The Anonymous Widower

Climate Change: The Massive CO2 Emitter You May Not Know About

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first three paragraphs..

Concrete is the most widely used man-made material in existence. It is second only to water as the most-consumed resource on the planet.

But, while cement – the key ingredient in concrete – has shaped much of our built environment, it also has a massive carbon footprint.

Cement is the source of about 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to think tank Chatham House.

Read the whole article.

January 2, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Climate Change: Report Warns Of Growing Impact On US Life

The title of this post is the same as this article on the BBC.

This is the first paragraph

Unchecked climate change will cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars and damage human health and quality of life, a US government report warns.

So what is Donald Trump’s reaction?

This is another paragraph.

During a blast of icy weather in Washington this week, Donald Trump tweeted, “whatever happened to global warming?”

The sooner he has to leave the US Presidency to someone with an unprejudiced brain, that understands how things actually work, the better!

November 24, 2018 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

Trump And Charles In Climate Row

This is the headline on the front page of today’s Sunday Times.

Trump is not necessarily wrong about climate change, but cutting CO2 and other polluting emissions is prudent.

If a man met a gorgeous young lady on the back streets of say Marseilles or any other port city and she offers him flavours, then he would take precautions.

Trump said as much, when Putin was accusing him of various things, when he said he was paranoid about germs or something similar.

So it’s alright for him to take personal precautions, but the rest of the world can go get fucked.

There are some things we shouldn’t do, because they may be dangerous to the planet.

Burning coal is one of them, which Trump has said he will promote.

But then, if the United States continues to mine and burn coal, the pristine air of some parts of the country will disappear, just like it has in China.

I do wonder if President Trumkokf has even been to Beijing!


January 29, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

We Need A Duty-Free By-Pass At Airports

Oslo Airport had one of the largest duty free areas I’ve seen in a long time. It was very crowded too, with passengers trailing cases and carrying overflowing baskets.

I found it difficult to walk through  and it was a completely wasted few minutes, that I could have spent much better.

It’s all totally pointless, as if duty-free was banned on flights and passengers bought their duty free as they arrived in a country, airlines wouldn’t waste fuel flying all that useless junk around the skies.

I wonder how much duty free contributes to global warming?

The EU should make it the law, that every airport has a by-pass for those, who don’t want to buy any duty-free.

And was there anything to eat that was gluten-free in the airport? I didn’t see anything that was!

September 11, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Enormous Amount Of Energy Used By Computer Servers

In all the hot air talked about fracking, wind power and nuclear power, very rarely does the argument stray into energy usage. The only thing people seem to worry about is the cost of their household energy bills and filling up their car.

But accpording to this academic report from Stanford University in 2010, over ten percent of all US electricity was used to power computer and IT equipment. Here’s the relevant part.

In 2010, over 10% of electricity in the U.S. was due to computer and IT equipment usage. At the current rate we’re going, analysts and experts figure that 10% of the world’s power bill will be spent on running computers. To give a more concrete example of how much energy this is, Dixon shows that one 50,000 square feet data center uses about 5 megawatts, but continuously. This energy output would satisfy the needs of 5000 homes. In another staggering example, assorted US data centers use a collective 7000 megawatt data centers from seven different plants; this is more power than is used by the State of Mississippi. Even more surprising is that this astronomical power consumption is just by the plants themselves – cooling systems use as much energy as the plants.

Also in this article in the FT. it says that in 2010, Goggle used about 258 Megawatts continuously.

Since this refers to 2010, I wonder how much of the UK’s energy usage goes in that area now.

According to this article, in 2012 average demand for electricity was 35.8 Gigawatt.  Just imagine having to pay that bill!

So let’s assume that only five percent of that energy is used for computer servers, so that is 1790 megawatt. Bear in mind that the UK’s largest power station,  Drax,  has a capability of generating 3960 megawatts or seven percent of the UK’s electricity. So nearly half of its output and the enormous amount of CO2, Drax emits could be used to power computer equipment.

I need better figures here, but it would seem that a substantial part of UK electricity is used in computing.

But help is at hand in this area. To make computers use less power, you can do many things; like write better software and install more efficient cooling systems.

The biggest fight though is in the area of making chips that consume less electricity and there’s a war going on there, between the dominant Intel and the upstart from Cambridge called ARM. Whether Intel can hold off ARM is a subject for debate, but in a year or so, the average server will consume a lot less power than it does now. Unfortunately, the search, social networking, data storing and other IT companies will be a lot bigger, so all we will be doing with better technology is eating into the growth in energy usage.

I think though, this will mean that many large server farms will relocate to countries, where energy costs are lowest.


August 17, 2013 Posted by | Computing, News, World | , , , , | 1 Comment

Coal Is A Dangerous Fuel

There are dramatic pictures in Modern Railways of the landslip at Hatfield Colliery, which damaged the railway at Stainforth.

