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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?

Uk emissions fell slightly last year, so why is Rishi Sunak trying to encourage a new generation of gas power plants?

Gas

This is a particularly odd behaviour. It is significantly cheaper to generate electricity by virtually any form of renewable electricity. We are making great progress in cutting our carbon emissions (in 2022 UK emissions fell by 3.5%, but this progress will be delayed for some time, and unable to drop as far as they need to) and these power stations will last for 20-30 years, which means that even on the low end, these power stations will be still running in 2050.

As can be seen from all of the renewable sources of electricity, their costs are declining fast. The cost of gas is already more expensive than wind, and that does not account for catching the carbon from it (which will hugely increase the cost per kilowatt hour. Likely making it more expensive even than nuclear power. 

While Rishi Sunak has suggested that we need gas to power the UK, that is rubbish. We have 25 years. Furthermore, renewables are always cheaper over their lifetime, which means that by 2050 we will already have saved money overall. I am confused as to who wins – though given Sunak has included this in the conservative manifesto, suggesting that this is in some way a political move.

We can only hope (at least on this front) that the polls do not change, and Conservatives are pushed out of power. This is thought that in 2022 14% of carbon emissions came from the gas powered power stations we have. Whether Labour will do the right thing and reverse this decision, we will find out in the future.

Natural hydrogen at 95.8% purity found at drill site in South Australia

The vast majority of hydrogen on earth is locked into water. While splitting water and then recombining it can be done, and is in some forms can be thought of as a battery, it has long been postulated, that there might be hydrogen deposits in the earths crust. Not considered valuable until recently, few were looking for hydrogen.

This has changed dramatically, and after writing several months ago about a find in the USA, another has been made in South Australia. This find has 95.8% pure hydrogen, greatly reducing the purifying costs (the same company has also found deposits of helium at 17.5% pure).

This hydrogen should not be used for passenger cars, but instead in applications where nothing else can do (like air travel) . Even shipping, currently highly polluting, does not need to be. A mixture of kite sailing, new retractable sails of various kinds, and even electric motors with batteries, means that shipping should be able to rapidly decarbonize over the next few decades. This hydrogen must be used carefully – while these deposits might be large, they are not endless. As such, we want to use this for uses which cannot use batteries.

Nepal releases 23 Gharials into historical range, good idea?

The current wild population of Gharials is 198 individuals, which means that the 23 that were released this year, accounts for around 1 eighth of the wild population. Furthermore, having been released into former range of the Gharial, they are unlikely to encounter other Gharials until the population is far less endangered.

Part of the reason for their decline is down to the dams and similar which have been built on the rivers, and have separated this population, so that they have been unable to breed.

The last gharial on the river that they were reintroduced to was seen in 1993.

New breakthrough allows zero carbon cement and steel

Making concrete and steel are both incredibly carbon intensive. As such, this new process appears to be really important. By throwing old concrete into steel processing furnaces, not only purifies iron, but also reactivates cement as a bi-product. If the furnace is heated using carbon neutral electricity, then both of these incredibly important items (for the modern human world) can be made without emitting carbon at all.

At the moment, not only is cement the worlds most used building material, but it emits 8% of the worlds carbon emissions in the process of being made. Unfortunately, at the current time, there is still work that needs to be done, in order to get to the point where the concrete that comes out of this process is as high grade as brand new concrete

So you think that only the poster child of climate change – the polar bear, is threatened by the changing climate? Think again – now rhino?

White Rhino

Rhino are unable to sweat, which means that as temperatures increase, both black and white rhino are more and more reliant on finding shade, in order to keep their huge bodies within safe temperatures – will there come a time, where this is impossible? What other species might be at risk, even far from the poles.

Continue reading “So you think that only the poster child of climate change – the polar bear, is threatened by the changing climate? Think again – now rhino?”

Wallaby dealing with an invasive fox

A highly encouraging video, of a native wallaby species chasing away a red fox, introduced from Europe. The species is likely a red wallaby.

It is quite simply a fact, that in many places, while introduced predators have an easy time predating young, often adult wildlife can either escape or fight back. This is true in this situation, and adult Kiwi birds are capable of fighting back in New Zealand.

Never-the-less it is quite simply an issue, that we have transferred species all over the world. While this is a greater threat on smaller islands (places like New Zealand – this island was full of various flightless birds, but having introduced land predators, many of these species are either on the verge of extinction, or are only doing well as a result of work by humans.

The human race has now issued enough oil gas and coal licences to last until 2050 when we are supposed to be carbon neutral, so no need for any more?

Might we see the last of these structures in the next few years?

If we have enough oil, gas and coal licenced to last us until we need to be carbon neutral, does that leave no space for further oil gas and coal licences or exploration?

