What may be coming in climate

 

Adaptation. Credit: blog.usejournal.com

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

—The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkein

We have reached a critical point in the climate change saga.  The global temperature is now one degree Celsius higher than the pre-industrial average, and the latent effect of fossil fuel emissions already in the atmosphere is enough to warm the planet another half degree.  This means that we will reach the critical 1.5-degree threshold that portends severe and irreversible climate change even without another iota of emissions.

Add to this the fact that there are no indications that the world is prepared to cut fossil fuel emissions (they are actually going to continue to increase), and it is understandable that those who concern themselves with this subject are beginning to doubt our ability to avoid a full-blown crisis.  This doubt has caused some to begin to turn their thoughts towards adapting to what increasingly seems to be the inevitable.

The dictionary defines “adapt” as follows: “to bring one thing into correspondence with another.”  In other words, to establish a stable relationship in which tensions are reconciled and a tranquil status quo can be established.  Such a modus vivendi is possible, however, only if there is a stable state to which we can adapt.

Unfortunately, it will take the planet hundreds or thousands of years to return to thermodynamic equilibrium, depending on how hard we force the climate with our carbon dioxide emissions.  During this time the climate will undergo continuous change, and this means that we will not be able to adapt to it.  Instead we will be continuously fighting a rear-guard action, as it were, both preparing for and reacting to ever-worsening conditions.

This will be the new normal, and it will increasingly challenge the ability of individuals and societies to survive.  There will be no détente with the forces of nature that we have unleashed.  We cannot adapt; we can only extemporize. We will continuously prepare, repair, and relocate.

Let me hasten to add that I am not endorsing a fatalistic do-nothing policy.  Of course we need to do our best to prepare for the oncoming crisis.  I am merely pointing out that it is misleading to call this “adapting” because mankind will never again be at peace with the climate.  That was the Holocene.  We are now in the Anthropocene.

Let’s say that you are the mayor of Miami.  The sea level is rising.  You want to build a sea wall, but how high do you build it?  Do you build it for the sea level in 2040, in 2060, in 2100, or beyond?  Whatever height you choose, the sea will eventually rise to crest it.

And, how do you react when saltwater begins to permeate the sandy ground that underlays south Florida and begins to invade the freshwater aquifers that provide Miami and other cities in the area with drinking water?  You cannot build a wall to contain it.  All you can do is pipe water in from farther inland (if it is available) or move.  You can call this adaptation if you like, but it seems more like capitulation.  We will be doing a lot of capitulating as we defer to mother nature’s increasing hostility.

Now let’s say you are the mayor of Dharan, Saudi Arabia, one of the hottest cities in the world.  In a recent heat wave, the city recorded a wet-bulb temperature of 92 degrees Fahrenheit.  The wet-bulb temperature is taken with a thermometer wrapped in a wet cloth with air blowing over it.  It gives the equivalent dry-bulb temperature at 100% humidity.  Weather reports give dry bulb temperatures, but the wet bulb temperature is more important when measuring human tolerance to heat and humidity.  When the wet-bulb temperature reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the body can no longer cool itself because it cannot perspire.  Humans can only survive for about six hours at this temperature.

As the world continues to warm, heat waves in Dharan will increase in frequency and wet-bulb temperatures will get closer and closer to 95 degrees.  Eventually they will begin to exceed it on a regular basis and living in Dharan will become like living in hell.  As mayor, how to you adapt to this?

You will need to run air conditioners a lot more.  Dharan is home to Aramco, the Saudi Arabian national oil company, so the city should have ample oil to produce electricity to power its air conditioners.  But this increases carbon dioxide emissions, which compounds the fundamental problem.  Some other things you will also need to do:  increase the city budget for energy use, provide for energy assistance to the poor, restrict the use of vehicles to curtail emissions, and issue a climate curfew to restrict outdoor activity during the hottest times of the day.

The growing health hazards of living in such a hot climate and the deteriorating quality of life will eventually force residents to relocate to cooler climes.  There will be nothing you can do as mayor to stop it.  By the end of the century, climate scientists expect that much of the Middle East will be uninhabitable. This will put tens of millions of climate refugees on the road headed north with frightful social, economic, and geopolitical consequences.

