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The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

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    The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

    Does OTF have a general, all-purpose thread for climate change or environmental concerns? I'm guessing the storm season thread counts but thought I'd open one more generalised in scope.

    Planning permission for a wind farm based in County Meath rejected by local residents who fear their health would be damaged.

    Some of the concerns displayed by the locals are valid in that wind farms do cause some low-level environmental disruption - shadow flicker, noise pollution (though they're not as noisy as you might think), some airborne wildlife kills - but no country in Western Europe has the same potential for wind energy as Ireland despite also having the greatest dependence on imported fossil fuels (over 90% of the energy market).

    #2
    The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

    In its decision, the board said it considered that a wind farm of the scale, extent and height proposed would visually dominate this populated rural area, would seriously injure the amenities of property in the vicinity, would interfere with the character of the landscape and would not be in accordance with the overall development objectives of the Meath County Development Plan 2013-2019.
    i actually think wind farms are really beautiful. do they really generate much electricity though?

    Comment


      #3
      The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

      garcia wrote:
      In its decision, the board said it considered that a wind farm of the scale, extent and height proposed would visually dominate this populated rural area, would seriously injure the amenities of property in the vicinity, would interfere with the character of the landscape and would not be in accordance with the overall development objectives of the Meath County Development Plan 2013-2019.
      i actually think wind farms are really beautiful. do they really generate much electricity though?
      More than you'd think. A large turbine (between 48-80 metres in diameter) can generate power in the 750kW to 3.5kW range. The ones mentioned in that article would qualify as large. The country's only offshore windfarm with seven windmills is supposed to have a capacity of 500MW power output. Turlough Hill's capacity is 292MW.

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        #4
        The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

        I did try to do a thread some time ago, but you've already put more effort into yours than I did.

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          #5
          The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

          Character of the landscape. What does that mean. All the forests in Ireland were already cut down and turned into livestock farms. It's not like the current landscape is natural...

          Comment


            #6
            The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

            Windmills have become a convenient political football
            There are propositions to increase the minimum distance from them to houses
            Problem in Ireland that there are so many one-off houses that increasing the distance makes it v difficult to build windfarms...

            The oil price collapse may be causing havoc for the fracking industry but it is also creating a crisis for renewables, they are only viable when the oil price is high.

            The holy grail for renewables is finding an efficient form of energy storage. Wind is great but the intermittancy issue means that there has to be a major back up system to take up the slack.

            Comment


              #7
              The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

              Reviving this thread for some good news.

              Portugal runs for four days straight on renewable energy alone
              And some very bad news.

              The question of whether or not climate change is real is rapidly becoming less urgent than what can be done to alleviate the human suffering it is causing. In Rajasthan, north-west India this week, the mercury hit 51 degrees celsius (123°F). That’s the hottest temperature on record in the country. Hospitals are swamped with patients suffering heatstroke and dehydration. The year’s harvest is shrivelling in the ground. People are cooking to death on public transport. Yesterday, a camel left alone in the sun went mad and chewed its owner’s head off. That’s how hot it is in Rajasthan right now.

              Comment


                #8
                The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                Carniveraux Vulgarry wrote: Reviving this thread for some good news.

                Portugal runs for four days straight on renewable energy alone
                And some very bad news.

                The question of whether or not climate change is real is rapidly becoming less urgent than what can be done to alleviate the human suffering it is causing. In Rajasthan, north-west India this week, the mercury hit 51 degrees celsius (123°F). That’s the hottest temperature on record in the country. Hospitals are swamped with patients suffering heatstroke and dehydration. The year’s harvest is shrivelling in the ground. People are cooking to death on public transport. Yesterday, a camel left alone in the sun went mad and chewed its owner’s head off. That’s how hot it is in Rajasthan right now.
                Meep?

                Comment


                  #9
                  The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                  It's got within spitting distance of 50 Celsius a few times in BA since I've moved here, and I can well imagine it having that sort of effect. Fortunately no camels here, it's just the people who go nuts.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                    To be fair, spitting distance for a camel is much further than it is for humans.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                      Mumpo wrote: To be fair, spitting distance for a camel is much further than it is for humans.
                      Bravo!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                        Bloody Frackers.

