Saturday, 28 December 2013

Storms, Floods and Landslides - An Engineer's Tale

At this point in my blog, I could try to explain to you the science behind climate change, and the ever-growing body of evidence demonstrating that the atmosphere is getting warmer and that this is almost certainly the result of human activity releasing astonishingly huge quantities of greenhouse gases. I could show you the 5th report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published this year demonstrating yet again the consensus from scientists across the world about this problem.
But I won't, because you learned the basics of the greenhouse effect at school and people have an uncanny tendency to switch off as soon as anything is mentioned that relies upon them understanding any details about the workings of the troposphere. I am not a climate scientist, I'm a civil engineer. So instead, I will tell my own story of how the change in our climate is already affecting us in the UK and my daily work through storms, floods and landslides.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

2014: The Challenge

In 2014 I want to live differently.  Instead of a traditional New Year's Resolution to lose weight or whatever, I want to start taking the environment seriously and make effective, long term changes to my habits and behaviour to reduce my contribution to environmental damage.  That is, I want to lose some carbon and keep it off!

I am sure that this year, as every year, the newspapers will be full of stories about New Year's Resolutions that apparently most people only manage to keep theirs for about a fortnight. But last year we tried something different in my workplace: the 'Change One Thing' campaign encouraged people to make just ONE change that they can sustain.