Adults Helping Kids

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Its Time To Consider The Future of Children on Planet Earth

Canada warming at twice the global rate, leaked report finds.


Canada is, on average, experiencing warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, with Northern Canada heating up at almost three times the global average, according to a new government report.

The study — Canada's Changing Climate Report (CCCR) — was commissioned by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It says that since 1948, Canada's annual average temperature over land has warmed 1.7 C, with higher rates seen in the North, the Prairies and northern British Columbia.

In Northern Canada, the annual average temperature has increased by 2.3 C.


While the increased warming in the Arctic is not yet fully understood, snow and ice play a critical role in reflecting the sun’s radiation and heat. But scientists say the retreat of glaciers and disappearing sea ice both contribute to a feedback loop of warming, which is one of the factors contributing to Canada’s disproportionate temperature increase.

The report suggests the majority of warming felt in Canada and around the globe is the result of burning fossil fuels.

Monday, July 8, 2019

CANADA / GERMANY - Clean Energy

My wife and I recently drove from Vancouver to Saskatoon to visit friends. Neither of us had travelled through the prairies since the 1970's before we met; my wife by train from Toronto to Vancouver and me by car after crossing the border from North Dakota into Western Saskatchewan to drive back to Vancouver after an extended driving tour in the USA.

We were both amazed at the wide open spaces and the almost unlimited amount of uncluttered landscape which reminded us a great deal of northern Germany where we travelled extensively in 2017. The big difference between the prairies and northern Germany is the lack of renewable energy producing sources on the Canadian prairies. In Germany, we came across huge solar farms and wind farms, kilometer after kilometer. Farm houses, barns and most buildings had solar panels on the roofs. Towns had clusters of wind vanes on high ground near each town.

Saskatchewan grows many crop including canola and wheat that contribute a great deal to the Canadian economy, but much of the countryside we drove through lay fallow or was unused. While I understand the highest wind speeds in Saskatchewan are in the southwest, it seemed the unused land in the rest of this very flat land could be used to create massive solar farms. Given that Saskatchewan is the sunniest province in Canada, in all seasons, and boasting almost 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, building environmentally friendly, clean energy solar farms across the province would seem to be a no brainier.

Upon our return, I did a bit of research on Germany and came across the following information. Germany recently increased its renewable energy goal from 55 to 65 percent by 2030 to compensate for the decommissioning of aging nuclear and coal plants. Germany has been called "the world's first major renewable energy economy." Renewable energy in Germany is mainly based on wind, solar and biomass. Germany had the world's largest photovoltaic installed capacity until 2014, and as of 2016, it is third with 40 GW. It is also the world's third country by installed wind power capacity, at 50 GW, and second for offshore wind, with over 4 GW.
 In Germany, the share of renewable electricity rose from just 3.4% of gross electricity consumption in 1990 to exceed 10% by 2005, 20% by 2011 and 30% by 2015, reaching 36.2% of consumption by year end 2017. As with most countries, the transition to renewable energy in the transport and heating and cooling sectors has been considerably slower.

Now however, more than 23,000 wind turbines and 1.4 million solar PV systems are distributed all over the country. According to official figures, around 370,000 people were employed in the renewable energy sector in 2010, particularly in small and medium-sized companies. This is an increase of around 8% compared to 2009 (around 339,500 jobs), and well over twice the number of jobs in 2004 (160,500). About two-thirds of these jobs are attributed to the Renewable Energy Sources Act.

Germany's federal government is working to increase renewable energy commercialization, with a particular focus on offshore wind farms. A major challenge is the development of sufficient network capacities for transmitting the power generated in the North Sea to the large industrial consumers in southern parts of the country. Germany's energy transition, the Energiewende, designates a significant change in energy policy from 2011. The term encompasses a reorientation of policy from demand to supply and a shift from centralized to distributed generation (for example, producing heat and power in very small cogeneration units), which should replace overproduction and avoidable energy consumption with energy-saving measures and increased efficiency.

Compare these statistics to Canada's record. In the electricity sector, hydroelectricity is the largest renewable energy source in Canada, accounting for approximately 60 percent of Canada's electricity generation. Other non-hydro renewable energy sources, such as biomass, wind, tidal and solar, contribute 3 percent, compared to Germany's 36% at the end of 2017.

The big issue with hydroelectricity is its impact on the environment due to the enormous amounts of concrete required. A major component of concrete is cement; the cement industry is one of the primary producers of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas. Concrete causes damage to the most fertile layer of the earth, the topsoil.

