Catastrophic Climate Change: Cutting Your GHG Emissions in April.
We have met the enemy and he is us.
- Pogo (Walt Kelly for Earth Day 1970)
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.
I owe you another one. Spent the day today chipping ice and doing an upgrade on one of the electric tractors.
Contributions will be lighter this month, as I'm writing a couple of papers to present at
CIRSIP at the end of May.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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?
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.