Thursday, 26 November 2009
So, just how far away is 'space'? The Federation Aeronautique Internationale has established this to be an altitude of 100 km or 62 miles, NASA considers people to be astronauts once they've travelled higher than 80 km (50 miles).
Oxygen in the atmosphere runs starts to run low at 12,000 feet, about 2 ¼ miles and Mount Everest, you have to be very fit to climb her, is ‘only’ 5.497 miles high and many have died there without oxygen.
The NASA image seen on the left shows just how thin the earth's atmosphere is relative to the earths's size, evident in its radius. This scene captures the silhouette of several thunderstorms with their cirrus anvil tops spreading out against the tropopause, the first dark blue line over the earth. The height of this varies according to where it in Lattitude, it can be between 6 and 8 miles high and temperatures can be as low as - 80c.
It is the thin area below this that needs our protection and the reason why pollution control is so important in maintaining God's creation for future generations.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 06:03
Thursday, 12 November 2009
There are times when I wonder if the environmental movement in general looks at the environmental problems and forgets about the environmental successes. These are usually seen at a local or small level and yet often have a huge impact for the environmental cause. The following is one such local level initiative.
Our village had an allotment field (community garden) which is owned by the parish council. This had fallen into disuse over the years and had not been used for at least 20 years except to graze horses. With the increased awareness of environmental concerns generally and local food production in particular, one of the parish councillors thought it would be a good idea to get the field back into use again as individual allotment gardens.
After managing to get a grant and getting the work organised to reinstate the field in order to provide new fencing, gates, a water supply, marking out and initial allotment rotivating, the individual in question then held their breath, concerned as to whether or not the 12 allotment gardens would be taken up.
Within two weeks they all were and now the area is a hive of activity with some chickens as well as vegetables on the allotments. Last week I passed one of the allotment holders walking back from the allotment with the vegetables he was about to cook for dinner, food miles had been reduced to food yards.
Some are sharing their allotments; a group of three have got together and have formed a hen and egg syndicate on one allotment, and a local community has sprung into life. One of the allotment holders said to me recently that she had spoken to more local people in the last 2 weeks that she had over the last 20 years.
There is so much that is going on in the environmental field by such as you and I and from Transition Towns to planting a single seed each and every initiative is a success and I sometimes think that we do, at times, overlook them.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 06:01
Monday, 2 November 2009
A Global Warming Warning Advert That Has Upset So Many... Why, could it be that the truth is inconvenient?
I must admit to being amazed by the response to this UK TV advert, especially from our U.S. cousins. The comments being made are that those that agree with the adverts sentiments are Nazis, Communists and Marxists, one individual suggested that we in the UK move to 'the land of the free.'
I am not a fan of the present UK government but when they get things right, and they do get things rights, just as Her Majesty’s opposition gets things wrong, then I am in support of their actions.
I have been involved in environmental concerns over the last 25 years and one of the causes for this is my concern about what kind of environmental legacy we are going to leave our children and grandchildren. This advert then gives a voice to all of my concerns and I was more than pleased that our government had the courage to have it made.
There are, of course, some scientists and experts who do disagree with those that consider the advert's science to be correct, just as there were indeed eminent scientists, doctors and experts that said that there was no danger of lung cancer from smoking... they were wrong as well.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 02:48