Doing my bit to Keep It in the Ground

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Saturday 1247  – 3.09.2016

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here   

Anyone who has been following my blog for a long time (and I know there are a few of you)  will know that I have solar panels and I’ve written about that on this blog twice before.

You can read those posts by clicking on these titles from January and March 2014 respectively.

Let there be Light and even more Light – you can’t get enough in my opinion!

and 

I am becoming a Solar Power Nerd !! Proud of it too !!

I’d like to tell you about a new milestone in my Solar experience and here it is below, taken on this Saturday 3rd September, 2016. 

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Yes indeed!  I have saved 5,000 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide from being released into the atmosphere since I had my solar panels installed;  2 and a half years ago.  Over that time 62.8% of all the electricity I have used has come from my solar panels and I have exported to the national Grid 76.3% of all the electricity I have produced. Imagine if every household, business, school and public building was doing that?  Storage is the next hurdle , the technology is there it’s just too costly at present. 

This is what 5,000 tonnes looks like

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That fills me with joy but I know it is a tiny drop in the ocean. I still drive my car, heat my house,cook and fly from time to time. As well as my solar panels, and having my house well insulated, I support tree planting organisations and have planted many trees myself over my lifetime so far, to try to mitigate my use of fossil fuels. 

If catastrophic Global Warming is to be avoided then we MUST keep fossil fuels in the ground, no ifs or buts we just have to. Simple as that.  

The Guardian launched it’s “Keep it in the Ground” campaign in 2015. Some facts :- 

  1. 2C: There is overwhelming agreement – from governments, corporations, NGOs, banks, scientists, you name it – that a rise in temperatures of more than 2C by the end of the century would lead to disastrous consequences for any kind of recognised global order.
  2. 565 gigatons: “Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by mid-century and still have some reasonable hope of staying below 2C,” is how McKibben crisply puts it. Few dispute that this idea of a global “carbon budget” is broadly right.
  3. 2,795 gigatons: This is the amount of carbon dioxide that if they were burned would be released from the proven reserves of fossil fuel – ie the fuel we are planning to extract and use.

You do not need much of a grasp of maths to work out the implications. There are trillions of dollars worth of fossil fuels currently underground which, for our safety, simply cannot be extracted and burned. All else is up for debate: that much is not.

I am not going to write any more about that but I would encourage everyone who reads this to follow up by reading these links below and taking action by spreading the word and thinking about how you personally can help to avoid this catastrophe. Drive less, use plastic less,reduce, reuse, recycle more, get solar panels or use other forms of alternative energy, insulate your home, plant trees,  campaign, put pressure on your elected representatives: small changes by each of us make a big difference. 

We ARE running out of time. 

Watch the video here:-

http://greenhousepr.co.uk/keep-it-in-the-ground-guardian-campaign-on-fossil-fuel-divestment/ 

Image result for keep it in the ground Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/06/climate-change-guardian-threat-to-earth-alan-rusbridger 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2015/mar/16/keep-it-in-the-ground-guardian-climate-change-campaign 

https://350.org/how/  – *The number 350 means climate safety: we must reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere from >400 parts per million to below 350.

When I wrote my Solar Power Nerd post on 1st March 2014 I ended by asking this:-

 “I wonder when the joy of producing my own electricity will wear off?”

I am happy to say the answer is a resounding NEVER! 

As ever I welcome your thoughts .

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Saturday girl signing off.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania by clicking here 

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Early Morning Balloon Chasing.

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Saturday 1248  –  27.08.2016

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here  

I got up this Saturday morning at 4.15 a.m.  I know it was bonkers wasn’t it, but it was for a good reason.  The British Balloon and Airship Club (BBAC) were holding the British National Ballooning Competition over the past week and was based at the Lakeside Lodge Golf Resort in Pidley  which is 10 mins from where I live.

Unfortunately I didn’t know it was happening until I got up on Weds morning, pulled back the curtains and there was one almost landed in the field at the end of my garden.  My own fault of course, as I never read the local papers or watch local news reports.  I rushed out and got a few pics and then did some homework to find out what was happening.   No ballooning Thursday as weather not suitable.

Luckily I was able to get up early Friday Morning to watch that morning’s launch, having been given a tip-off as to where the launch was likely to be : it varies depending on the wind direction etc, and also watched again on Friday evening. I was utterly, utterly hooked and fast becoming the unofficial ballooning groupie!   The “good ” photos you see above and below are from Friday.

Back to Saturday. I got up at 4.15 a.m, as I have already said, and drove to Lakeside. There was very thick fog and I nearly went back to bed but fog is always good for photos too, so I pressed on. I knew they were having a briefing at 5 a.m to decide on where the launch would be, if it went ahead, and I followed the teams when they came out. Of course it was hoped that the fog would burn off but it was looking doubtful because there was a cold front moving in.  

The trucks, vans and other trailer pulling vehicles all arrived at the proposed site, an airfield near Chatteris, but ominously nobody started to unload their baskets and balloons, which they had done immediately the day before as this picture below shows.

laying out the balloon (3 of 1)

 and this was what it was like at Chatteris Airfield on Saturday morning.

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Some difference huh ?

I was told this is what ballooning can be all about; getting up early in the morning and often being thwarted by the weather, with no launch happening.  

I wandered about and took a few photos to show you what it was like, thankfully a few of the younger men decided to play frisbee so gave me something else to photograph. Thanks to them! 

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Click on any of the photos to increase size.

I have to say how much I admired the passion, exhibited by everyone, which enables them to get up so early, day after day, when competition is on.

For the next few days ( at least ) I will be posting more Balloon photos over on my photography blog Photomania  and you can find them by clicking this link 

A few links for anyone interested in finding out more about ballooning, but please be aware that if you do go to take photo’s, or view a launch or landing, you generally do so at your own risk unless the event states that it is open to the public with organised stewarding etc.

http://www.erbbac.com/

http://www.bbac.org/affiliated#regions

http://www.flyingadverts.co.uk/balloonevents.htm

Of course there are always other photos to be taken and when the black flag was raised to indicate there would be no flight that day, everyone left, but I captured a few more photos on my way home.

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With this one below being my favourite of the day! 

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Your thoughts are very welcome as ever. 

Saturday Girl signing off..