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Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group

The Real Effects of Climate Change

27th May 2016

A starving polar bear

A starving Polar Bear

The Real Effects of Climate Change

          At Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group's May meeting members and visitors watched Sir David Attenborough's DVD giving reasons for his great concern for the future of our home - Planet Earth. During his broadcasting career he has seen and recorded a wondrous variety of species.

          Over many millennia the climate has changed ranging from tropical seas to ice sheets coming as far south as London. But man, by burning fossil fuels, has released forces which are changing the climate at a far greater rate. The results are being seen in the retreating glaciers around the world, more prolonged droughts, extreme weather events, heat waves, intense rainfalls and record breaking global temperatures.

          In the Arctic polar bear populations are under great pressure with sea ice melting earlier in spring and forming later in Autumn. This reduces their access to food causing drop in body condition, lower cub survival rates, increase risk of drowning, increase in cannibalism and loss of access to denning areas.

          Glaciers – which supply water to so many billions of people around the world – are now in retreat. The speed of water loss from the Greenland ice sheet has doubled over the last few years and this contributes to rising sea levels. The Pacific islands of Tuvalu are regularly flooded and some of the people are being relocated to New Zealand – as climate change refugees.

          Warming seas hold greater energy contributing to the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina. Greater acidification of the ocean, as it absorbs CO2, rising sea levels and rising sea temperatures have all contributed to the bleaching of coral reefs.

          The Amazon rain forest – thought of as the lungs of the world – has experienced drought leading to the dying of the largest trees. Wild fires have taken hold in the interior much to the disbelief of the scientist working there.

          David then went on to show how each individual can play their part in reducing their own carbon footprint. Turn thermostats down, do not leave gadgets on standby, choose a fuel efficient car, use public transport and buy produce grown locally (avoid airmiles).

          He endorsed the need for renewable energy. Energy from the sun can be captured by photovoltaic panels and wind turbines – Britain is the windiest place in Europe.

          Recently, he said that if we can put a man on the moon in 10 years we can, with the determined effort of all countries, totally remove our reliance on fossil fuels in the same length of time.

          As the DVD was produced in 2006 Janet Roberts (Chair PSEEG) gave a very short update on some of the figures. Arctic ice showed a record ice melt in the summer of 2015 and the lowest winter ice cover in 2016. Record high temperatures had been recorded at the North Pole when for a short period it was around 20C above normal. Maximum sea ice was less than than the previous 3 years and the lowest since 2008. Ice cores from glaciers around the world are being taken to the Antarctic for storage in order to preserve their unique record of past climates. The status of coral reefs is alarming. By 2014 19% of world's reefs were effectively destroyed whilst 24% were in danger of imminent collapse. April 2016 was the 12th consecutive month on record that the earth has recorded its warmest month. Though scientists rarely comment on one month’s figures, the unprecedented leap in temperature has come as a severe shock and is now classed as a climate emergency. CO2 emissions have reached 400ppm (over the last 800,000 years they have never been higher than 300ppm). To avoid catastrophic climate change 82% coal, 48% gas and 33% oil of all known reserves needs to be kept in the ground. Many organisations are leading the way by divesting themselves of fossil fuels – the Rockerfellow Foundation, E-ON, Axa Insurance Group, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, various Universities and Religious groups to name but a few.

          We must empower our politicians to make the right choices for the sake of our children and grandchildren.