Solar energy systems have some certain negative impacts on the environment just like any other energy system, but solar energy is a lot cleaner when compared with conventional energy sources. Solar energy systems have many advantages such as being cheaper and not producing any pollutants during operation and, being almost an infinite energy source when compared with fossil fuels.
On a closing note, a common myth is that solar panels do not work during winter, but on the contrary, cold temperature will typically improve solar panel output. The white snow can also reflect light and help improve PV performance. Winter will only hurt solar production if the panels are covered with snow, a problem easily solved.

Saskatchewan could be a leader in this field in Canada if not globally given its climate and geography.

Monday, May 13, 2019

THE STORY OF MARTA

Are you a parent? Or a grandparent? Or an uncle or aunt?   Even if none of the above, would you help a little girl on the other side of the world if you had the chance?

Marta is an 18 month old baby girl in Serbia. She has been diagnosed with brain cancer.

Marta Maja Maksic is a baby girl, born in the small town of town Sabac , Serbia to parents Marijana and Milos Maksic February 5th, 2018. She was just 6 months old when diagnosed with brain cancer.

To date, she has had  5 surgeries and chemotherapy treatments and is waiting for the 6th one. Marta's mother is not working and her father's income is not enough to cover the cost of her medical care. They now have to sell their family home to pay for the ongoing medical treatment. Economic conditions in Serbia are not good and medical care is very expensive.

 I learned about Marta's plight when I dropped into the bakery of Rod and Daniela Gavric on Edmunds Road in Burnaby for a coffee while waiting for a nearby tire store to install my summer tires. Rod and Daniela met the Maksic family when they bought an adjacent property. Their granddaughter is the same age as Marta and when they heard she was very sick, they pledged to help. It came to my notice when I saw a poster of Marta on the wall in Daniela and Rod's store, The Rustic Bread Bakery.

Having two very healthy grandchildren ages 13 months and 4 months, my heart went out to this family, hence my decision to help.


https://www.gofundme.com/the-story-of-marta 



No Child  Should  Left Behind  should be the mantra of  the governments of all countries around the world. Every adult alive today was once a child but only few of them remember it. Children from birth through to late teen years are wholly dependent on adults to guide, teach, instruct and be an example.  This planet is the home to all of us humans; it is truly a global village with everyone who has attained adulthood assuming responsibility for the raising of the next generation. That, in a perfect world is what it should be.

Children require universal health care, education, nutritious food, clean water and caring adults around them. 

Marta and her parents.



Friday, May 3, 2019

DO MOST PEOPLE NOT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING?

Every day on this planet, there are people flying all over the world, visiting here, visiting there just because they can. They are called tourists. 

Every time one person flies from where they live to somewhere they want to go (not where they HAVE to go) that person generates more than 20% of the greenhouse gas in that one flight than their internal combustion car emits in one year. This number is based on a North American based average.  Keep in mind, even if you own an electric car, you are still generating greenhouse gases, this gas created through the manufacturing of your vehicle and from the generation of the electricity used to power the car, particularly if this electrical power is generated by coal or natural gas powered power-plants. Even hydro electric dams create greenhouse gases through their building process. Materials like concrete, earth moving machines, trucks, portable generators, burning, etc.

According to some estimates, there are roughly 20,000 planes in use around the world, serving three billion passengers annually. By 2040, more than 50,000 planes could be in service, and they are expected to fly more often. The total worldwide ocean cruise capacity at the end of 2018 was 537,000 passengers and 314 ships. Annualized total passengers carried worldwide was 26.0 million passengers (a 3.3% increase over 2017) and almost 6 times the population of New Zealand or equivalent to the population of Australia. 

However, I digress. My curiosity is aroused by what I perceive to be disinterest by what seems to be a majority of people in the dire warnings of impending climate doom by climatologists, environmentalists and scientists.

I think people who choose ignorance fall into 5 categories in regard to warnings of future global calamity for the last remaining homo race on this small planet:

  • People who just choose to ignore these warnings as not having credibility. IE Climate change deniers.
  • People not wanting to know or pretend that everything really is OK 
  • People frightened of these warnings and choosing not to believe them? 
  • People who believe an invisible man who lives in the sky is going to save the pure of heart and thought so why bother doing anything.
  • People with plenty of money who just want to enjoy all the earth has to offer with little to no thought of their effect on the planet; IE cruise ships, constant overseas vacations, unlimited consumerism and so on.
Most people in the western world are very comfortable in their own little worlds. If retired and with money in the bank, they think very little of the environmental ramifications of the cruises they go on or the extended travel trips to exotic parts of the world they undertake.  














Wednesday, April 24, 2019

WHY ARE THERE NO ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES IN THE TOP TEN LIST OF GREEN COUNTRIES

In the top ten of greenest countries in the world today, there is not one English speaking country. The closest is New Zealand at number 11. The United States does not even appear in the top 20.  The Donald Trump /  Right-wing Evangelical Republican factor.

