|Storm damage in Amroth, February 2014|
How Green is our Wales?
Rhodri Asby, the Welsh Government's Deputy Director Climate Change and Natural Resources Policy, started his talk to Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group by asking a number of questions. One was 'What percentage of people in Wales are very or fairly concerned about Climate Change?' and the answer was a resounding 88% - the highest in the UK. Another asked 'Which three counties will add the most solar capacity in 2014?' and the answer was USA, China and Japan.
The impacts of climate change will be seen on temperatures with increases in mean winter temperatures of 2oC and 2.5oC in summer in the 2050s. Rainfall will be increasing in winter by 14% and decreasing in summer by 17% although ironically it will lead to heavier, more intense rainfalls and greater local flooding. Relative sea level rise could range from 31cm to 43cm by the 2080s. Food production is already being affected by climate change around the globe.
The economical cost of delaying acting on Climate Change will be greater the longer it not addressed. Emissions from fossil fuels need to peak within the next 10 years in order to restrict the rise in temperature to 2oC by 2050 to avoid a 'tipping point', although the climate will still go on changing for many years after.
Wales has put sustainability at the heart of its policy when dealing with all areas of economic, social and environmental development with a commitment 'to create a sustainable, low carbon economy for Wales'. It looks to using resources efficiently, green growth, enhancing resilience and diversity and tackling poverty. The Eco-Schools Wales programme includes over 90% of schools representing over 430,00 pupils in Wales. The programme is student-led and involves young people learning about climate change through other topics. Currently 74% of existing social housing in Wales have energy efficiency ratings of D (projected to be 100% by 2020), reduction of CO2 from Government buildings of 15% and over 41,000 people employed in the green economy.
The target set to reduce overall emissions by 40% by 2020 is a very tough one but has already achieved positive results. A graph showing the current levels clearly indicated increased emissions due to the cold winter of 2012/13.
There is also the need to prepare for a changing climate. These include the business sectors, health boards, local government. Other areas to be addressed include flood risks, transport, farming and the general population.
Questions and discussion took place throughout the talk. Members felt it was most encouraging to hear that the Welsh Government is addressing the issue of Climate Change in such a positive way with the politicians who represent us being fully aware of the implications and consequences of this most important topic.
Neil Sefton (chair) thanked Rhodri for his extremely interesting and thought provoking talk.
Letters in response
Certainly not true
I note from your report in last Week's Observer headed 'How Green is our Wales?' that Mr. Rhodri Asby, representing the Welsh Assembly Government, has issued dire warnings of what will happen in the years ahead because of climate change and supports his forecasts with such precise figures concerning temperatures and dates that suggest he believes that 'Climate Science' is on a par with the established sciences such as Chemistry and Physics. This, in my opinion, is certainly not true.
As a research metallurgist (now long since retired), may I offer an example to illustrate this point.
If a steel making specialist is given the chemical analysis of a steel, he can then state, within fairly close tolerance limits what the mechanical properties of the steel will be (e.g. tensile strength, elongation, impact resistance, etc.) and, if necessary, what heat treatment will be required to attain these properties because this is the information that engineers can rely on when designing bridges, lifting equipment and any structure which contains steel components.
Contrast this with the forecasts of the 'climate scientists' who, even with the assistance of the most up-to-date weather tracking satellites, cannot tell us, with any certainty, what the weather will be in six months time, yet blithely pontificate what might happen in 50 years time - or just as likely will not happen - because Mother Nature does not recognise computer models.Clifford Hall
Janet's reply, Tenby Observer, 8th August 2014
A level of 2C rise in global temperatures will have many consequences – of which Rhodri Asby, at the July meeting to PSEEG - gave just a few. The range of scientists involved in climate change research include many areas. Glaciologists, oceanographers, meteorologists, hydrologists, marine biologists, environmentalists as well as climatologists. All these will have studied for at least 3 years (for an initial degree) then may have continued for a further 1 or 2 years (for a Masters degree) and then chosen to study for a further 3 years (for a Doctorate). These qualifications and the work the people do cannot be writen off as worthless.
As Dame Julia Slingo – Chief Scientist at the Met Office - said of the record breaking rainfall this winter ‘The air that enters this storm system comes from that part of the Atlantic where it is obviously going to be warmer and carrying more moisture. This is just basic physics'.
Also data is coming in all the time to reinforce predictions made previously. Only this weekend the fragility of coral reefs has been highlighted. Also changes are occurring to the types of fish species around the British Isles as cod, haddock and others have migrated further north due to an increase of 1.6C in water temperature since 1980. If anything global warming is happening quicker than predicted.