Over the next three decades, droughts, floods, and heat waves will reduce global agricultural production by ten to twenty percent while at the same time we will add another two billion souls to the human family.  How do we adjust to this?  We can ration food up to a point, but what happens when there is simply not enough food to go around?  We can’t adapt to this, and many will die.  The poorest among us will be the first, but no one will be spared if the planet continues to warm.

I don’t think that most people have a clear idea of how dramatically conditions will change and how long that change will go on.  What we can try to do is coexist with the change, survive the change, struggle to cope with the change, and generally just keep our heads above water (metaphorically and literally).  What we cannot do is adapt to the change.

Sisyphus was the life of the party.  He was always kidding around and never showed the gods on Mt Olympus much deference.  He also liked to play tricks on them, thinking that he was smarter than the lot of them.  Zeus became irritated at this arrogance and condemned Sisyphus to endlessly rolling a boulder up a steep hill, only to lose control of it near the top.  The boulder rolled back down the hill and Sisyphus had to start the whole process over again and again.  Zeus wanted to remind Sisyphus who was boss.

Somewhere along the way we lost our sense of place and purpose in the world – ideas that gave depth and meaning and purpose to our lives.  Without them, we are at sea.  The disorientation is intolerable, so either we settled for an indolent aimlessness, or we sought substitutes:  fame, money, power, influence, friendships, entertainment, recreation, hobbies, and other pastimes and purposes to fill the emptiness inside.  But these are inadequate substitutes because they don’t contain or represent a deeper meaning or purpose for us.  They are only what they are.  So, we pursued them to excess in a futile effort to fill the unyielding inner emptiness, and in the process, began to destroy the world we live in and depend upon.  But having lost our connectedness to nature, we had become either blind to or indifferent to the damage we were inflicting.

Comes now Mother Nature, like Zeus, to punish us for our arrogance, our irresponsible waywardness, and our callous disregard for her.  She comes to condemn us to endlessly adjusting to a harsh and unstable climate – our version of the Sisyphean fate.  But our punishment, unlike that of Sisyphus, will not be eternal.  Either we will survive the catastrophe that we created, and the torment will end, or we will not survive and will join the 99.9% of all other species that have ever existed and which have become extinct.

Whether we survive this punishment is a question we cannot answer.  What we can say is that, the sooner we get started on serious efforts to curtail fossil fuel emissions, the more we improve our chances.


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Fresh water for cats

.  I wanted to inquired about the large sized solar sipper.  We recommend them to clients who feed and care for homeless cats in our city.  We absolutely love the solar sippers for cat caretakers who need to supply fresh water for outdoor cats but cannot use an electric heated water bowl for lack of an accessible electrical outlet.  In years past, I have noticed the solar sippers being offered on Amazon but this year I cannot find them anywhere.  Amazon stated that they are out of stock, possibly indefinitely.  I was very sad to hear this.  Is there any way your customers can still access the large sized solar sipper?  We receive questions about this constantly during the cold winter months.  I would love to get my hands on them again.  If you have any information for me on this subject I would be so grateful.  I appreciate your time.  Have a lovely day.

 

Give outdoor creatures the same loving fresh water your indoor pets receive for morning drinking. Solar Sipper Model 10008 portable all season durable easy to clean outdoor water station for wild birds is safe, with no electric wires to chew or peck. Keeps water covered and clean from deadly bacteria. Insulates with air space to keep water warm in winter and cool in summer. Passive solar black top design uses sunlight to keep inner water ice free in ambient wind free outer air to about 20 deg. F. Eight inch diameter holds one quart fresh water. Bird has innovative 1 1/2 inch drinking hole( pet has 4” hole), Berry red outer container attracts birds. Google the tests at solar sipper 21415. Black top painted tanks were used long ago in Old West USA to keep winter drinking water free of ice for prairie cattle.

https://www.bing.com/search?q=solar+sipper+for+dogs&FORM=R5FD2

https://www.amazon.com/Commercial-Solar-Sipper/dp/B000K0P34I

 

cats and water

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How to save & take care of a kitten and feral cats - an advocacy tool kit

Alley Cat Allies Global Cat Day® is October 16

BETHESDA, Md. – October 14, 2019 – Alley Cat Allies and its supporters around the world will observe Global Cat Day® on Wednesday, October 16, with a commitment to save cats, including stray and feral cats, from being killed.