                        https://yougov.co.uk/opi/surveys/results#/survey/c15ae110-218e-11e6-a405-005056900127

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                          Fracking in Europe should get a reprieve, given that oil prices have plummeted. Here in eastern Canada, natural gas fracking prospects have thankfully been completely foiled due to the even more dramatic plunge in global NG prices. This would have been particularly problematic given that the main deposits are near population centers (which is also the case in the UK I presume).

                          Carniveraux Vulgarry wrote:
                          And some very bad news.

                          The question of whether or not climate change is real is rapidly becoming less urgent than what can be done to alleviate the human suffering it is causing. In Rajasthan, north-west India this week, the mercury hit 51 degrees celsius (123°F). That’s the hottest temperature on record in the country. Hospitals are swamped with patients suffering heatstroke and dehydration. The year’s harvest is shrivelling in the ground. People are cooking to death on public transport. Yesterday, a camel left alone in the sun went mad and chewed its owner’s head off. That’s how hot it is in Rajasthan right now.
                          The drought is a terrible tragedy, but the story about the camel sounds like a dramatic embellishment. Camels are built to stay under the sun in 45C-50C weather in their natural desert habitat all summer.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                            It almost certainly is - the camel is more likely to have attacked its owner if anything. But the real story, away from the Brass Eye-esque aspect suggested by that part, is that previously inhabitable parts of the world are now becoming dangerously unlivable as a result of anthropogenic climate change. We can expect to see more of this in the years to come.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                              Thunderstorms in Arctic Alaska

                              They didn't used to have them, now they do. Things like this illustrate how unbelievably complex the task of climate modelling is and why models are constantly being updated - such local phenomena need to be factored in.

                              Comment


                                #17
                                The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                                Siberian anthrax outbreak - child dead, other cases confirmed

                                "Until now, the deadly disease was believed to have been caused by hot weather melting the permafrost and exposing the corpse of a contaminated reindeer. Today it was revealed that a cemetery close to last month's shock outbreak, the first in 70 years in Yamalo-Nenets region, is now under suspicion too."

                                It's a long, bleak but informative article.

                                Comment


                                  #18
                                  The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                                  No experts, please, we're Brexiting.

                                  Comment


                                    #19
                                    The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                                    The website where that ever-shrinking timescale is from mentions the methane hydrate problem and i saw a video the other day about this that might be interesting, or more likely just alarming.

                                    The video is about 2 years old but was posted on Reddit last week so went mildly viral.

                                    In summery, the huge amount of methane gas that is stored beneath Siberia is likely to at least partially escape, due to the Earth's rising temperature and the unstable location, with Teutonic plates in the mix. Only about 1% need escape to double the current levels of methane in our atmosphere.
                                    This, so the scientists who have been studying the area for 10 years (I think), will likely happen in decades no centuries.

                                    Comment


                                      #20
                                      The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                                      Clattering clathrates. Released methane may have played a role in the inundation of Doggerland c.10,000 years ago.

                                      Research finds wind farms don't affect tourism

                                      Comment


                                        #21
                                        The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                                        When you take a chicken out of the freezer, you don't say you are melting a chicken. Similarly, permafrost does not melt, it thaws. Bloody science journalists huh... tut tut

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                                          #22
                                          The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                                          Chin Music wrote: Only about 1% need escape to double the current levels of methane in our atmosphere. This, so the scientists who have been studying the area for 10 years (I think), will likely happen in decades no centuries.
                                          It's also worth noting that methane (CH4) is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) as a greenhouse gas.

                                          However, if you burn methane you turn it from CH4 into the less greenhouse potent CO2.

                                          My proposal to reduce the march of global warming is to set fire to all the methane in the permafrost.

                                          Comment


                                            #23
                                            The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                                            A modest proposal right enough.

                                            Comment


                                              #24
                                              The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                                              At least methane has a short(ish) lifespan in the atmosphere. The methane is gone in a decade, which means reversion to the norm or finding a new steady state for methane is easier. CO2 sits up there for a couple of centuries, so once it's up there we have to deal with it in the very long term.

                                              Comment


                                                #25
                                                The Sixth Extinction (Environmental News)

                                                The figure of thirty is based on a period of 100 years. Unfortunately the methane doesn't disappear that quickly. And it turns into CO2 anyway, so we may as well turn it straight into CO2 by burning the methane escaping off the permafrost. But how... nuclear bombing? The nuclear winter would help counter global warming.

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