Category: Uncategorized


Technology got in the way.

As usual Jean and I were reviewing the post that I had planned for today yesterday evening.

All of a sudden a vast chunk of the post disappeared and the computer I was using made it very difficult to recover the text, so I decided to delay the post until tomorrow.

COP27 and beyond.

This is our last chance

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, or COP27, is the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference and is being held from 6 November until 18 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

The above reported by WikiPedia.

It is my birthday today. I am not a young man and trying not to think of the next few years for there’s no guarantee that I shall be alive.

I was born in London in the last few months of the Second World War and grew up in those early days thinking that it was normal to see bombed-out buildings in many areas. However I have had a lucky life, born of atheist parents, and I would like to see the planet becoming more and more hospitable, in terms of a minimum of global warming, as I approach the end days.

COP27 has to be different to all the COPs that have proceeded it. We have to have nations commit to actions now and move forward from the pledges and promises made last year. This is not like an asteroid hitting the planet! This is a subtle increase in  the temperature and all that goes with that. Frankly, 1.5 deg C. is likely to be difficult to achieve. But 1.51 deg C. is better than 1.6 deg C. and so on. That is why we need action now.

I am going to continue today’s post by republishing the President’s Welcome Message. Here is the President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and the copy of his address to the delegates.

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The hosting of COP27 in the green city of Sharm El-Sheikh this year marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In the thirty years since, the world has come a long way in the fight against climate change and its negative impacts on our planet; we are now able to better understand the science behind climate change, better assess its impacts, and better develop tools to address its causes and consequences.

Thirty years and twenty-six COPs later, we now have a much clearer understanding of the extent of the potential climate crisis and what needs to be done to address it effectively. The science is there and clearly shows the urgency with which we must act regarding rapidly reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, taking necessary steps to assist those in need of support to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change, and finding the appropriate formula that would ensure the availability of requisite means of implementation that are indispensable for developing countries in making their contributions to this global effort, especially in the midst of the successive international crises, including the ongoing food security crisis exacerbated by climate change, desertification and water scarcity, especially in Africa that suffers the most impacts.

In 2015, the world came together and showed the will to make the necessary compromises which led to the successful adoption of the Paris Agreement. Today and in light of the unmistakable messages in the recent IPCC reports, and following COP26 in Glasgow, we are once again called upon to act rapidly if we are to really meet the 1.5-degree goal, build our resilience, and enhance our capacity to adapt. And while these are no doubt major undertakings, I sincerely believe that they can also become opportunities for transformation towards sustainability if we collectively think creatively and demonstrate the necessary political will.

With this in mind, Egypt and its people look forward to welcoming you all at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, where we trust the world will come together, yet again, to reaffirm its commitment to the global climate agenda despite the difficulties and uncertainties of our time. I am positive that all parties and stakeholders will be coming to Sharm El-Sheikh with a stronger will and a higher ambition on mitigation, adaptation and climate finance, demonstrating actual success stories on implementing commitments and fulfilling pledges.

I deeply believe that COP27 is an opportunity to showcase unity against an existential threat that we can only overcome through concerted action and effective implementation. As incoming Presidency Egypt will spare no effort to ensure that COP27 becomes the moment when the world moved from negotiation to implementation and where words were translated to actions, and where we collectively embarked on a path towards sustainability, a just transition and eventually a greener future for coming generations.

Welcome to Sharm El-Sheikh. Welcome to COP27.


Lastly, one of the items on the COP27 news feed:

What I can do to help stop climate change?

Tackling climate change will require world leaders to take action on a global level. But as individuals we also contribute to damaging emissions. Here are some things you can do to reduce your personal impact.

  • Insulate and draught-proof your home, install a heat pump, switch to a green energy provider or just turn down the heating a degree or two
  • Reduce your food waste and cut down on red meat – livestock are responsible for 14% of all greenhouse gases globally
  • Drive less, and fly less – transport is responsible for almost a quarter of carbon dioxide global emissions
  • Think before you buy – whether choosing energy efficient appliances or buying second-hand clothes

There you go! Please be green! We are in the last chance saloon!

Climate Change

Paul Handover’s talk to the Grants Pass Humanists and Freethinkers group, Saturday, 17th September, 2022


Martin Lack, a good friend of Paul’s from England, wrote a book called The Denial of Science. The first words in the preface were from Sir Fred Hoyle, Fellow of the Royal Society (1915-2001).

Once a photograph of the Earth taken from the outside is available, once the sheer isolation of the Earth becomes plain, a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.

Here, in Paul’s opinion, is that photograph:

Taken aboard Apollo 8 by Bill Anders, this iconic picture shows Earth peeking out from beyond the lunar surface as the first crewed spacecraft circumnavigated the Moon, with astronauts Anders, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell aboard.
Image Credit: NASA Last Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Editor: Yvette Smith

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, from 31st October to 13th November 2021. It was called COP26 because it was the 26th UN Climate Change Conference to be held. It was opened by the Prince of Wales, now King Charles III.

