The category-5 Hurricane Dorian just left the Bahamas devastated with 1000’s of homes in ruins and the airport runway under water. My heart goes out to the folks in distress, and so does my check to the Red Cross. At the same time I hope they realize the pattern of things to come. Do not rebuild. It’s time to pack up and get out! The same goes for other folks living near coastlines in flood zones. What are you waiting for? GET OUT NOW!
Category Archives: Climate Change
Dear Congresswoman Eshoo
Dear Congresswoman Eshoo,
Having read your Mountain View town hall summary, it came as a surprise to me that Climate Change was not discussed, and I decided to attend your Redwood City TH meeting. Again I was most disappointed by the absence of CC. Regrettably, I was not given an opportunity to speak.
I will not waste much time about the urgency of this matter other than to say that the outlook to recover from CC is most distressing.
CC is by no means a new concept. It was well understood at the international level through the 1990 IPCC report. Yet, we have decided to ignore the issue. As a generation, we have utterly failed to take action. Even when we had a presidential candidate like Hillary Clinton who suggested that we can address the issue by installing millions of solar panels, I cringe. She failed to understand the issue. In fact, it was not until I recently heard the new EU president, Ursula von der Leyen, speak in Brussels, that I finally heard a top politician that ranked and addressed the issue as it should – the number one priority issue!
You may feel at loss as to how to address the topic. That is understandable. But it simply cannot be swept under the rug for another day. It must be brought out at every opportunity, and people must be reminded.
Yours sincerely, Mogens Lauritzen, 1725 Pilgrim Ave, Mountain View
Hydro Power; the end or here to stay?
With resent efforts to promote the tear-down of Hetch Hetchy dam and restore the flooded valley, one must ask why, and not only in the sense of resurrection of the lost valley.
With the approach of global warming, we can expect a continued decrease in snow pack levels. Future precipitation levels are as of yet unknown. If decreased, we need all available storage to last through dry seasons. If increased, we need storage to prevent catastrophic flooding. Above all, with global warming, the snow pack will be replaced by rain, effectively removing our snow pack water storage, and increasing our need for alternative storage.
From the electricity grid point of view, Hetch Hetchy, when water is available, provides a robust predictable and dispatchable power source with no greenhouse gas emission. In addition, the system can also be used to store electricity/energy on a short-term basis through “pump-up” technology. Pump-up is equivalent to having access to a gigantic battery, and is a key component in stabilizing the electric grid. This is especially needed as we introduce alternative and unpredictable power sources such as wind and to some extend solar power.
There’s no question that California hydro power dams have caused severe environmental harm. Almost 3000 miles worth of upset creek/river habitat. But if you compare that to the added safety of flood control, predictable water supply, and reliable and clean energy supply, the end result should favor our dams. We have seen experimentation with fish ladders, and forced water release to preserve smelt populations. Surely there must be more mitigating ideas we can study and introduce.
The bottom line must be this; we need dams and water storage systems. They are a cornerstone of our future survival. Removing dams to restore ecosystems amounts to nothing but a utopian notion.
Global Warming; Greenland 2012
Anyone traveling from Europe and to the US will inevitably cross Greenland. If you are lucky, the weather will be clear, and you can because of the low humidity see for 100’s of miles. Such was the case when I first flew from Copenhagen to JFK/New York in August 1979. Approaching Greenland, an entirely white landscape unfolded dotted with floating icebergs.
On a recent return trip in July 2012, my path was roughly the same. To my astonishment I saw barely any icebergs, and large swaths of coastline with nothing but exposed bedrock. Continuing inland, there were long stretchmarks in the ice. A week after my arrival, we could in the news read about massive ice melts and flooding in Greenland.