I have a few minutes to think and reflect today.
It's 2 weeks after the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. I still have a
lot to do to get ready for winter. But in my memory, we had to have
most of this done by the end of Thanksgiving weekend, because hard
freezes were due, and a soft freeze might have happened. Even just 5
I did make the trip to our cottage on the Thanksgiving weekend this year
to close it for the season. It was obvious the leaves were more green
this year than in years past.
The Canada Geese are still flying south; it's late for that.
I did have the day set aside to go pick up an electric boat being taken
out of service by an old friend. He and his wife too is getting older,
and they are putting a pontoon boat (also electric) into service now for
the run from shore to their island cottage. The sportster layout has
just become a struggle for them to get in and out of. However, the
weather is so foul, (snow and rain where the boat is today), that I
called off the trip. But the fact I had considered trying this trip in
the second half of October shows I have internalized the longer warm
season and shorter cold season than was the case when I was younger.
Instead, my wife and I pickled beets, and I'm picking at other season
change activities. Like making sure the charging cords for our 2
electric cars are strung so they can't be hit by the snowthrower (also
electric) or the tractor and plow (also electric) through the winter.
Tomorrow I may string the Xmas lights, as that has to be done before the
winter storm panels go up on the balcony. Yes, it's about the carbon
footprint and pollution (and reducing energy costs). Same for getting
the active solar heating system back into action. And researching a new
technology for an air-source heat pump which can be effective to minus
35 degrees C. And a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) which can operate in
Arctic conditions without icing up. While I believe changes in
behaviour and attitude are more important than hoping for technology
'miracles', I'm also willing to support R&D which will be beneficial.
Sort of an 'all the above' philosophy for combating climate change.
It's distressing to see that Alaskan communities have concluded they
have to physically move due to the effects of climate change. We see
the same in Canada. The Russians are seeing the effects as well -
methane craters as the permafrost melts. My colleagues and I predicted
this years ago, but those communities and senior governments chose to
ignore this. Now they claim its a surprise, and there's nothing to be done.
Which is why it's disappointing to see my federal government - elected
largely on promises to take climate change seriously and reinvigorate
environmental reviews and embrace soft energy paths - after a year in
power has approved oil pipelines, a liquid natural gas (LNG) plant and
shoreline terminal, and failed to show respect for our indigenous
peoples on multiple levels.
I have been spending a lot of time on oil spill response lately. (You
may have noticed the reduced number of my posts the past few months.)
As our country moves inexorably to lighting the fuses on all the carbon
bombs (increasing pipeline capacity and raising export tanker traffic by
an order of magnitude), and with roughly weekly significant spill events
(wells, pipelines, storage tanks, barges, ships, tankers, trains,
trucks) across the country, there is so little interest in dealing
effectively with the spills.
Which leads me again to the conclusion that we, as a species, need to
stop using carbon fuels (especially fossil, and particularly those fuels
with low energy return on energy invested) before we exterminate ourselves.
Dark thoughts on a dreary day. Yet, I see the signs of progress,
improvement and victory. The continual cost reductions in solar
(photovoltaic) and wind power. Plunging prices on advanced batteries
for electricity storage. Growing numbers of EVs and greening of the
grid. Growing ratios of biofuels for road vehicles, trains, aircraft
and ships. Ships with hybrid drive systems becoming increasing common,
and all electric ships in some niches (e.g. ferries).
Happy to see opposition is growing to the CETA (Canada-Europe Trade
Agreement) and the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership).
Freelance Project Manager (sustainable systems)
Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list