Well, no, but if we are to be carbon neutral by 2050 and we have all the fossil fuels needed until then, then any further extraction must prove that it can capture the same amount of carbon as its products would release.

Is any oil company going to be able to guarantee that it will capture as much carbon as that is released? Unlikely.

At the current time, around us the price of petrol is roughly £1.50 (there are parts of the UK where it is as low as £1.00). Working on a price of £1.50 roughly 45p goes back to the oil company per litre. Now, petrol when consumed in a combustion engine emits roughly 2.3kg of carbon dioxide for every litre, so for the oil company to be able to pay for the carbon to be caught (current prices tend to range between $100-$400 per tonne, or 10-40cents per kg). This means a price per litre of petrol of between 23 cents and 92 cents – somewhere between half and over 2 times the earnings to the oil company.

In other words, provided each oil company lives up to its promises, there is no longer any profit in oil.

Furthermore, it is not possible to put up prices further, as the competition is electric cars. The UK miles per gallon are typically between 36 and 43, so for the £6.75 per gallon that petrol costs in the UK, giving a price per mile of between 16p and 19p, or £1.60-£1.90 for 10 miles. Our car (a relatively large, if efficient electric car) goes around 3.3 miles per kwh (better on the motorway) and with 1 kwh costing around 7p that means a price of 21p per 10 miles. That means that already electric cars are between 7.6 and 9 times cheaper to travel at the current time. These cars are only getting more efficient, so by 2050 it is probably even worse.

Who is going to choose to drive with a fuel almost 10 times more expensive? Oil for personal travel is a dead man walking. Heat pumps and many other things, mean that fossil fuels are not going to be used for so many more of the tasks in our life. It is true that we are yet to find a way to replace fossil fuels in air travel, but in the next 26 years, it is highly likely that we will crack this too.

The short conclusion, is that we do not need further licences, and anyone stupid enough to buy a licence is unlikely to be able to afford to use it – this at least suggests that the majority of the uses of fossil fuels will disappear in the next 25 years, though those in the west need to make sure that the prices come down fast, as this is the only way that the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) will move over to heat pumps and electric cars at the rate that we all require.

How do we help this happen, when so many of the people in these countries live hand to mouth anyway.

Norway pension fund has disinvested from a British firm Jardines of destructive plans for the Tapanuli orangutan habitat

Tapanuli Orangutan

With an estimated historical habitat of this species 95% destroyed already, only leaving a small patch of rainforest with an estimated 800 Tapanuli orangutan, it would seem obvious that this small patch of rainforest should be protected, no matter what. however this opinion is not shared by everyone.

Having said this, thankfully, it is shared by an increasing number of organisations, and at current count, a total of 29 financiers have excluded Jardines and all subsidies from financing (according to the Financial Exclusions Tracker).

What is worse, is that the Martabe mining concession lies in a portion of the orangutan habitat called the Batang Toru forest, which has the largest orangutan population, and not only is this the area that has the highest chance of survival, but without this block of orangutan population, the future of the whole species is put at risk.

While this is a great move, one does wonder why it took 7 years to come to this decision. We have known about the Tapanuli Orangutan since 2017, and how precarious its survival is.

At the current time, there is an effort to expand the mine. While owners of the mine have said initially, this would just mean boreholes which do not disturb to too great a degree, recent studies have shown a correlation between this type of drilling and a reduction in Orangutan density, which proves these former assumptions to be incorrect.

It seems obvious that this area needs protecting, but perhaps for some people the earning potential is too great.

Back to normal: moving forwards

For those who come to this site regularly, you may well have noticed a break in out blog contents – we have been concentrating on other parts of the website. Should you go looking, we have now built a series of animal databases – these are just the first few. Our aim is to link to as many species of wildlife as possible, and offer visitors the ability to book to go to places where a specific species lives. It is true, that some species are rarely seen – so if pangolin or beaked whale is the species you want to see, while we can help put you in the right place, we cannot guarantee a sighting.

On the other hand, with the incredible pressure on ecosystems around the world, without tourists visiting regularly, many of these ecosystems will be destroyed – and then the chance of seeing these species will be very low (and if this happens too often, the chance of seeing some of these species may drop to zero as they become extinct).

A depressing thought, but understand, we have the power to change things.

It is often not easy, to live alongside wildlife, particularly as a farmer. From minor irritants to crop damage or even livestock predation, there are many pitfalls. This website is finally reaching a point where we are aiming to help with this. Whatever the primary use of your land, we believe that there is enough interest to produce a second income from interested parties – and while this could range from enough to live on, to extra ‘pocket money’, we want to reach a point where destroying wildlife is a financial insanity. Help us!

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