A Global Site To Address World About Hot Current Topics.

1:16:00 AM Posted by Global changes ruining the world No comments

Nepal's Cabinet HOLDING Climate Meeting On Mt. Everest

11:29:00 PM Posted by Global changes ruining the world No comments
  • “Meaningful Deal” Reached at Copenhagen…

    The much hyped and talked about Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, hailed as the most important meeting on climate change to date, is drawing to a close. Much debate has occurred over what actions must be taken to prevent dangerous climate change to our environment, but most of the debate was about damage limitation to the economies of world leaders.

    After months of discussion and the climax of the climate change talks in Copenhagen, US President Barack Obama proclaimed that a meaningful deal had been reached to the worlds press. Good news yes? Well it would be if it were true. Here is what was actually achieved in Copenhagen:

    193 countries “recognize the scientific view that” they need to limit global temperatures rising no more than 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels.

    Thats about it… There is NO legally binding agreement to any country on any further actions on curbing emissions or contributions to climate change. The deal “promises” to deliver $30bn (£18.5bn) of aid for developing nations over the next three years, despite UN recommendations that rich countries provide $100 billion per year in aid to developing nations most vulnerable to climate change.

    Climate Change Copenhagen Failure

    The implementation of the dubbed “Copenhagen Accord” will be reviewed 2015, about a year-and-a-half after the next scientific assessment of the global climate by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    So what does this mean for us and for climate change? Well quite frankly it means nothing. It is certainly as far from a “meaningful deal” as you could possibly get. After climate change has been so vigorously shoved into the limelight, it is likely to go quiet over the next few years, until we hear the updated statistics and forecasts from the IPCC in 4 years time. With the worlds economy in the state it is in right now, you can bet that we will see little if no effort by major polluters between now and 2015 of becoming greener, as in the eyes of world leaders and business CEO’s, the inconvenience of adapting to greener ways is far too costly to bother, when they will face no punishment for failing to act now.

    I have said it many times, world leaders and big business leaders (who often arguably have more power) prioritize economies and making money over human lives and quality of life. As long as they do this taking action on climate change is too big a risk to take. When you reverse it and value the people of this world over businesses and money the way it should be, not taking action on climate change now is too big a risk to take. It’s a sad world we live in.

  • The Horror of Electric Cars

    The idea that an all-electric car, dependent solely on recharging its batteries and unable to rely on the infrastructure of filling stations to provide power on longer trips, will be more than a sideshow may well be the business folly of this century.

    Worldwide, the driving public has come to rely on the auto as a versatile tool of mobility – fulfilling the daily commuting and errand-running tasks while at the same time available for overnight or long-distance trips. While many drivers have the luxury of secured parking adjacent to their own electric supply, many others don’t. Urban drivers who park on the streets, suburban occupants of garden apartment complexes, people who park in attended or unattended garages, students on campuses, etc. all leave their cars overnight at a distance from their own homes. Others, traveling salesmen, routemen, etc. spend nights in different motels, with or without secure parking. Still others, mainly recreational car users, take their cars to locations which are intrinsically lacking in recharging facilities – a mountain stream, the beach, remote desert locations, etc.

    Many drivers in the USA car hire for long drives. Choice for a trip from New York to Florida for winter sun is fly and pick up car hire at Orlando airport or drive on for hours and then they only want to stop for the 5 minutes it takes to refuel, their auto, drain their kidneys, and get a fresh coffee (with or without the greaseburger). Whatever car they use for the daily commute is versatile enough to accommodate them on these longer trips – for business, family, recreation, or sheer wanderlust. Many of these trips are not optional from a personal or family standpoint – the weekly trip to help a sick relative, moving-in-or-out kids’ at college dorms, etc. which can only be accomplished with a private auto within the allocated time.

    None of these people can expect to be accommodated by an electric-only vehicle; they need the flexibility to make their own schedules, to come and go when necessary, and to “drive through the night” and return to work the next day. To assume that buyers will look to preclude use of a vehicle for any of the above situations (or the myriad of similar ones that haven’t been mentioned) and to assume that they will continue to use the vehicle for its entire service life without need to rely on gas stations leaves a pretty narrow audience.

    The magic of the general purpose auto has always been its versatility. The horror of the electric-only car is its complete and total abdication of status as a multipurpose tool for living, and the loss of personal freedom that has been the linchpin of the mass appeal of private autos since the 1927 introduction of the Ford Model A.

  • Sainsbury’s delivery fleet goes green…

    Last week Sainsbury’s, the GB superstore, reaffirmed its commitment to building a better, greener future by announcing its intention to purchase a further 50 electric vans, giving the company the largest commercial EV fleet in the world. The recent news just goes to show that, even amidst the biggest financial crisis that this country has ever known, companies are still able to expand and think about a greener more environmentally friendly future.

    In a statement Sainsbury’s announced that having completed a successful trial in 2006 and after the initial purchase of 20 vehicles in 2007, the company was now prepared to continue its modernisation programme in an effort to meet its commitments regarding CO2 emissions. Back in 2007 Sainsbury’s announced an ambitious plan to turn their entire online delivery fleet 100% green by 2010. However, with only a few weeks till 2010 left, it looks like the retailer may have faltered slightly on proposals, but their intentions were good nonetheless.

