 10% of its range. This still gives the car over 200 miles of range. It should be noted that the initial article stated that electric cars only last about 10 years, but it was changed to say electric car batteries last upward of 10 years. The article had another 4 big changes, which change what it meant – it is too late. Furthermore, even after taking them out of a car they then have a second and often third life.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions when making electric cars are 70% higher than combustion engine cars (this was changed just 5 days later) – a Volvo stat produced for a COP in 2021. Unfortunately this figure does not take into account carbon payback (or improvements, which are reducing this extra carbon). The so called carbon debt will almost always payback long before the death of the car. Some payback periods can be as low as 6 months. Comparing a long range tesla 3 to a BMW 3 series, the tesla would have to drive 13000 to reach carbon equality, which took less than a year. On a cleaner grid ti can come as low as 8400 miles. If 100% of your electricity comes from coal power plants it takes around 78,000miles ( in other words during the lifetime). On a UK electricity mix, an electric car will emit around 1/3 of the carbon of a combustion engine car over the full lifetime of the vehicle from manufacture to end of life. I should note, that our car was already carbon negative compared to a combustion engine car when we bought. So long as the car lasts 7 years, its cost will also be lower than we would have spent on petrol over the same period
  • the car park claim comes up again (look above to see my explanation as this came up in the last article).

Shark meat is a growing food in Southern America

It is often quite simple as humans. We are very capable hunters, with our ability to make ourselves tools and similar. This, unfortunately, means that we do not obey the normal rules for predator and prey.

With an animal like a lion, they move into an area, and their population finds a level with local food. This way, the lion can continue to live their long-term; both the lion and the antelope that they eat, are not facing extinction.

We do not work the same way. When in a market economy, a supplier finds a resource which sells well, they will keep selling it, until there is nothing left. The poaching of white rhino in South Africa reduced the population of the animal by 66% in must 10 years. It was not a reducing population, but increasing anti poaching which finally bought this under control.

Sharks are similar. lying at the top of the food chain. This means that if we operate as we currently are, eating sharks from the top of the food chain, we will have a huge impact on other species further down the food chain.

This is already being seen, in oceans all over the world. Predators kept in check by animals like the mako shark, have population explosions, and this in turn decimates the population of species further down the food chain.

THIS MUST CHANGE

Hippos can fly! (well at least leave the ground)

To be honest, I find this an odd piece of news. In the 1870s, the horse was photographed with all 4 feet off the ground at the same time. In fact, horses do not only do this at the gallop, but also at the trot.

If this is true, why should the hippopotamus be any different?

It is true, that a horse can run faster, reaching speeds of 71km/h, but even at the trot they reach speeds of 48km/h. However, a trotting horse can be as slow as 13.1km/h. Well how does this compare to a hippo?

Hippo can hit a speed of 30km/h, more than twice the minimum speed of a trotting horse, so the surprise seems odd.

There is perhaps one solution for this late analysis. Very often, when a hippo is encountered by a human and is running, it is moving towards the human, and therefore getting to safety is far more important. Hippo are not slow animals; it is true that they look ungainly, but this is because they are essentially designed for under water. Below is footage of a common hippopotamus, moving along under the water. Here, in their own element, you can see a hippo bounding along the bottom of the water, leaping effortless along.

Hippo locomotion underwater makes more sense. This is their element

Should South Africa burn its rhino horn stockpiles?

Image came from an x tweet. It shows part of the white rhino horn collection that has built up over time

To see the whole tweet click here

The South African government now has a total of 70 tonnes of rhino horn in stockpiles. Why, you might ask, have they continued to collect rhino horn since 1977 when its trade was banned? It would appear that, like elephant ivory, there was a hope that they could be sold, from time to time, to push down the price on the black market for rhino horn. There has also been an attempt to make money from this resource.

The problem with this, is as shown by the sales of elephant ivory, it is not actually reducing the demand, but quite to the contrary, these so called one off sales actually have often been seen to increase demand, which leads to a surge of poaching.

The demand for rhino horn is already absurdly high. Last year 499 rhino were hunted in South Africa, though positively, the Kruger only lost 78 (406 were lost on public lands and national parks).

Given past sales of both ivory and rhino horns have not reduced demand but instead increased it.

If past precedence is to be believed, then what will happen is that there will be a brief reduction in demand and price when the extra quantity is released, but this has usually been followed by a surge of extra poaching.

