climate change

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should we go nuclear part 1: the pbmr thus far

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2007-02-05 14:20

The government gave the final go-ahead for the production of nuclear fuel,
for the Koeberg project in Cape Town, at Pelindaba in North West, just five days ago. [IOL] The IOL article, initially featured in the Cape Argus, was a little confusing and may have given the impression that the PBMR project – the controversial pebble bed modular reactor project – itself has got the nod.

For those who haven’t got their finger on the pulse (and I’m one of them), the PBMR project has two distinct channels – the production of nuclear fuel, on the one hand, and the production of a pebble bed reactor, on the other.

The two, from the perspective of Eskom (and thus the government), are not interdependent. Nuclear fuel doesn’t have to be used in the nuclear reactor at Koeberg exclusively. The nuclear fuel can, and this is Eskom’s intention, be transported and exported for use on similar reactors to those South Africa intends building, in countries like China and the USA. Thus the go-ahead.

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we're to blame for climate change

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2007-02-02 17:44

So the report is published and the verdict is out: we're "very likely" the cause of climate change.

"Very likely" (at least 90 percent probability) is strong language for climate scientists and a tougher stance since the last report was published in 2001 which judged the link between humankind and global warming as "likely" (between 66% and 90% probable)

The 21 page report published today "Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis", is the "Summary for Policymakers" and the first of 4 parts to be released this year.

"If you see the extent to which human activities are influencing the climate system, the options for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions appear in a different light, because you can see what the costs of inaction ar

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greening it up – wed 31 jan 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2007-01-31 10:39

netmar.comnetmar.comAs the world awaits the 4th report by the UN’s IPCC [urban sprout] it seems the entire world is climbing on the global warming bandwagon, in a bid to get their story heard before the obvious findings of the report are made known.

Even George W Bush admits global warming is a problem [komo tv] although the White House doesn’t seem to stop short of tampering with work of government climate scientists to get rid of any ‘inconvenient’ material [M&G], and Tony Blair talks about ‘saving the world’ – although some sceptics believe this just the beginning of his career as a ‘globetrotting statesman’ after his term ends.[Sunday Mirror]

climate change a lot of hot air?

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2007-01-29 21:00

desert balloondesert balloonAnyone else feeling the heat? Yesterday the mercury hit 44.8 deg C at Vioolsdrift, and Knysna and Joubertina recorded their highest temperatures on record (36.3 and 41.2 respectively). The SA Weather Service issued a warning of dangerously high levels of discomfort for the Eastern Cape over the weekend and again today for Mpumalanga and Limpopo province.

Need more evidence of a world heating up because of climate change? The world's top climate experts are meeting in Paris for four days this week and will release a long-awaited update on the scientific evidence for global warming.

The report is the first by the UN's IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) since 2001 and only the fourth since the IPCC was launched in 1988. The IPCC reports are highly regarded for their neutrality and caution and will hopefully kick-start further action to tackle our global warming problems. No doubt there will still be those in denial, still eager to poo-poo climate change, but the rest of the world waits expectantly for Friday. [IOL]

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global warming a ‘load of bollocks’

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2007-01-29 12:02

david bullarddavid bullardI LOVE David Bullard’s column – out to lunch – in the Sunday Times – he gets up people’s noses; he says what most of us only tentatively think and he deals with issues the government would rather have swept under the carpet.

So you can imagine how relieved I was to read in his car review yesterday [Sunday times], of the latest Audi Q7 on the market (she of giant SUV fame), that global warming is a load of poppycock and is no more than an attempt by the greenies to frighten mega consumers, who drive gas-guzzling SUVs, into smaller versions in the face of damnation the equivalent of avian flu.

Yes, apparently we have little more to fear from global warming than last year’s warning that avian flu was to wipe out a fifth of the world’s population. Whew! And there I thought we had a ‘real’ problem on our hands!