I know that the topic of climate change can be daunting but it is heartening to see that in a poll taken in mid February which asked 'Do you think the weather that caused the recent flooding was or was not a result of climate change?' a higher percent voted yes than no. Voters under 40 sided strongly with the climate change view whilst those over 40 are more evenly divided. It is the future of their world which is being affected by the decisions being made now.Janet Roberts
Secretary, Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group
Janet's letter to the Pembrokeshire Herald, 1st August 2014
|27th June 2014||Ty Solar at Rhosygilwen: A visit by members and friends of PSEEG|
|23rd May 2014||Global Warming & Climate Change: A talk by Janet Roberts, secretary, PSEEG|
|28th March 2014||The Swansea Bay Tidal Energy Lagoon: A talk by Owain Morris, Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) plc|
|24th January 2014||P.C.N.P. supports Sustainable Development: A talk by Emma Taylor, SDF Administrator|
|29th November 2013||To Frack or Not to Frack: A talk by John Childs from Safe Energy Wales|
|11th October 2013||Quiet Revolution at Pembroke Dock: A visit with Marten Lewis to the Quiet Revolution factory|
|27th September 2013||Keeping the lights and heating on: A talk by Graham Goodeve|
|28th June 2013||Pembroke 21C Community Association: A talk by Elizabeth Gossage, Pembroke 21C Development Officer|
|24th May 2013||Life beneath the waves; the beauties and the beasts: A talk by Blaise Bullimore, European Marine Site Officer|
|29th March 2013||The National Trust in Wales - Energy Neutral by 2015: A talk by Paul Southall, NT Environment Advisor|
|1st March 2013||Climate Change and a Sustainable Future: A talk by Peter Davies, Sustainable Futures Commissioner for Wales|
|25th January 2013||Waste Not Want Not: A talk by Hywel Gibbs, Pembrokeshire County Council Waste Awareness Officer|
|30th November 2012||Array of Hope: A talk by Paul Carter & Kim Daye from RWE Renewables on The Atlantic Array|
|26th October 2012||The Green Deal: A talk by William Silverstone of Silverstone Green Energy|
|28th September 2012||A Fair Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy on PSEEG's renewable energy project|
|14th September 2012||Not a Waste of Time: a visit to Withyhedges Landfill and recycling centre|
|29th June 2012||The Need for a More Sustainable Future: A talk by Geraldine Leach of Transition Narberth|
|1st June 2012||Know your Flood Risk: A talk by Andy Irving, Flood Risk Management Team Leader|
|11th May 2012||The Power of the Sun: A visit to the Solar Farm at Rhosygilwen|
|23rd March 2012||Planting Green Thoughts: A talk by Jo Horsley, Environment Wales Development Officer|
|24th February 2012||The Atlantic Array offshore wind farm: A talk by Robert Thornhill, Development Manager|
|2nd December 2011||Pathfinder Progress: A talk by Peter Willis from the Welsh Government's Pathfinder Programme|
|4th November 2011||The DeltaStream project: A talk by Chris Williams, Development Director of Tidal Energy Ltd.|
|30th September 2011||How Green is my Valley?: A talk by Grenville Ham, Manager of The Green Valleys Project|
|23rd September 2011||PSEEG's visit to Carew Mill with Marten Lewis of the Darwin Centre|
|5th August 2011||The Manner of the Message: A talk by Neil Sefton on communication skills|
|24th June 2011||The Work of the Darwin Centre: A talk by Marten Lewis, manager of the Darwin Centre|
|27th May 2011||Electric Cars – The Road Ahead?: The talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles|
|13th May 2011||Are electric cars the way forward?: A talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles|
|22nd April 2011||Sustainability in Action: A visit to the Science & Technology Park (Technium) in Pembroke Dock|
|1st April 2011||A Revolution in Wind Energy?: A talk by Vaughan Griffiths from Quietrevolution, Pembroke Dock|
|25th February 2011||Preparing for Floods: A talk by Richard Wickes of the Environment Agency|
|14th January 2011||The Way Forward for Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy|
|12th November 2010||How Green is your Castle?: The National Trust & Global Warming|
|15th October 2010||Challenge of the Rising Sea: The effects on the Pembrokeshire coastline|
|10th August 2010||The beautiful Welsh coastline: Response to possible rising sea levels|
|18th June 2010||Visit to Costain at Canaston Bridge: Not Costing the Earth|
|16th April 2010||Feed in Tariffs: Power to the People|
|12th March 2010||Heat Pumps & Photo Voltaic Panels: Prepare for the Goodlife|
|12th February 2010||Parliamentary Candiates at Green Question Time in Saundersfoot|
|15th January 2010||Weather & Climate: A Question of Energy|
|4th December 2009||Sustainable Community Ventures: Regeneration in Pembrokeshire|
|13th November 2009||Community Initiatives: Sustainable Wales leads by example|
|16th October 2009||Climate Change Challenge for Candidates & Micro-generation with wind turbines|
|2nd October 2009||A Visit to Castle Pill Wind Farm: Quiet blows the wind|
|11th September 2009||Renewable Sustainable Energy: An Energy Survey for South East Pembrokeshire|
|10th July 2009||A talk by Lorraine Dallmeier of Infinergy: Wind Power - Pembrokeshire's Potential|
|12th June 2009||St. Oswald's, Jeffreyston - Pembrokeshire's Beacon of Sustainability|
|24th April 2009||Solar Panels: Three Cheers for Sunny Pembrokeshire|
|13th March 2009||Ashton Hayes Community Energy Reduction & Hot Water From the Sun|
|13th February 2009||Could Pembrokeshire go carbon neutral?|
|14th November 2008||Environment Wales to provide 'Start-Up' Funding for PSEEG|
|17th October 2008||PSEEG to become a Registered Charity|