Past Articles
25th March 2016European Union Funding Support for Pembrokeshire: A talk by Steven Bradley from PLANED
29th January 2016What Lessons We Can Learn About Fracking?: Thoughts after watching the film 'Gasland'
27th November 2015Resilient Communities in an Emergency: A talk by Pauline Louchart, Emergency Planning Officer, PCC
25th September 2015Cyd Cymru (Wales Together) collective energy switching scheme: A talk prepared by Lisa Davies, PCC
24th July 2015Skomer Marine Reserve - and much more: An illustrated talk by Blaise Bullimore
26th June 2015A visit to Stackpole Walled Garden: with Ian Wilshaw, Treasurer, Mencap Pembs, and Mike Evans, SDF Project Manager
29th May 2015Protecting Pembrokeshire's Coastline: A talk by Emyr Williams, PCC Coast Protection Engineer
10th April 2015Your Parliamentary Candidates' Answers to the PSEEG Questionnaire
3rd April 2015A visit to the RWE Pembroke Power Station, arranged by Marten Lewis from the Darwin Centre
27th March 2015Present and Future Flood Risks Explained: A talk by Richard Wicks & Phill Pickersgill from NRW
23rd January 2015Our Home Planet: The showing of the film 'Home' by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
28th November 2014Marine Energy in Pembrokeshire: A talk by Louise Rigby, co-ordinator for Marine Energy Pembrokeshire (MEP)
24th October 2014Extreme Weather Events: A talk on changing weather patterns by Janet Roberts, secretary of PSEEG
26th September 2014Renew Wales - Supporting Groups Across Wales: A talk on the work of this important organisation
25th July 2014How Green is our Wales?: A talk by Rhodri Asby, Deputy Director for Climate Change and Natural Resource Policy
27th June 2014Ty Solar at Rhosygilwen: A visit by members and friends of PSEEG
23rd May 2014Global Warming & Climate Change: A talk by Janet Roberts, secretary, PSEEG
28th March 2014The Swansea Bay Tidal Energy Lagoon: A talk by Owain Morris, Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) plc
24th January 2014P.C.N.P. supports Sustainable Development: A talk by Emma Taylor, SDF Administrator
29th November 2013To Frack or Not to Frack: A talk by John Childs from Safe Energy Wales
11th October 2013Quiet Revolution at Pembroke Dock: A visit with Marten Lewis to the Quiet Revolution factory
27th September 2013Keeping the lights and heating on: A talk by Graham Goodeve
28th June 2013Pembroke 21C Community Association: A talk by Elizabeth Gossage, Pembroke 21C Development Officer
24th May 2013Life beneath the waves; the beauties and the beasts: A talk by Blaise Bullimore, European Marine Site Officer
29th March 2013The National Trust in Wales - Energy Neutral by 2015: A talk by Paul Southall, NT Environment Advisor
1st March 2013Climate Change and a Sustainable Future: A talk by Peter Davies, Sustainable Futures Commissioner for Wales
25th January 2013Waste Not Want Not: A talk by Hywel Gibbs, Pembrokeshire County Council Waste Awareness Officer
30th November 2012Array of Hope: A talk by Paul Carter & Kim Daye from RWE Renewables on The Atlantic Array
26th October 2012The Green Deal: A talk by William Silverstone of Silverstone Green Energy
28th September 2012A Fair Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy on PSEEG's renewable energy project
14th September 2012Not a Waste of Time: a visit to Withyhedges Landfill and recycling centre
29th June 2012The Need for a More Sustainable Future: A talk by Geraldine Leach of Transition Narberth
1st June 2012Know your Flood Risk: A talk by Andy Irving, Flood Risk Management Team Leader
11th May 2012The Power of the Sun: A visit to the Solar Farm at Rhosygilwen
23rd March 2012Planting Green Thoughts: A talk by Jo Horsley, Environment Wales Development Officer
24th February 2012The Atlantic Array offshore wind farm: A talk by Robert Thornhill, Development Manager
2nd December 2011Pathfinder Progress: A talk by Peter Willis from the Welsh Government's Pathfinder Programme
4th November 2011The DeltaStream project: A talk by Chris Williams, Development Director of Tidal Energy Ltd.
30th September 2011How Green is my Valley?: A talk by Grenville Ham, Manager of The Green Valleys Project
23rd September 2011PSEEG's visit to Carew Mill with Marten Lewis of the Darwin Centre
5th August 2011The Manner of the Message: A talk by Neil Sefton on communication skills
24th June 2011The Work of the Darwin Centre: A talk by Marten Lewis, manager of the Darwin Centre
27th May 2011Electric Cars – The Road Ahead?: The talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles
13th May 2011Are electric cars the way forward?: A talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles
22nd April 2011Sustainability in Action: A visit to the Science & Technology Park (Technium) in Pembroke Dock
1st April 2011A Revolution in Wind Energy?: A talk by Vaughan Griffiths from Quietrevolution, Pembroke Dock
25th February 2011Preparing for Floods: A talk by Richard Wickes of the Environment Agency
14th January 2011The Way Forward for Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy
12th November 2010How Green is your Castle?: The National Trust & Global Warming
15th October 2010Challenge of the Rising Sea: The effects on the Pembrokeshire coastline
10th August 2010The beautiful Welsh coastline: Response to possible rising sea levels
18th June 2010Visit to Costain at Canaston Bridge: Not Costing the Earth
16th April 2010Feed in Tariffs: Power to the People
12th March 2010Heat Pumps & Photo Voltaic Panels: Prepare for the Goodlife
12th February 2010Parliamentary Candiates at Green Question Time in Saundersfoot
15th January 2010Weather & Climate: A Question of Energy
4th December 2009Sustainable Community Ventures: Regeneration in Pembrokeshire
13th November 2009Community Initiatives: Sustainable Wales leads by example
16th October 2009Climate Change Challenge for Candidates & Micro-generation with wind turbines
2nd October 2009A Visit to Castle Pill Wind Farm: Quiet blows the wind
11th September 2009Renewable Sustainable Energy: An Energy Survey for South East Pembrokeshire
10th July 2009A talk by Lorraine Dallmeier of Infinergy: Wind Power - Pembrokeshire's Potential
12th June 2009St. Oswald's, Jeffreyston - Pembrokeshire's Beacon of Sustainability
24th April 2009Solar Panels: Three Cheers for Sunny Pembrokeshire
13th March 2009Ashton Hayes Community Energy Reduction & Hot Water From the Sun
13th February 2009Could Pembrokeshire go carbon neutral?
14th November 2008Environment Wales to provide 'Start-Up' Funding for PSEEG
17th October 2008PSEEG to become a Registered Charity

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