Microgeneration and Climate Change
Although it may be difficult for non-scientists to follow the technical aspects of climate and climate change, there are many books and scientific papers recently published which explain in a straightforward manner the extent to which climate change is impacting the planet...now
Increase to Two degrees ..
At this level, expected within 40 years, the hot European summer of 2003 will be the annual norm, a year when some 35,000 people died from effects of the heat. And Mortuaries in Paris ran out of space as hundreds of dead bodies were brought in each night.. Anything that could be called a heatwave thereafter will be of Saharan intensity. more than half the European summers by 2040 will be hotter than this.Even in average years, people will die of heat stress.
In the two-degree world, nobody will think of taking Mediterranean holidays. “The movement of people from northern Europe to the Mediterranean is likely to reverse, switching eventually into a mass scramble as Saharan heatwaves sweep across the Med.” People everywhere will think twice about moving to the coast. When temperatures were last between 1 and 2C higher than they are now, 125,000 years ago, sea levels were five or six metres higher too. All this “lost” water is in the polar ice that is now melting. Forecasters predict that the “tipping point” for Greenland won’t arrive until average temperatures have risen by 2.7C. The snag is that Greenland is warming much faster than the rest of the world – 2.2 times the global average.
Increase to Three degrees...
Beyond two degrees, however, preventing mass starvation will be as easy as halting the cycles of the moon. “First millions, then billions, of people will face an increasingly tough battle to survive,” says author Lynas
Good narrative style:
While the scientists debate the temperature rise rate or the intensity of this or that storm, around the planet people are living through the conditions of warming climate. Tuvalu residents, on their miniscule island chain in mid-Pacific, are watching the land wash away. It isn't just that melting ice caps are raising sea levels and ruining crops. There are more frequent and more devastating storms occuring. In China, land is also moving, but the reason is the opposite - the rains have ceased and the land is dried and blowing away in fierce desert winds. The account of a lone woman, the last survivor of a village overwhelmed by drought, is more poignant [to me] than anything found in fiction. And the number of such stories is growing
Excellent analysis and explanations:
Flannery's presentation is that of the convinced scientist and caring individual.His abilities as a science writer provide us with clearly spelled out conditions and solutions. He is an ardent supporter of personal steps to be taken to reduce the rate of climate change underway. He also shows how industries and governments can contribute to slowing the threat to our biosphere and thus, our children's future
Through his groundbreaking research, Keith Barnham offers the controversial promise that, despite our much higher energy demands now than in earlier periods of human evolution, our sun can provide all our primary energy needs again. The sunlight falling on the earth in one hour is more than enough to supply all the energy demands of humankind for one year. This solar technology can save us from the threats of global warming, diminishing oil resources, and nuclear disaster -- provided we don't allow politics to stand in our way
In a nutshell, David MacKay's brilliant book is about working out a budget, as if on the back of an envelope, with the red column listing how much energy we consume and the green column listing how much we produce (or could produce using various technologies). Can this budget be balanced? And how? In one brief but insightful chapter after another, the author gives us a few simple intellectual tools to figure out the answer for ourselves: not much more than the four operations and a bit of common sense, plus a useful human-scale framework for thinking sensibly about energy. With the sharp mind of the scientist, to the tune of "numbers, not adjectives", he mercilessly cuts through the fog of empty propaganda words that has surrounded the energy debate to date.