    Sainsbury's Van

    The additional 50 vehicles due to be delivered within the next year are manufactured by the Smith Electric Vehicles company, based near Newcastle. The company has enjoyed a series of successes within the last few years and has made a number of vans for several prominent delivery and van hire companies including Royal Mail, DHL and TNT. The company currently has several models including the Edison 3.5-4.6t van and the Newton 7.5-12t lorry.

    Although Sainsbury’s has made a noble and forward thinking step by transferring the majority of its inner London fleet to electric vehicles, the cynic in me suggests that the companies decision to change has more to do with the current tax relief of up to £5,000 on electric vehicles, the lack of an applied congestion charge for EV’s and the newly derived EU emission limits which are due to be implemented within the next two years. When you add all of this up it makes a great deal of sense for a company as big as Sainsbury’s to switch to environmentally friendly vehicles. Still despite their reasons, whatever they may be, it’s still a progressive step in the right direction….

Is It Impossible To Avoid Climate Change Without Geo-Engineering?

9:34:00 PM Posted by Global changes ruining the world No comments

Is It Impossible To Avoid Climate Change Without Geo-Engineering?

The problem I have always had with Geo-Engineering is that might work. And because it exists as a possible option (or a backdoor, a plan B) to combat climate change, it will be used as an excuse to not take more appropriate yet unpopular action until its too late.

A new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has detailed how Geo-Engineering “could provide the world with extra time to de-carbonise the global economy”.

CO2 emissions

The BBC has interpreted the report as a claim that “without geo-engineering it will be impossible to avoid dangerous climate change”. Having read the original report I can confidently it makes no such claim. It simply simply lists it as a 3rd option to prevent climate change.

I’m not against the idea of Geo-Engineering, far from it. However, I feel that there are more direct options we have to try first. We are living beyond our means, unseasonably abusing the worlds resources. A climate “patch” will not solve this in the long. And Geo-Engineering comes with own share of risks. No one can be sure how the world will react to any sort of climate altering, it is essentially how we got in this mess in the first place.

The new report however suggests some less radical ideas on how to reduce C02 levels in the atmosphere.

  • Artificial Trees: Research is underway into building machines capable of mimicking trees by removing CO2 from the atmosphere. The CO2 is the buried in Carbon Capture Storage (CCS)
  • Algae-coated buildings: Algae naturally absorbs CO2 and strips of algae can be fitted to the outside of buildings and then harvested from the surfaces and used as bio-fuel.
  • Reflective buildings: Reducing solar radiation will help reduce temperatures. Making surfaces hit by the suns rays more reflective will help less radiation be absorbed.

So is it to late to avoid dangerous climate change without resorting to Geo-Engineering. I think it probably is, just because its going to be a more popular to choose it over making everyone change the way we live our lives.

Dubai rising

8:21:00 PM Posted by Global changes ruining the world No comments

Dubai Rising

Dubai has seen some of the most rapid and huge changes in the history of modern civilisation. In less than 20 years, was was a barren wasteland has transformed into the most rapidly developed city on the planet.

Dubai 1990

Dubai in 1990

The United Arab Emirates has become one of the fastest growing economies on the planet, and based on based on various socioeconomic indicators it is now one of the most developed countries in the world. Much of their wealth and economic power has come from years of booming export of natural resources like petroleum and natural gas. Although Dubai has become much less dependant for income from these resources, they still play a vital role in the economy for Abu Dhabi.

This is Dubai 2007, the same road pictured above

This is Dubai 2007, the same road pictured above

UAE has an estimated population of 6 million people. To put that into perspective, New York alone has a population of 8 million. Nearly 2.5 million people now live in Dubai, but a mere 17% is thought to be Emirati. Temporary construction workers outnumber residents by 8 to 1.

Construction in Dubai is simply massive. It’s estimated that they are using 15-25% of the worlds cranes in Dubai alone. The city has become not only a playground for the rich and famous, but for architects too. Every building is unique and interesting. Everyone by now will recognise the The Burj al-Arab Hotel, the world first and only 7 star hotel, that has been built on a man made island off the shore of Dubai.

Burj al-Arab Hotel

This is the year to book your flights to Dubai as construction nears completion on the worlds tallest ever constructed building. So big in fact that it broke the record over 2 years ago way before it was even completed. The Burj Dubai is 40% taller than anything ever constructed by man before and has taken only 5 years to build. It is 818 meters tall and has 162 floors. It will be completed on December 20th.

But Dubai is not the only booming city. Abu Dhabi is also developing at an astonishing rate. Its estimated that Abu Dhabi will make $800 Billion from its oils surplus between 2005 and 2020. It’s already attracting some big names. The first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will take place in less than 2 weeks, bringing an end what has been a strange season in formula 1 with the first half day/half night grand prix.

Make no mistake that Dubai and Abu Dhabi is where the worlds wealth is moving to… and who can blame them.