What do I think, What can I do?

Archive for March, 2013

Earth hour balance, 2013

Last saturday was again the earth hour or planet hour. In the day itself and later it was funny to read many skeptics fight against it as here, or here more aggressive. There were favorable posts too.

My personal balance this year was worse than last year because we forgot about it until last 30 minutes, so I did not help much in spite of being convinced. And a more general balance? WWF shows a nice gallery of  images  that demonstrates at least some action arround the world.

Like last year I have collected the electrical demand data from REE (the official source), and even if the consumption was higher than las year, 31600 MW, it was 2000 MW lower than the previous saturday, more or less like the last year. Not so bad but not impressive as I would like, but this figure is only about a very small part of the world, we have to remember that this is a world-wide problem and a world-wide action in this case. Anyway, I agree with my ideas from last years post.

This is not going  to change hour emission path but coordinated global citizen action is very important and could be very helpful to push the different policy makers to endorse the solutions we have, because it is possible to reduce hour emissions without going to the caves again.

Spanish electricity consumption on 23/03/2013, from REE

Spanish electricity consumption on 23/03/2013, from REE


Tomorrow I will switch off the lights for one hour

I was glad to read about planet hour in this science post. I did take part last year and I still consider it a good tool. It will not change the course of our planet emissions but it is a way of taking part as a citizen in a global action to ask more important actions. It is a clear and direct symbol, it is not difficult but help us think a bit about our needs in our everyday life, and again it is global and we need global action and global solutions for this very global problem of climate change. Let’s start with this small but symbolically strong effort.

Climate change and peak oil

Among my blogs-to-read it is one from peak oil movement or thinking current. The peak oil concept is easy to explain and really logical at least in the initial concepts:

The oil is a finite substance and consequently someday it will wear out. The second idea is that that day it is not so far and for this reason we have reached the maximum oil production of our history: the peak oil. The next step is that this concept is applicable to many other important substances to our civilization as gas, uranium, coal, copper,… The last one is that it does not have reasonable solution, the only way is to degrowth in an ordered way or do it in a chaos. However the final positive message is that the final world we can reach, doing things well, will be very austere but satisfying in many senses.

I read them with interest although I am not convinced of many of the steps like the inevitability of the strong degrowth or the grade of depletion of many energy sources. So, I was surprised to discover a strong critics to peak oil concept in another blog I read. A stronger grade of critics than mine really, and this helps me notice again how ideas that are different could share common goals, at least for some time, but do not for our strong sense of …

Peak oil and climate change fight are different concepts, in one sense peak oil forecasts a time without oil and will miss it a lot and climate change would like to forecast a time with the oil inside the ground as a synonym of healthy climate. However the current goals are not so far: change the energy production system and make it renewable to a great extent, the hopes or forecasts are not so common but this should not be a problem to find allies in this difficult task..

Positive consequences of Climate Change? The northern route navigation

Northern route map from http://www.fni.no/

Many people in the maritime transport industry is thinking about the possibilities of using the shorter northern passage to go and come from Asia. Even the north pole could be reachable by 2050 with a small icebreaker. This can be considered a positive consequence? I think so, as it will make easier, shorter, cheaper and less carbon intensive to transport many goods in the northern hemisphere.For climate change itself the negative impact is much bigger than the positive as the albedo, or reflectiveness of the ice is greater so more sun energy will be absorbed.

But above all, in my opinion, it is agreat prove that something really important is changing in our planet in spite of all skeptics comments, because the ice shells are a first order displays of the heat content in our planet surface. The averages of the temperatures measured in many weather stations over the world are not so easy to see but a clear ocean in the north pole is something very very expressive. What will skeptics invent then? Will they still be skeptics then?

Top 10 emerging technologies: 5 are related to energy

It is a known fact for anyone reading scientific news that there is much concern and research in renewable energies, energy storage, low C transportation and some other subjects closely related to climate change. This means that there are many scientists warned by our climate future and they have convinced investors from politics or private sector to research in those areas. This fact is not frequently displayed in the news but there are exceptions as this list of 10 emerging technologies of the world economic forum.

5 out of 10 of the proposed technologies are related to energy or transportation, so, to climate change mitigation. These kind of speculative analysis are just that, but as in the case of a previous one in the BBC, show mainly our worries and hopes for the future, and in both of them climate change is present (in this one more clearly in fact)