This book is an amazing performance: sharp, accurate, quantitative and at the same time clear, entertaining and compelling, not to mention beautifully illustrated with great photographs and informative diagrams and maps. A scientific book as hard to put down as a good novel. It's a labour of love (three years in the making) and it shows
It's even available at no charge as a full-quality pdf download from the author's own web site
The first 100 pages tells you succinctly what’s happening - and what we have to achieve together to help ourselves - given the authors’ credibility you also know you’re getting the right information without worrying about anyone’s agenda or spin
Dr, Gabrielle Walker, one of the UK's best science writers (actually one of the UKs best writers full stop) and Sir David King, the government's top science advisor whose behind-the-scenes knowledge of international energy politics is second-to-none, strip away the hyperbole and hysteria coming from all sides of the Global Warming debate and lay out the facts, the politics behind the facts and what our options are and will be as things continue to heat up. If you want to understand, discuss or-- better yet-- argue about climate change "The Hot Topic" is an invaluable resource. It also happens to be a cracking good read
"Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it. Tell people something new and they will hate you for it"
"Monbiot systematically explores the main factors contributing to emission of greenhouse gases and what we can do to halt and even try to reverse this destructive trend. After an Introduction on The Failure of Good Intentions, he uses the story of Faust's pact with the devil for a life of power and pleasure as a metaphor for our pact with Gaia for a life of hedonism, exploiting Nature's treasures. Using reputable (though not always utterly uncontroversial) data, in successive chapters Monbiot explores the wastage of energy from inadequately insulated homes, an assessment of how much energy we can generate from renewable sources, how to better organise our transport system by road, rail and air so as to minimise pollution and toxic gas emission, how local or Internet shopping can be used to reduce trips by car to the supermarket, how supervised `walking crocodiles' of children can be used to safely get children from home to school and back without the congestive chaos of cars and buses, and many more suggestions.
At the end of the book, there are a couple of pages of organisations in Britain devoted to studying and reducing climate change (as far as that is within our power), and forty pages of Notes and references, as well as a rather short Index (given the mass of data in this book). There is a wealth of reliable information here and this is one of several books that should be on everyone's reading (and action!) list, especially in Britain, for whom it is most relevant"
Ocean Studies Board, Polar RearchBoard,
Board on Atmospheric Changes and Climate
"Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.
Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected"
Jim Lovelock is best known as the 'father' of Gaia theory, which is now established as the most useful way of understanding the dramatic changes happening to the environment of the Earth. Yet, throughout his life - as a student, independent scientist and writer - Lovelock has met with disagreement and disparagement. His drive came from personal belief, curiosity and conviction. He has been right for all his working life and, although it is frightening for us to believe the scenario he describes in The Vanishing Face of Gaia, he is right again.
The Vanishing Face of Gaia is James Lovelock's final word on the terrifying environmental problems we will confront in the twenty-first century. The earth as we know it is vanishing. It is moving inexorably to a new, hot state. The idea that we can "save the planet" by reducing carbon emissions is, Lovelock writes, nothing but a sales pitch. The earth, as it always has done, will save itself. It is up to us to save the human race
Photovoltaic Design and Installation for Dummies Extract/review
Photovoltaic Design & Installation For Dummies gives you a comprehensive overview of the history, physics, design, installation, and operation of home–scale solar–panel systems. You’ll also get an introduction to the foundational mathematic and electrical concepts you need to understand and work with photovoltaic systems
‘Solar is a novel about one of the most serious threats to our world – global warming – but is also very, very funny. It shows a fresh side to Ian McEwan’s work, that he’s a comic writer of genius’
The pages in which the central character Nobel-prize physicist Michael Beard analyses and expounds on the looming threat of climate change, his explanation as to why its happening, and his sarcasm and jibes about the incompetence, ineffectiveness and the pandering to vested interests of the authorities charged with finding and implementing the paths to fast and substantial reduction in anthropogenic CO2 emissions make it well-worthwhile reading the trials and tribulations the unlikeable Beard
Solar tells the story of Michael Beard, an overweight and aging physicist who won the Nobel prize twenty years ago and hasn't had an interesting idea since. He plays on his fame and drifts between speaking engagements and sinecures, his private life is a disastrous series of failed marriages.
That all changes when a freak accident leaves him in possession of a file full of brilliant ideas from a young post-grad, and claiming the work as his own, Beard sets out to build a new technology that will single-handedly solve the world's energy crisis and stop climate change.
Michael Beard is such a thoroughly unlikeable character that I nearly gave up halfway through, but there are enough flashes of humour or interesting observations about human nature to make it worth persevering. It's not a great book - the reviewers panning it ..have a point. Much of the book is mundane, well-written but rather empty and moping. Nothing of any real interest happens until a good third of the way in, and the ending is somewhat contrived. Nevertheless, it's a satire and McEwan is attempting something rather bold - exploring climate change through the lens of human nature. Read that way, I think McEwan pulls it off, although I do wonder what his established fans will make of it..it's a credit to McEwan that Solar remains compelling in spite of its protagonist's unapologetic repugnance