1. 5 mins Arctic Ice is Crazy Low (Nov. 20, 2016)
There continues to be no good news on the global warming/climate change front. The exceedingly warm temperatures and decrease in sea ice in the Arctic are already documented but these changes are happening faster and faster. That ‘we are on a runaway train’ feeling you have…it’s called a ‘self-reinforcing negative feedback loop’ (also sometimes known as Nature Bats Last) where negative impacts create more negative impacts, except worse. And this at the same time as President-Elect Trump’s picks for senior officials were on CBC’s As It Happens denying climate change and any impact by humans. That “am I going crazy” feeling you have…that’s you wondering how there can be even one human left standing on the earth that couldn’t be in a state of cognitive dissonance (or at least experiencing their own internal personal psychological ‘self-reinforcing negative feedback loop’ as we get more news each day that proves that we need to act to stop burning carbon). The figures in this article are truly staggering. See also in The Guardian Exceedingly Hot Arctic Temperatures.
2. 1 min Canada to Phase out Coal by 2030 (Nov. 22, 2016)
The International Business Times reported on Canada’s decision, in line with a number of other countries, to phase out coal. The Trudeau Government is hard at work trying to manage its way through the very complex global warming/climate change file in the remaining 1059 days or so until the next election. Phasing out coal power by 2030 is a very laudable goal, good for the country and the planet. Especially as the US seems to be saying the opposite. But…governing is not easy, the very controversial Site C hydro project in BC has been approved, in spite of enormous opposition and the Kinder Morgen pipeline proposal awaits a final decision. While governing requires compromise, the challenge for the Trudeau Government is to make sure their laudable decisions to help save the planet are not cancelled by decisions that directly harm the environment. This is an ongoing calculation that requires clear thinking and resolve over the long term. The greatest good for the greatest number of people and for the planet has to be the most important consideration in making decisions.
3. 10 mins with video Solar Electrical Generator (Nov. 20, 2016)
We found this article describing this very interesting technology that gives citizens more choices even if utilities are reluctant to switch away from the power sources they are used to providing. Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™5000HD “A “Mac-Daddy Cadillac” Solar Generator, perfect for off-grid living” is the latest generation of solar electrical generator, one that is rugged and seems to be market ready. I have been watching this technology mature, more and more rapidly and the 5000HD looks like it is up to the task. This could the future in remote, off grid communities. Utilities can either get ahead of the curve with high penetration micro-grids or people will start to bring in these small units to run their homes, leaving the utility behind. The good news is that there are now options for individuals when it comes to energy choices. It’s not very expensive (this unit is $9,500 US) and might be eligible for a government rebate?
4. 5 mins Game Changing Weather Forecasts (Nov. 20, 2016)
This new satellite Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R), is one impressive piece of space hardware, able to do things like see in 16 wavelengths instead of 5, with 4 times better resolution. “It will truly revolutionize weather forecasting” according to Sandra Cauffman, deputy director of Earth Sciences at NASA. Given the extreme weather buffeting the earth due to global warming/climate change, this satellite will pay for itself in short order. It won’t be able to change the extreme weather but will enhance the ability to anticipate what is coming, forecast with greater accuracy and hopefully give folks a little more lead time to get ready and hunker down to ride out the next extreme weather event. In a climate altered world, we will need every advantage this satellite will provide.