Becky Robinson, the president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, is asking everyone who values the lives of cats to sign the Alley Cat Allies’ Global Cat Day Pledge online.

“The Global Cat Day Pledge includes the fundamental principle that all cats have the right to live their lives, and it guides everything we do to protect cats,” Robinson said. “We stand for humane, non-lethal programs for cats, and those who join us can take action to stop cats from being killed.”

Millions of cats and kittens are in life-threatening danger because felines are killed more than any other animal in shelters across the nation. Global Cat Day demands that community leaders abolish policies that result in the killing of cats; equip communities with lifesaving, humane policies like Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR); and change any policies that threaten cats’ health and safety.

TNR is the mainstream approach in which community cats, sometimes called feral cats, are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped and returned to the outdoor homes where they live and thrive. As sound public policy, TNR reduces shelter intake, “euthanasia” and calls to animal services, which saves taxpayer dollars.

About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the global engine of change for cats. Alley Cat Allies is the leading advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and improving the lives of all cats through its innovative, cutting-edge programs. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has grown into a powerful force with over half a million supporters. The organization has helped and inspired countless individuals, communities and other organizations to save and improve the lives of cats and kittens worldwide. Alley Cat Allies works with lawmakers, animal shelters and advocates to change attitudes and advance lifesaving policies that best serve the interests of cats. Alley Cat Allies’ website is www.alleycat.org, and the organization is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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Will this gentrification affect wildlife access to drinking water?


The solar sipper’s unique design for drinking water for outdoor animals

Give outdoor animals the same loving daily fresh water your indoor pets receive.

The Solar Sipper is a delightful summer and winter portable watering device for wild birds, pets and wildlife. Its traditional common sense origin comes from large water tanks painted with black tops developed by prairie livestock ranchers in the Old West to use sunlight to keep drinking water from freezing too soon in blizzard weather.

 

In today’s environmentally conscious world, it’s a responsible outdoor water station because it is designed to work in daytime when most animals like to drink. It’s designed to work to a temperature healthy for animals, about 20 degrees F, using sunlight not electricity from fossil fuels.

 

To use, fill with clean water in morning and place outside in sunlight sheltered from wind in time for animal daylight drinking. Works in all seasons and in winter the unique patented passive solar top design keeps pet or wildlife drinking for most daylight hours ice free down to wind free ambient air temperature of about 20 degree F. Safe, no electricity to shock. It’s common sense. You can fill your Solar Sipper with clean water at the same time as you prepare your daily indoor pet water.

 

The Solar Sipper works better than any open water bowl or birdbath. Its top design helps to protect inside water from droppings and bacteria. It’s portable with no wire to chew. Check out test results for performance video in winter storms. Google at solar sipper tests 21415.

 

Another innovative product from Happy Bird Corporation, home of Thomas Hollyday Chesapeake fiction, useful nature books and environmental safe drinking water products for animals, and blogs on water resources for animals. http://solarsippers.com/ Write our president Tom Hollyday at tomah@solarsippers.com

 

 

Solar Sipper: Wildlife loves it’s water

Solar Sipper patented water station for outdoor #pet, #wildbird, #wildlife #backyardpoultry. Uses passive #solar heat to keep drinking #water clear of ice to 20 deg F placed in sunny, wind free spot.

Video   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoOsiam4L0M

Buy at http://www.amazon.com/Solar-Sipper/b/ref=bl_dp_s_web_10790805011?ie=UTF8&node=10790805011&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Solar+Sipper cover water for backyard  no 2

Water for backyard pets and wildlife

water cover 91315

The Atmosphere has a Stomach Ache from Too Much Gas

The atmosphere has a stomach ache from too much gas.

