The Hour is Getting Late

IMG_4323
Sunset at St Peter’s Chapel, Bradwell

The time we have left to avoid climate disaster is getting short and the sun is setting on the opportunity to avoid catastrophe. Not that you would know it from the political inactivity around here. Continue reading “The Hour is Getting Late”

Advertisements

High (Tide) and Dry

prep
Environment Agency publicity

It’s now ten days since I wrote to my District Councillors (Peter Elliott and Ron Pratt) asking why Maldon District Council has no current Environment and Climate Change Strategy despite the Climate Emergency and I’m still waiting for a reply. I recognise that they may be busy, that it’s not a salaried role and their time may be stretched, so I think I’ll give them a month before I follow up with another letter seeking an update on progress. I’m also thinking about other ways I can raise this issue – ask the leader of the opposition on the council to raise it?, seek recognition at the town council level? Again, learning how local politics works is proving to be a case of just try stuff.

The urgency of the emergency was brought home last week with Continue reading “High (Tide) and Dry”

Climate Emergency

rebel-for-life

On 8th December I posted on social media about trying to find a point of agency in the face of the wicked problem of climate change – partly re-energised by the Extinction Rebellion actions:

‘I’ve never been a member of a political party, I’ve always been against it on the basis that joining a political party seemed to indicate you supported implicitly everything their representatives ended up saying or doing, no matter how idiotic, and even the barmiest parts of their manifestos. No thanks, I favoured the Groucho Marxist position. Continue reading “Climate Emergency”

Where You At Q5: When was the last time a fire burned in your area?

5951198716_4194ac897e_z

The fifth question in the Where You At? bioregional quiz is:

When was the last time a fire burned in your area?

This is one of the quiz questions that reveals its Cascadian/West Coast USA origins. As Carolyn Merchant has noted in Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World (1992) the quiz is ‘culture-bound’. I write that because the whole concept of a fire burning ‘in your area’ seems to reflect the spread of wildfire over large parts of a landscape, something that happens regularly enough to note in California, but is much less familiar in northern Europe.

The widespread deforestation of the Atlantic Archipelago has left the UK without a lot of standing trees to burn and the climate here means that we have rarely experienced the hot, dry conditions that catalyse these types of conflagration. Continue reading “Where You At Q5: When was the last time a fire burned in your area?”

Where You At Q4: What was the total rainfall in your area last year?

8656011418_5cd2d0a179_z
Rubber duck in a rainwater butt

The fourth question in the Where You At? bioregional quiz is:

What was the total rainfall in your area last year?

I think that annual average rainfall in Essex is about 600mm, but I don’t know how recent years have compared to that. The nearest Met Office ‘climate stations’ to me are at Writtle (c.29km away) and Shoeburyness (c.10.5 km away) – checking the Met Office site I see that for the period 1980-2010: Continue reading “Where You At Q4: What was the total rainfall in your area last year?”

Where You At Q2: How many days til the moon is full?

 

5541973643_072330ebb5_z
The supermoon of March 19th, 2011

 

The second question in the Where You At? bioregional quiz is:

How many days til the moon is full?

I’m not sure how good I would be at this calculation generally. I can’t remember seeing the moon lately but then I can’t remember looking at the night sky recently either. Today, Wednesday 11th April 2018, I’m pretty sure the last full moon was Easter Saturday – which was 31st March – which I think means that we are a few days off new moon – so perhaps it’s not surprising I haven’t seen the moon lately. The moon has a 28-day cycle, so the next full moon should be in about 17 days time – 28th April.

Ok, let’s check. Continue reading “Where You At Q2: How many days til the moon is full?”

Greenhouse Britain

 

storm
A witch conjures a storm and brings terror to the seas, woodcut from ‘Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus’, (1555)

The next report from the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is due late in 2019. The lag time between data gathering and data publication, plus the need for an agreed consensus amidst the contributors have conspired in previous editions to present overly optimistic scenarios, it’s now widely recognised that they’ve routinely underestimated the rate of global warming. A recent study suggests that we might see 1.5 metres of sea-level rise before 2100: ‘Revised median RSL [relative sea-level] projections for a high-emissions future would, without protective measures, by 2100 submerge land currently home to more than 153 million people’. If we don’t avoid those high-emissions scenarios we’re also locking in greater future sea-level rises as Antarctica and Greenland give up their land-based ice to the sea.

A look over the Dengie’s sea walls at high tide and imagining another 150cm of water is a sobering matter – factor in the conditions that caused the spate of inundations referred to in a previous post and you can see we have a problem. Continue reading “Greenhouse Britain”