The Prince warned: “Time has quite literally run out.”

It is us!

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) kicked off its 2021 report with the following statement: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.

The article also says: It took a while, but climate modelling is now refined enough to predict how things would go without human influence, within a margin of error. What we are observing today, however, is beyond that margin of error, therefore proving that we have driven the change.

It is getting hot

The last decade was the hottest in 125,000 years.

The oceans

We live on a water world. The facts are that 71% of the Earth’s surface is water-covered and the oceans hold about 96.5% of all Earth’s water. A 2019 study found that oceans had sucked up 90% of the heat gained by the planet between 1971 and 2010. Another found that it absorbed 20 sextillion joules of heat in 2020  – equivalent to two Hiroshima bombs per second. A (chiefly British) definition of a sextillion: It is the cardinal number equal to 1036. Sextillion is a number equal to a 1 followed by 21 zeros. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 is an example of a sextillion.


In fact CO2 levels are now the highest that they have been in 2 million years. Today, they stand at close to 420 parts per million (ppm). To put that into context pre-industrial levels, say before 1750, had CO2 levels around 280 parts per million.

We are losing ice big time

Paul can do no better than to quote from“Since the mid-1990s, we’ve lost around 28 trillion tons of ice, with today’s melt rate standing at 1.2 trillion tons a year. To help put that into perspective, the combined weight of all human-made things is 1.1 trillion tons. That’s about the same weight as all living things on earth.”

To repeat that: Every single year we are losing 1.2 trillion tons of ice! (1,200,000,000,000).

Extreme weather

We can now attribute natural disasters to human-driven climate change with certainty. We can now say with precision how much likelier we made things like the North American summer 2021 heatwave, which the World Weather Attribution says was “virtually impossible” without climate change. Then there is the Indian heatwave that experts believe was made 30 times more likely because of climate change.

Climate change mitigation

There is a long and comprehensive article on the above subject on WikiPedia. I will quote from the paragraph Needed emissions cuts.

If emissions remain on the current level of 42 GtCO2, the carbon budget for 1.5°C (2.7°F) will be exhausted in 2028. (That’s 42 gigatons, as in 1 gigaton is a unit of explosive force equal to one billion (109) tons of trinitrotoluene (TNT).

In 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Sixth Assessment Report on climate change, warning that greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 at the latest and decline 43% by 2030, in order to likely limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F).

Secretary-general of the United Nations António Guterres clarified that for this to happen “Main emitters must drastically cut emissions starting this year”.

WikiPedia also reports that: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UNFCCC, aims to stabilise greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level where ecosystems can adapt naturally to climate change, food production is not threatened, and economic development can proceed in a sustainable fashion. Currently human activities are adding CO2 to the atmosphere faster than natural processes can remove it.

We need to act now, otherwise…

… it will be too late for billions of us.

This may be the most catastrophic of our climate change facts. As of now, only 0.8% of the planet’s land surface has mean annual temperatures above 29°C (84.2°F) mostly in the Sahara desert and Saudi Arabia (solid black in the map).

study by Xu et al. (2020) called “Future of the Human Niche” found that by 2070, under a high emissions scenario, these unbearable temperatures could expand to affect up to 3 billion people (dark brown areas in the map).

Doing nothing is much worse than doing something

On the current path, climate change could end up costing us 11 to 14% of the global GDP by mid-century. Regression into a high emissions scenario would mean an 18% loss, while staying below 2°C would reduce the damage to only 4%. 

It has been proposed that ending climate change would take between $300 billion and $50 trillion over the next two decades. Even if $50 trillion is the price tag, that comes down to $2.5 trillion a year, or just over 3% of the global GDP. 

These are the facts. There is no disputing them. Paul and Jean, Paul’s wife, are relatively immune from the effects, because of their ages, but not entirely so. The last few weeks of summer (2022) with the imminent risk of their property being damaged by wildfires is one example. The last three winters being below average rainfall is another (and the prediction that next year will continue with below average rainfall). But it is the youngsters Paul fears most for. On a personal note, his daughter and husband have a son, Morten, and he is presently 12. What sort of world is Morten growing up in?

What about global attitudes to climate change?

Here is another chart setting out those concerns.

Paul is not a political animal. However he recognises that it is our leaders, globally, but especially in the top 10 countries in the world, who have to be leaders!

Here are the top 10 countries with areas of their country in square kilometres:

Russia. 17,098,242,

Canada. 9,984,670,

United States. 9,826,675,

China. 9,596,961,

Brazil. 8,514,877,

Australia. 7,741,220,

India. 3,287,263,

Argentina. 2,780,400,

Kazakhstan. 2,724,400, and

Algeria, 2,381,741.

But these are the top ten countries based on land size. That is not helpful. We have to examine the top countries in terms of CO2 emissions. Here are the top five countries, as in the top five worst, (readings from 2020):

  1. USA, 416,738 metric tons,
  2. China, 235,527 tons,
  3. Russia, 115,335 tons,
  4. Germany, 92,636 tons, and,
  5. UK, 78,161 metric tons.