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climate change - page 4 of sunday times

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2007-01-22 17:19

If you missed this week's Sunday Times you can read a quick summary of the climate change articles here:

Some of the consequences of climate change for SA are explored in "Climate change may unleash waves of destruction in SA" by Tiara Walters.

Mondli Makhanya puts his voice behind climate change in "Facing up to a hot future".

Some personal action you can take in "Halting Climate Change".

"It’s here, it’s scary — now what do we do about it?" quotes Peet du Ploy (WWF-SA): "Since we are the only nation on Earth to hold sustainable development as a human right — and have the potential to realise the ambition for addressing climate change — it follows that we can again rise as a bright light to the world."

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not convenient right now?

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2007-01-22 09:30

We finally had the time to go and catch the tail end of the run of ‘an inconvenient truth’ at the V&A Waterfront, after having blogged about it and encouraged everyone else to go and see the film, it felt about time!

I’ve pondered on the title of the film for quite a while, not actively, but have been aware at how clever it is – dealing directly with most peoples’ reaction to global warming, particularly politicians who don’t really want to deal with it right now - it isn’t altogether convenient to realise that changes have to be made, that the earth and all who live on her, together, are going to have to deal with a crisis – gets in the way of the other important stuff - how annoying!

I’d expected the documentary-style film to take a ‘shock’ angle; to make me frightened, to ‘scare’ me into action. But in fact, the script writers have been fantastically clever about how they’ve put together a film that motivates and excites you to get out there and do something about what could seem daunting, and even downright debilitating, in the face of such irrefutable evidence.

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greening it up – fri 19 jan 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2007-01-19 10:57

Sub-Saharan Africa – facing the worst of global warming. Swiss scientists have produced a map showing those parts of the Earth that will face the worst climate change problems. Amazon and sub-Saharan Africa and the polar regions will be the hardest hit, whilst Europe, the US and Australia will be affected less. [News.scotsman]

The UN calls for a global summit on climate change to urge heads of state and government to start taking responsibility as climate change affects energy, energy security, economic issues and development issues. [United press]

US clamps down on climate bloggers The US Senate is apparently intent on imposing criminal charges, perhaps even jail time, on political bloggers with a readership of over 500 who ‘…incite grassroots action…’. Whoops! [Christopher Haase’s blog]

doomsday clock moves to 5 minutes before midnight

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2007-01-18 13:59

Doomsday clock adjusted two minutes closer to midnight as deteriorating global situation sited on nuclear weapons and a new factor: Climate Change!

doomsday clock: pic: bulletin of atomic scientistsdoomsday clock: pic: bulletin of atomic scientistsThe doomsday clock is a symbolic clock face that represents the time left before destruction of the planet by nuclear explosion. It was conceived in 1947 by the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a non-technical magazine founded by nuclear physicists after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The number of minutes before midnight, an arbitrary measure of the degree of nuclear threat, is updated periodically but has only been changed 17 times during the history of the clock. It was previously set to seven minutes before midnight in Feb 2002 after the events of 9/11.

The decision to adjust the clock was made in consultation with the Bulletin's Board of Sponsors, which includes 18 Nobel Laureates and reflects the failure to solve problems posed by nuclear weapons and takes into account Iran's nuclear ambitions and recent nuclear weapons tests by North Korea.

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greening it up – mon 15 jan 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2007-01-15 09:56


A coalition of 45 African states, including SA, has claimed their right to nuclear energy and undertaken to ‘promote the safe and accountable use of nuclear energy’. [newscientist] In the wake of pressure to control greenhouse gas emissions, this is regarded as a cleaner source of energy. James Lovelock advocates that this is the only green solution, but the jury is out amongst greenies and there are concerns about Eskom’s pending pebble-bed station. [living on earth]

Obasanjo calls for action on climate change and has asked for international assistance to help Africa deal with the devastation. His concerns include the need for urgent action to prevent Lake Chad from drying up. [IOL]

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