It just goes to show how dangerous coal is, as it seems to be capable of creating disasters.  Luckily this one didn’t cause any injuries or death.

There’s more about it here.

I believe that coal is just too dangerous to mine! It’s also a large producer of carbon dioxide and I would ban its burning worldwide.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , | Leave a comment

The Joy Of Global Warming

Bjorn Lomborg likes to provoke and this article in the Sunday Times certainly does. He starts the article like this.

As I fly into a snow-bound Britain, I realise that you might be asking where global warming has gone as you shiver in the coldest March for 50 years and wonder what you will do if gas has to be rationed. I have been involved in the climate debate for more than a decade, but I am still amazed at how wrong we get it. Let us try to restart our thinking on global warming.

Yes, global warming is real and mostly man-made, but our policies have failed predictably and spectacularly.

He then goes on to say that Kyoto has failed.

But he does produce a solution that could be a win-win situation for everyone.

He says that we should spend money on research!

He is  right!

Just look what has happened to products like computers because money has been spent on research!

I have heard some wacky ideas to generate energy and cut carbon dioxide emissions over the last few years.  Some of them might just be the things we do to save the planet.

But then engineers and scientists have a track record in digging us out of the holes that politicians and others have got us into.

Where for instance would Britain be today without the genius of Henry Royce, Lord Hives, RJ Mitchell, Alan Blumlein, Alan Turing and Sydney Camm.  Under a Nazi jackboot perhaps?

But they and others answered Churchill’s plea and gave the country the tools to finish the job.

A similar massive effort today on a world-wide basis would I believe solve the problems of global warming and create a world fit for our descendents.

The same approach could be used on all of the major problems of the world like cancer, providing clean water, housing and food production.

April 1, 2013 Posted by | Food, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Motion Says Make Second Homes Very Expensive

It is reported that former Poet Laureate; Andrew Motion has said that second homes must be made very expensive to stop sucking the life out of villages. The full story is here in the Guardian.

I have owned and lived in two houses a couple of times in my life. At one time we were living in Cromwell Tower during the week and also had the house at Debach in Suffolk for the weekend. And then we had Les Ondes in Antibes.

I think in truth,neither arrangements worked out for C and myself, as we were incessant travellers. And fixed bases are not compatible if you want to go long distances abroad for a couple of months a year.

Before we moved to Newmarket, we were not using the house in France, but were flying everywhere in my Cessna 340A.  If we hadn’t bought Les Ondes, we might have visited some of the places, I now regret we didn’t.

So my argument against second homes, is that they may look good on paper, but spending the money you save by having only one home, on say travel or something you enjoy is probably better.

Since C died, I’ve been to a few places, where she never went, that to have flown to in a light aircraft would have been fun. For a start on my cruise, there was Corunna.

There is also two other arguments against second homes.

By having a second home, you are effectively denying someone else or another family, a home. That is morally indefensible in times like these, where we don’t have enough homes.

There is also the climate change argument, in that loading a 4×4 up with half your worldly goods each weekend, isn’t a way of cutting CO2 emissions. All it does is create profits for oil companies.

I could throw in a few other arguments too, like the fact that I believe spontaneity and impulse are good for you and do you want to be involved in the various NIMBY arguments that plague the countryside.

Perhaps though, most people don’t think logically about life as I do, and they have so much money, they can’t spend it creatively.

So is Motion’s idea to make second homes more expensive is the only thing, that might curb second home ownership and put more houses on the market for those, who don’t have a nice place to live?  But no government would bring in the legislation, as it would be a catastrophic vote loser. Just look at the protest, when Ryanair chopped all those routes to France a few years ago, as it cut the cheap route to second homes.

Similar arguments can also be applied to those individuals from abroad, who buy up desirable properties in the UK and leave it empty.

We need more housing and as we haven’t got the space to built much more, we must maximise our use of what we already have.

April 1, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

A Benefit Of Fracking

To many there isn’t one benefit from using fracking to extract gas from the ground.  but here’s one even the most total opponent of the technique might concede.

Modern Railways this month states the following.

The major rail operators in the US are all reporting reduced profits as coal volumes plummeted by up to 20% in the last year. Here, the shift in generation mix is being driven principally by the exploitation of shale gas now being produced on a massive scale as a by-product of crude oil exploitation. although a frighteningly high proportion of this gas is just flared, sufficient is being used in power-generation to undermine the need for coal, and for rail freight.

I would suspect the facts are correct. So fracking is cutting the need to burn coal, thus reducing global warming, as burning gas creates less CO2.

February 24, 2013 Posted by | News, World | , , , | 5 Comments

The HS2 Eco-Report

The Sunday Times is reporting the Eco-report for HS2 stretched to 50,000 pages and weighs half-a-ton.

Partly this is due to the fact that Parliament needs a hard copy.

Surely though, that in this case to save a large number of trees, they should receive it electronically.

February 24, 2013 Posted by | News, Transport | , , , | 2 Comments