This puts the USA as the top worst country, some 77% ahead of China.

So focussing on the USA, again in 2020, the split of greenhouse gas emissions, was:

  1. Transportation, 27%,
  2. Electric Power, 25%,
  3. Industry, 24%,
  4. Commercial and Residential, 13%,
  5. Agriculture, 11%.

So back again to all five countries we say, please, dear leader, make this the number one priority for your country, and for the world.

The end.

An explanation

For the post coming out in thirty minutes time!

I gave my talk on Saturday and so many wanted copies of it that I thought the best idea was to publish another post.

So it is an improved version of We are getting close to it being too late that was published last Tuesday. I thought that it could be turned into a pdf but that defeated me!

So this post is primarily for members of the Freethinkers and Humanists group of Grants Pass but, of course, anyone is welcome to read it.

Almost no post today.

We have a guest with us.

Plus, there is the potential for strong winds and possible spot fires in our neighbourhood. But I want to share the update from Inciweb issued yesterday morning:

Rum Creek Fire morning update for Monday, Sept. 5

Firefighters prepare for another windy dry spell

MERLIN, Ore. – Tomorrow’s weather will provide a test for the fire lines. If the fire stays within the current footprint, fire managers can be more confident that it will not escape the fire lines in the future. Rum Creek Fire will be under a Haines 6 tomorrow, the highest level on the index, indicating the greatest potential for rapid fire growth. Also, the National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for Tuesday afternoon and evening for the Rum Creek Fire area. The forecast calls for high temperatures, gusty winds and low relative humidity. 

The Haines Index is a tool used to estimate the effect of atmospheric dryness and stability on fire growth potential. When the atmosphere is unstable, windy conditions allow mixing of air near the ground with air higher in the atmosphere. This mixing provides ample fresh air flow to a fire, allowing it to burn freely and potentially grow rapidly and develop a smoke plume. These conditions are more likely to allow a fire to run or spot past fire lines.

In advance of this weather change, firefighters are working aggressively to contain more of the fire. Sunday night, crews completed the last of the planned tactical firing operations on the west side, tying lines from Mount Peavine north to the Rogue River. The large areas of unburned fuels between this primary line and the natural fire edge in the Rum Creek drainage are being closely monitored. At this time, the fire is steadily burning through this area, reducing the chance of fire running across the primary line or spotting north across the Rogue River.

On the east side, tactical firing is expected to be completed today near McKnabe Creek. Firefighters continue to mop up around the fire perimeter and near any structures, reducing the chance for fire to cross the primary lines. This hard work is reflected in the increase in containment to 34%.

Office of State Fire Marshal resources continue to mop up remaining hot spots near structures, cutting hazard trees, and patrolling areas along Galice Road. Firefighters are also working on structure assessment and pre-planning to the north and southeast of the fire. 

Fire personnel found three more burned structures, bringing the losses to two homes and four minor structures. These were destroyed during the fire’s rapid spread on August 26th and are in an area previously inaccessible to firefighters.

Evacuations: Existing evacuation orders and notifications remain in place. An interactive map showing evacuation levels according to address can be found at // For the most current evacuation information and resources, go to Josephine County Incident Information (

Road control: Josephine County Sheriff’s Office has established traffic access points around the fire zone. Road blocks are located at Galice Road near Crow Road; Galice Store; Bear Camp Road at Peavine (top intersection); Lower Grave Creek Road at Angora Creek (Grays Ranch); Quartz Creek Road about 3 miles up (end of County maintenance); Dutch Henry Road near Kelsey Creek (42 44’56.2/123 40’35.4); and Hog Creek at Galice Road. The National Guard is staffing the roadblocks. Only residents (must show proof of residency) and permitted users will be allowed through.

River status: The Wild section of the Rogue River below Grave Creek will remain open unless fire conditions warrant closure. River status is determined on a day-to-day basis. Please call 541-471-6535 for more information regarding Rogue River permits. No new boating permits will be issued at this time.

Ouch! My iMac has a bad virus!

It may be a while before I am back in business.

On Thursday I learnt the worst.

Not only do I have a virus it also stops me accessing the internet.

All my files, photographs and other stuff need to be backed up and then the iMac needs to be reset.

It will take some time.

Friday evening, Pacific Time.

The Mac is being taken to a local Mac repair shop on Tuesday morning. Gizmo Tech, for that is what they are called, is a husband and wife team that specialise in all things Apple.

The computer is fully backed up and hopefully I will leave there much later on with the virus banished and all my data restored to the machine.

Tuesday afternoon, the 22nd, 15:30.

My iMac has been rebuilt and the virus eliminated. It took about four hours!

Now I have to load all the applications, that I will do tomorrow.

Wednesday morning, the 23rd.

And we are back! Now using my iMac again!