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The Fine Print

Catastrophic Climate Change: Cutting Your GHG Emissions in April.


2019.01.01

We have met the enemy and he is us.
- Pogo (Walt Kelly for Earth Day 1970)

April 1st

I owe you one. Spent the day picking up parts for the electric tractors. Had to buy gasoline to complete the trip. On the plus side, it's the first time I have bought gasoline since December 11 last year, and the parts mean our zero-emissions electric tractors will be available to do more work.

April 2nd

I owe you another one. Spent the day today chipping ice and doing an upgrade on one of the electric tractors.

April 3rd

Contributions will be lighter this month, as I'm writing a couple of papers to present at CIRSIP at the end of May.

April 4th

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April 14th

Today, I planted my garden - sort of. For those of you living in tropical climes, that may not seem very impressive. However, here there is about a metre of snow on the ground, 2 metres on the snowbanks. That would give a new meaning to iceberg lettuce. However, yesterday I received a new Aerogarden. So, I have planted 3 heirloom cherry tomato plants and 3 of 6 herbs which came with the unit.

Set-up was easy. No soil required, and importantly for me - no window access required either. Grow lighting is supplied by an array of LEDs, the growing system is essentially hydroponic (with a minor hybrid tweak for the plant cones. Anyway, all seems to work as advertised. And now we wait for germination.

April 15th

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April 17th

April 18th

I got a little busy, and have not had a look at the Aerogarden since I set it up. Lo, and behold - 2 of the 3 tomato plant pods have sprouted. Water topped up. Now, I'm off to ignore it again for a few days.

April 19th

Yesterday, the Canadian federal government delivered their budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. At 464 pages, it's a bit of a slog. However, there are a few items that might be worth considering. There are about 11 pages related to climate change initiatives, but they're a bit on the fluffy side, do there's not a lot of meat in this area. Still, they have hit a few high profile items, some of which mark dramatic turns in past federal policy and action (more accurately, lack thereof). I'll cover those in a bit more detail in the next few days as some items require some additional fleshing out. It's always a concern when a major financial document uses the phrase: "Program details to follow." But the math says they're looking to boost sales of "zero-emission vehicles" (battery-electric or hydrogen fuel cell - plug-in hybrids and hydrogen combustion are not mentioned) by about 20,000 units a year for three years, starting sometime after April 1 2019. Let's be charitable and colour that as not overly ambitious.

If you want to get a head start, open https://www.budget.gc.ca/2019/docs/plan/budget-2019-en.pdf and head for page 81 (internal numbering - pg 83 of the PDF document).

April 20th

April 21th

April 22th

April 23th

All the plants in the Aerogarden have now sprouted and are doing well. Had to cut back the foliage on the tomato plants a little bit.

April 24th

April 25th

Took the chance today to rake up some leaves. Discoverered some are still embedded in ice. Spring may be a few more days before showing up to melt the remaining ice. But given the amount of snow we had this year, gradual warming is desirable.

April 26th

I'm taking a few days away from the usual thread because a lot of people are dealing with flooding, one of the early consequences of climate change.

April 27th

If you are not dealing with flooding issues personally, or pitching in to help, take the next few days to contemplate how you would deal with flooding where you live. Do you really understand the risks you may be facing? At a minimum, is your home emergency kit (3 days minimum supplies) stocked and ready?

Do you live in a city, taking your domestic water from a central supply and flushing your human waste down a toilet or drain? How do you cope if that stops functioning? This isn't a simple rhetorical question. Most cities in Canada sit on the shore of a river, lake or ocean. With flooding, are the water intakes at risk? The water filtration plants? What about their power supply or supply roads? Do they have emergency power as a backup? How long can that run if fuel cannot be resupplied?

April 28th

If you aren't on a municipal water supply, do you rely on a well? Will it still be safe if flooding washes sewage waste over the well or the ground around it? If you have a septic tank, will it remain buried if covered with flood waters, even if it is mostly full of air after a pump-out? If your well uses a pump to bring water to your house (and a cohort of sump and water pumps) and the electricity is cut off, how long can you power it before you run out of fuel? If your house is cut off by flood water, how will you get more fuel?

April 29th

If you are truly in a situation immune to flooding, contemplate one of the other climate emergency issues you could be facing, and how you would deal with that.

April 30th

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