The top of the eco-chart is Finland. According to the 2016 EPI report, Finland’s ranking "stems from its societal commitment to achieve a carbon-neutral society". It adds: "Finland’s goal of consuming 38 per cent of their final energy from renewable sources by 2020 is legally binding, and they already produce nearly two-thirds of their electricity from renewable or nuclear power sources.

The 20 most environmentally-friendly countries
Finland - EPI rating: 90.68
Iceland - 90.51
Sweden - 90.43
Denmark - 89.21
Slovenia - 88.98
Spain - 88.91
Portugal - 88.63
Estonia - 88.59
Malta - 88.48
France - 88.2
New Zealand - 88
United Kingdom - 87.38
Australia - 87.22
Singapore - 87.04
Croatia - 86.98
Switzerland - 86.93
Norway - 86.9
Austria - 86.64
Ireland - 86.6

Luxembourg - 86.58

In the world or places of polluted countries, Delhi is in a league of its own. Half an hour of sightseeing is enough to leave you with a sore throat. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the average concentration of PM 2.5 particles in the Indian city is 150 micrograms per cubic metre of air. PM 2.5 refers to fine particles (2.5 micrometres or smaller in diameter) produced by combustion, including motor vehicles, power plants, forest fires, and some industrial processes. By comparison, London's average is 16. 

But what of the most polluted countries? Pinpointing them is a little more problematic. The WHO tracks air quality at 1,622 locations in 92 countries - but all are urban areas. So while Pakistan, Egypt and Mongolia are among the most polluted countries according to the map below, this only refers to pollution in its cities. Air quality in the Karakoram mountain range or the Gobi Desert will, of course, be pristine. Similarly, Russia appears to be among the worst performing countries - but its ranking is based only on air quality in Moscow. 


Sunday, April 21, 2019

FIDDLING WHILE ROME BURNS

Are a majority of we humans fiddling while Rome burns?  Don't know the meaning to this phrase? Read on. 

The definition in broad terms is: To occupy oneself with unimportant matters and neglect priorities during a crisis.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Fiddling while Rome burns'?

The source of this phrase is the supposed story that Nero played the fiddle (violin) while Rome burned, during the great fire in AD 64. However, there are two major flaws with the story. Firstly, there was no such instrument as the fiddle (violin) in first century Rome. If Nero played anything during the Rome fire, it was probably the lyre.
Secondly, the story may be completely false and Nero may very well not have neglected his duty at all. Nero died four years later, and we should remember that history is written by the victors. The historian Suetonius records the Nero was responsible for the fire and that he watched it from a tower while playing an instrument and singing about the destruction of Troy. Others record this story merely as a rumour.

By modern-day standards Nero certainly appears a bizarre character, but that doesn't make this story true. Roman scholars differ over interpretations of events surrounding the fire. The rivalries and conflicting accounts, even those in contemporary reports, make the 'fiddling' story uncertain.

In modern times, a majority of us inhabitants of planet Earth are occupying ourselves with trivial matters, neglecting the important issue:GLOBAL WARMING! 

The past five years have been the five warmest since record-keeping began in the late 1800s. The Earth has experienced 42 straight years (since 1977) with an above-average global temperature, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

Based on five separate data sets that keep track of the Earth's climate, the global average temperature for the first 10 months of 2018 was about 1.8 degrees above what it was in the late 1800s. That was when industry started to emit large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Australia experienced record summer heat in January of this year. The town of Port Augusta reached the hottest day since record-keeping began in 1962 with a temperature of 121F or 49.5C.  The heat was so intense it caused bats to fall from trees, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Increasing amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases being released into the atmosphere by industry, transportation and energy production from burning fossil fuels are enhancing what's known as the planet's natural greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide is the most prevalent among all greenhouse gases produced by human activities, attributed to the burning of fossil fuels.

The atmospheric carbon dioxide level for March was 411.97 parts per million and continue to rise. It has now reached levels in the atmosphere not seen in 3 million years.

That's an increase of 46% from just before the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, when CO2 levels were around 280 parts per million. Levels began to rise when humans began to burn large amounts of fossil fuels to run factories and heat homes, releasing CO2 and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

Scientists say to keep a livable planet, we need to cut the level to 350 parts per million.

A consequence of higher temperatures is the melting of the polar ice caps, which is causing sea levels to rise. The world's oceans have risen about an inch in the past 50 years due to melting glaciers alone, a study published this month in the journal Naturefound.

The Earth's glaciers are now losing up to 390 billion tons of ice and snow per year, the study suggests.  Global warming has caused over 3 trillion tons of ice to melt from Antarctica in the past quarter-century and tripled ice loss there in the past decade, another study, released in June  2018 revealed

Where do we go from here?  Maybe. See the following link. 

https://www.drawdown.org/