The Facts about Sea Level Rise
By Judith Wolf | Thu Feb 24 2022
We all know about climate change, don’t we? But maybe we are all a bit vague on the economic consequences, and unfortunately, despite being labelled the biggest threat to society and the planet, it just never quite gets urgent enough for many of us to worry about. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that ‘It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.’ Each of the last four decades has been successively warmer than any decade that preceded it since 1850. This is becoming more evident as extreme weather is increasingly being attributed to climate change by meteorologists. Such events hit the headlines.
The less high-profile, slow impact of increasing sea levels is becoming an existential reality for some nations. For example in the Pacific Ocean, low-lying island nations are seriously considering relocation. The nation of Kiribati has bought a piece of Fiji to relocate its 103,000 residents if they must leave their home island. Many other small-island developing states are also feeling the impact of sea level rise already as coastal flooding and erosion removes low-lying valuable land, which cannot easily be replaced. In the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, where the maximum elevation of the land is less than 3m above sea level, various actions are already being taken. These include protecting groundwater and increasing rainwater harvesting, as well as increasing the elevation of critical infrastructure and reclaiming land from the sea.Read More
The Future of Renewable Energy for the UK
By Judith Wolf | Tue Feb 22 2022
We have an energy crisis in the UK. Gas prices have recently shot up 5-fold, bringing this sharply into focus, but the problem has been around for some years, notably identified in 2006 in the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change. Our old nuclear plants are coming to the end of their lives, despite already having these extended. We want clean energy for the future, to de-carbonise our energy supply and reduce global warming. In fact there is an energy ‘trilemma’ worldwide, balancing the goals of Energy Security (i.e. a home-grown supply, not dependent on a Russian pipeline), Environmental Sustainability (we must do no more harm!) and Energy Equity (a reasonable supply of affordable energy for all).Read More
Meta: Josh is stepping down as ALDES Chair
By Josh Matthews | Sun Sep 05 2021
When my predecessor gave me a 3-hour pitch to consider the ALDES Chair at our last in-person Autumn Conference - despite having sold me 20 minutes in - I had no idea just what we’d be able to kickstart over the past two years.
We’ve met with MPs, Lords, formed working groups of world-leading experts, linked up with other Lib Dem groups including Lib Dem Women, Young Liberals, LGBT+ Lib Dems, the Lib Dem Campaign for Race Equality, and many many others across STEM and beyond. We’ve also established a Discord forum where ALDES members and other liberal STEMM enthusiasts are active every day.Read More
"Washing day is here!"
By Chris Lomax | Wed Jul 07 2021
Round our way there always used to be knocks on the door from folk selling pegs, and there was always laundry that needed putting out on the line, and inevitably, bringing in when it rained.
Maybe those were simpler times, but if you dry your laundry outside, you have a keener sense of the weather. In my view, that’s something that we could really do with learning afresh. With an ever-increasing proportion of our electrical power being dependent on the weather, it’s not sufficient only to have a “smart meter” if the ways we are attuned to use power aren’t “smart”.Read More
A data-driven approach to climate and sustainability will help you pull others along
By Josh Matthews | Mon Jun 07 2021
Progress on tackling Climate Change and reaching broader sustainability goals continues to be inadequate. In order to get a grip of this problem, data and its use in tracking our progress (or lack of) will be vital. Several technology and service providers are emerging with useful tools for tracking our climate and sustainability efforts. Liberals in all walks of life may benefit from investigating how to record and demonstrate progress on sustainability goals to pressure others to follow suit.
As Liberal Democrats we could take a leadership role on measuring, monitoring and reporting our climate and sustainability actions, perhaps in the councils that we lead or in our ‘day jobs.’ Daisy Cooper MP has recently commissioned a ‘climate policy dashboard’ to monitor the government’s policy progress on the Climate Crisis and there is more we can all do to drive this approach more broadly in society.Read More