Trees, trees, fires

Just saw this very sad story about the heatwave in Canada, Canada a very tree-rich and normally cold country. There are other countries, with not as many trees but where there were trees, like in Australia, in heatwaves, the trees start to burn and cause a lot of damage.

Yes, trees are good, but they are only good if they don’t catch fire.

Whilst we have this big tree-planting craze in Britain, we are also looking into the face of earth warming, heatwaves and potentially hither fire risk from earth warming.

But the more trees we plant, the more trees can also catch fire. Especially those trees in cities are potential fire traps if it comes to combustibility.

From California to Australia, bushfires are the great danger and many houses burn down in such natural disasters. We are staring the next heatwave into the face and greater danger from fires from trees is imminent.

I just wonder whether those who advocate planting more trees in towns have thought about the dangers.

Just the dangers from Grenfell are definitely there in high-rise buildings who have trees planted into each balcony, because if one of those trees catches fire and it is hot and dry, all the other trees around the building will also catch fire.

Really, people just don’t think.

Why is cladding seen to be so dangerous when trees, which in a dry state are like cinder are considered good? I apologise for using a Grenfell fire picture but I need to bring across the message how dangerous people’s unrealistic thinking is.

A wildfire has burned 90% of Lytton, British Columbia – the village that recorded Canada’s highest ever temperature of 49.6C (121.3F).Lytton’s mayor earlier ordered people to evacuate, saying flames had spread through the village in just 15 minutes. Source BBC

Those town planners who now want to increase the number of trees in London significantly because they think that temperatures stay the same do not take into consideration into what would happen if temperatures heat up.

Looking at the image, which I took from a post on Facebook it seems unlikely that any solution to this is easy. Modern approaches include reducing traffic, planting more trees.

That is a most simplified solution. Reducing traffic will also reduce the economic infrastructure, jobs and culture. More trees, will increase flammability of areas as in hot climates, trees catch fire really easy.

Whilst we now get a lot of people racing to plant more trees, flowers and everything green, hot weather will simply burn the lot.

The picture above shows that we in Britain are in a cool corridor but how long for? Those who want to make us believe that putting more beehives in our towns will solve the worldwide climate crises are selling a dream. We do need fertilising methods but we need those worldwide not just in our cities.

Carbon capture seems the most appropriate way forward and removing it on an industrial scale from our atmosphere alongside carbon emission reductions world wide by changing fuel types. Reducing traffic is not a solution that helps productivity.

Looking at ideas of Carbon removal, they all seem to be based on the idea that our temperatures allow for it, but they are likely to get hotter.

This was published in 2019 and is by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published by Science Daily, doesn’t rely on trees or nature but is a technical solution, which can be applied in any weather. I think that is the best way forward.

“The technique, based on passing air through a stack of charged electrochemical plates, is described in a new paper in the journalĀ Energy and Environmental Science, by MIT postdoc Sahag Voskian, who developed the work during his PhD, and T. Alan Hatton, the Ralph Landau Professor of Chemical Engineering.”

now we are bored

Yesterday’s list of vulnerable people* included 1.5 Million people. Whilst all of us follow our natural herd instinct and join all queues we see, just to be part of something, we should stop letting our desire to belong rule our heads.

Of course we are raised in a state of emotional dependance.

First in the womb, then growing up as a baby, toddler, child and so on, always depending on the family or people around us.

But now as adults, we need to stop that urge to join crowds just to belong to something.

Last week’s queue outside of Iceland wasn’t inviting. People shouted, shoved and pushed. I didn’t want to be part of it. I don’t desperately need anything right now.

Going shopping to entertain myself is really not what I want to spend my time with.

This is now the third time that I am getting into the hamster mode.

First we had the bad weather shopping-spree, then the Brexit, get prepared shopping spree and now we have the Corona Virus hoarding spree. The latter is of course by far the worst.

There is not one online food retailer still accepting orders from new customers.

My first two hoarding phases led to me having to throw out, the out-of-date tins I got from deliveries. My cupboard was invaded my micro-sized beetles, the last time I hoarded flour and dry goods in my kitchen cupboards. I threw the lot away and sprayed all my surfaces to get rid of the pests.

I certainly won’t hoard cooking oil as this will increase substantially my fire risk. Incidentally so does hoarding lots of papers of any sort.