 

 

 

The atmosphere has a stomach ache from too much gas. The excessive gas causes global warming, and it is known as Carbon dioxide or CO2.

Can the atmosphere get rid of the CO2 to slow down global warming? Here’s the simple problem. CO2 has been stored in the ground for centuries. When we mine the earth for our energy and burn it, we let the CO2 loose into the atmosphere. That causes global warming. Our problem is how to recapture it and put it back into the ground.  We can try to convert it with our trees and seawater to its original balance in the atmosphere. But there is too much. Some say that the earth will end up like Mars, a lifeless planet with an atmosphere made up of 95 percent CO2.

We can copy the action of trees and seawater.  To do this, engineers are involved in clever ways to help get rid of CO2.  It is called CO2 capture where we store it and return it to the earth where it can no longer be in the atmosphere.

The Paris accord on climate change set the goal of keeping the planet’s warming below two degrees Celsius increase. To do that CO2 has to be kept from the atmosphere so that the warming will slow down. Pumping it into seawater has drawbacks. One idea is to plant more trees. Trees naturally absorb CO2. Unfortunately, to be successful so much land would have to be planted to trees that the land available for food production would decrease.

So we are faced with the dilemma of cutting our production of CO2 or finding ways to trap it.  Either we slow down our energy dependent culture or we face the increasing cost of destruction of civilization by global warming storms. The increased costs of repairing living areas from the destruction of massive storms caused by out of control global warming must be offset. The standard cost benefit is obvious as we count the high costs of modern hurricanes. By increasing the investment in CO2 capture, we can benefit by slowing the destruction by global warming which offsets the cost of capture. As the increase in global warming comes in the future, CO2 capture and its cost will become even more necessary and justified.

One idea is improving concrete manufacturing.  About five percent of human caused CO2 emissions are caused by making concrete. In MIT Technology Review, the plan to reduce CO2 is explained. In energy plants, flue gases are used with salt water to make sludge of cement. It is the same process that makes seashells and ocean reefs in nature. This sludge or cement is used in the mix of concrete used in construction thus converting the CO2 into storage and out of the atmosphere.   We’ll drive on highway concrete made partly from CO2.

 

 

At Arizona State University, Klaus Lackner has come up with an ingenious solution to capture CO2 from the air so it can be locked away underground, back to where it was for eons before we released it. The technology follows what we already know about carbon scrubbers, equipment already used to remove CO2 from industrial smokestacks.  Lachner’s machine looks like a large container size box. Lackner is sure he can design much smaller devices, perhaps units that can be placed in a person’s backyard to scrub the air.

Here’s how it works. An absorbent plastic sheet called an ion exchange membrane, which is used in water purification, traps the CO2.  A liquid solution then rinses off the CO2 and electricity releases pure CO2 from that liquid.  The captured gas can then be used for various purposes or stored underground. It is kept from returning to the atmosphere. .

Lackner has another idea. Since trees are nature’s major collector of CO2 in the process of converting the gas, he is also developing artificial trees that work much better than natural trees.  Each tree, in using his inventions, will store more than a thousand times as much CO2 as a regular tree. Imagine having one of his futuristic and beautiful plastic and metal devices in your garden.

According to the World Bank each American is responsible for 17 tons of CO2 a year or 93 pounds a day of which a great deal is due to our automobile driving. Could we be moving towards a backyard where we keep our own CO2 machine or  towards carrying a private artificial tree in a knapsack on our back? We might then capture and store our personal collection of CO2,  perhaps giving it to national disposal plants?  I imagine we’d stagger a little walking down the street with as much as 93 pounds a day collected in our backpack.

 

 Washington Post  (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/02/26/weve-reached-the-point-where-we-need-these-bizarre-technologies-to-stop-climate-change/?utm_term=.95535b0fbca7)

MIT Technology Review  (https://www.technologyreview.com/s/410499/a-concrete-fix-to-global-warming/)

 

Pros and Cons of Feeding Wild Birds

blog article birds 1 21 18

pros and cons of feeding wild birds

blog article birds 1 21 18