4th November - Today's News

Why are the Himalayan glaciers melting? We don't actually know - but maybe there's a clue in reports of how much snow they used to get in the region?

Death toll rise in Vietnam floods

Volcanic and ferric surprises on Mercury

Atmospheric 'tides' trigger landslides at night

The Nazcans are added to the list of societies such as Easter Island and Greenland who brought about their own demise through uncontrolled deforestation: clearing oasis trees felled ancient Peru civilisation - not that any human activity can ever be environmentally detrimental to human society ..... as, I'm afraid to say, some still maintain.

In the wake of Beijing's cloudseeding activities, David Adam asks in The Guardian can we manipulate the weather? I would say emphatically yes, but mostly it's inadvertent and when deliberate then beware of unintended consequences. We're not all storm gods yet. As for geo-engineering to counter global warming: how about reducing our current geoengineering - that's causing the problem - first? Cut down on our pollution, contrails, deforestation and reliance on fossil fuels - all of which we'll have to do sooner or later, unless we're going to add our names to the list of peoples who squander all their resources until it was all too late? Somehow though, I feel I wouldn't place too much money on us not being the next Nascans or Mayans....

An interesting day of weather in parts of Britain yesterday (not the Vale of Evesham though, obviously .... ) with some possible tornados reported (currently subject to site investigations by Torro). Not so long back, few people realised we even had tornadoes in Britain, but that's changing though not necessarily for the best since now, any sudden, damaging wind gets called a tornado when often it's really just straight line winds or a microburst. At we're slowly weaning the media away from the term 'mini tornado', although it seems Sky News have yet to learn the difference between a tornado and a funnel cloud! Anyway, reports suggest a tornado in Hampshire causes chaos and for detailed, informed, discussion and accounts of this and other possible tornadic activity (and links to other local news stories) please visit Ukweatherworld.

My local MP (hopefully not longer - though a Conservative, and not exactly poor, he's being stealing tax payers money along with many of his colleagues and will hopefully be deselected before next year's election) has introduced a private members bill to ban wind turbines being built within a mile and a half of homes. MP raises wind turbine 'ban' plan. Wonder if that can be extended to Scotland where a wind farm in the Flow Country is planned with turbines being built just a few hundred feet away from an MBA maintained open bothy .....

Finally, Al Gore denies he is a carbon millionaire - despite making millions from his talks, film and books (of which the latest is being published this month - conincidentally just in time for the Copehagan Climate meeting). What's undeniable is his carbon footprint is more than I could muster in many, many lifetimes. And I bet he doesn't switch the light off when he leaves the room. The hypocritical arrogance of the very rich .....

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