Just snap out of it, relax and dont’ go shopping because you are bored. Play online games instead. There are Scrabble games, all types of gaming solutions sold by providers like Microsoft, Playstation and the like.

And if you really want to and can help join the groups of volunteers organised by local councils to help vulnerable neighbours.

*The latest in a string of initiatives from the government has seen letters sent out to the 1.5 million people in England considered to be most at risk, advising them not to leave their homes for at least 12 weeks from Monday.

Those being urged to stay at home include people who have received organ transplants, those severe with respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis and severe chronic bronchitis, and with some cancers such as those of the blood or bone marrow.

panic buying bad for mental health

Went to a local Poundland this morning and walked around shelves. A woman started getting excited about some tins of fruit in the bottom of a shelve and shoved them all in her basket. I then walked on and she turned around and asked me whether I wanted one, she is getting the tins for her uncle.

I declined the offer. I do not know whether she wanted to try and charge me more for the tin or not.

Then afterwards, the local Iceland had a long queue in front and they had just opened. I made a big loop around it as the scenery was shouty and unpleasant.

bowl being poured with yellow liquid

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Some people post pictures with a house full of 5l bottles of vegetable oil or garages full of wipes.

Obviously that is an increased fire risk for people to live with.

Having the hording mentality is not healthy either.

A couple of years back I fell into that buy extra for provisions slogans and ordered extra tins. They also had use-by dates and I ended up throwing a few of them away. Stocks of flour I accumulated were all spoiled by micro-sized beetles, they also ended up in the bin.

We are all better off, if we just buy what we need for no longer than 2 weeks.

Boris makes a stand

I must say I rather admire Boris’ attitude towards opposition that does not use quality questions and arguments to dismantle his plans. That is what I would have expected in a quality argument and political debate. Boris called them scientific names, oooh.

Much more important for us all, is the fact that Boris came out with information that he is following advice from senior London Fire Brigade leaders that recommended cutting down on fire stations and reducing the number of fire fighters in London.

Now that is something interesting. I just wonder where this information is, who are the senior officers that gave the advice? That is a basis to have discussions but not fast moving amendments that are based on the lack of or late attendance of a County Hall board member to move a vote.

I am rather disappointed with the general press reporting from the BBC. I have not had any decent tables, statistics from them but the usual lukewarm reporting that stimulates political adventurous argument with little substance.

Since yesterday it was also more difficult to find the actual article on the BBC website that explains why the Mayor rejects the budget change move.Of course Boris is under a clear duty to follow the advice of senior Fire chiefs, who recommend cuts in services. I want to know the details of those recommendations Boris, who said what and when. Perhaps it is to find on the LFB website where the policy papers are displayed. I have not read them yet, as I only have so much time to read and browse, I am already kept busy with BBC articles, from which I expect a certain depth and content.

Boris argues quite correctly that if he has recommendation from Senior Fire chiefs to cut services, that it would be a fruitless exercise to ask rate payers to pay even a penny more to keep services that are not needed. It would have been much better to bring quality questions to the Mayor to publicly demand those services stay with quality statistical arguments rather than move a fast motion. That doesn’t raise my confidence in the opposition at all.

PS: I am a little confused about the original article I read this morning because now an article appears, saying that Boris’ plans had been pushed back and there is now consultation.

A burning issue

The Mayor will have to take legal action against the Fire Brigade because the LFB refuses to comply to a requirement, set by the Mayor Boris Johnson, to carry out a consultation with the aim of closing fire stations in various London boroughs. The thought behind this is to cut 7p of council tax and also statistics show that the LFB attended less fires recently. LFB argues that a freezing of council tax will pay for the stations to stay open.

Yet it is quite clear that the fires they attend are often in multi-storey buildings, especially in London. Fires nowadays often need more than one engine because of our density of buildings and the high-rise nature of them. There is nowadays better fire prevention in wiring and most appliances and fittings are safer, but once something does happen, it tends to be enormous rather than little.

It is in a way good that the whole problem will come before a judge because both sides are heavily biased. The Mayor is obsessed with cutting council tax and the Fire Brigade of course doesn’t want to close stations or loose fire fighters. A court will put a very objective viewing on the problem.

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