Rhino horn is currently valued at $60,000 per pound, and as each tonne has 2204 pounds, this rhino (if all sold at this price) would be worth $9.25 billion. That is a very large amount of just short of 1% of the whole countries GDP. However, were this rhino horn be allowed to be sold, then while the price of rhino horn would likely drop (without careful care to sell it over some time), but it would also greatly increase the demand for rhino horn.

This would mean that should there be a great increase in the demand for rhino horn. There are currently 23000 white rhino across south Africa, each of these with between $200,000-400,000 of horn on their head.

How long do we think it would take for the demand for white rhino horn to increase poaching back to the thousands a year. At the end of 2023, there were 1850 down several hundred from the year before. To put this in context, in 2007 17,480 white rhino were living wild in southern Africa (80%-90% of these were in the Kruger). Given South Africa has completely failed to end the white rhino massacre, we cannot trust them to look after the few that still remain.

BP continue the misleading adverts – “and not or”

I am not sure whether I have been targeted, or whether these adverts that have been irritating me are being seen by everyone as often. I must have encountered these adverts at least once a day for the last month, and if you look at their YouTube channel, their blurb starts.

Our purpose is reimagining energy for people and our planet. We want to help the world reach net zero and improve people’s lives.

 If you do not believe me, click here to load their page and see for your self.
 

Why is this irritating? Because, whether they are intentionally suggesting that their company is green or not, this is the obvious conclusion for their advertising. The only hat-tip to their fossil fuel business, is to say that they will keep these fuels going until they are not needed.

Last year, BP took its second largest profits of $13.8 billion (only beaten by 2022 when they made $27.7 billion). In the same year BP spent $1.26 billion on renewable investments, up from $1.02 billion the former year. What does this mean? Renewables are a green side project: fossil fuels are the main part of BP business. While Shell is not currently yelling (at least on my youtube feed) their investment is similar.
 

 In 2023, BP invested 4.7 times as much money in oil and gas, as it did in renewables

Does it think that and not or, might mean that they can continue to invest more than 90% into fossil fuels and a small amount in renewables (as well as investor returns etc -this is a choice)? What is odd, is generally their renewable investments are good investments yielding returns of 15% a year.
 

As if another story is needed to highlight the absurd position of BP, here is another article from the guardian, on this very issue, only published yesterday, click here to read it

 
I have already been shown this advert twice in the last 30 minutes. I have not tried to complain about this advert, because I am sure it will have no impact. Never-the-less BP must stop pushing this advert, as it is a complete lie.

Apologies for quiet and a fossil fuel good judgement

Do not worry, this website is still moving forwards! If you look closely at the maps on the home page, you will find that the number of destinations has been growing over time. I have been working on adding the rest of these.

However, I could not help but report on this GOOD JUDGEMENT

This is fantastic news. The giving of these licences is completely against the governments policies, and in their own assessments, they ignored the carbon footprint of the eventual use of the fuel (only taking into account the carbon emissions of extraction).

Climate activists, and even certain people in both houses of parliament have been pointing out the absurdity of this position- a position I might add, that had to go to the supreme court of the UK in order to be looked at rationally.

What does this mean? Well that is not clear, though it will require the government to explain their contradicting positions.

It is certainly a positive step forwards, as this ruling suggests that the UK courts are not going to allow the British government to make laws, and then make decisions that break those same laws.

Ron DeSantis is trying to reverse any sensible climate change policy in Florida – insanity

Ron Desantis (DoD photo by Army Staff Sgt. Nicole Mejia)

Ron DeSantis has deleted mention of Climate change from Florida laws, and banned offshore windmills.

He is claiming that this is to protect Florida from ‘Green Zealots’. Other parts of the bill includes rules which give preferential treatment to natural gas companies, and scraps rules on energy efficient vehicles being bought for the state. Being a state with so much coastline, it is going to be hit harder than virtually any other state, and is already being eaten away by storms and similar.

In terms of cost, Florida has had 87 weather/climate disasters since 1980, each costing at least $1 billion, which is likely far more than it would cost to have adapt.

Are republicans truly that determined to not be liberal, that they are willing to ignore science and pay several billion dollars a year as a result? Ron DeSantis won by 60% to 40%, but the state has been moving further and further towards being a swing state – perhaps this will be the difference which makes the state firmly move into this category?

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