Author Archives: Bill Butterworth

Flood risk-Est Anglia-Essex-Kent

The container port at Felixstowe, and hundreds of thousands of hectares of Land in the SE have a very real flood risk BUT we are not doing what we could be doing.

What will happen in the UK eastern counties of Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Essex and Kent if we do not manage to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C?

Well, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) points out that even at 1.5, as the ice-caps melt, all low-lying land is at risk of flooding. Now, Lincolnshire produces 40% by value of UK farm output and 80 % of Lincolnshire is below sea level. By the way, we also already know that the protection offered to Landon by the Thames Barrage is on its limit and a high tide and the wind in the right direction might push over the limit.  Logically, improving sea defences in these areas might be seen as pretty important. Yet we know that in the last 12 months at least 30,000 tonnes of drilling “wastes” which could have been used to bulk up sea walls has gone elsewhere because of prevarications about UK interpretation of EU regulations.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 19 October ‘18

Reversing global warming

Only farmers can deliver this.

Only farmers can deliver the following.  According to World Bank figures, the global production of urban waste is above 2 billion tonnes and rising. My own experience of composting urban wastes suggests that, technically (if the regulators could come to terms with this) maybe 25% of that could be composted and put to farm land, and possibly more if put to forestry land. If the compost contained only 2% of each of N, P and K, then that would be 10 million tonnes of each.  One tonne of N nutrient, made in a modern USA factory, takes 21,000 kWh to make and deliver.  So, or the N alone, that would save the use of 210,000,000 kWh of electrical power generation, most of which comes from burning coal and oil.  Bearing in mind most N production in the world is several times less efficient than in the USA, and that the rest of the figures err on the side of caution, then recycling urban waste by composting to land would save probably around 1 trillion KWh pa and the associated Carbon dioxide production.  As a rough guide, that would save 350,000,000 tonnes of Carbon dioxide being pumped into out atmosphere, every year.

There is a bonus, crops grown on high organic Carbon soils need less irrigation and less crop protection sprays.  Cereal crop lodge (fall flat) less. Crops yield a little more. What we need is active, controlled enabling, not ever-increasing suppression and indifference form government.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 18 October 18

 

Recycling contraceptive “pill” and hospital wastes

Residues of drugs, hormones,antibiotics and disease organisms do get right through the sewage treatment systems into our rivers and land.

 

We have known for over 30 years that, when women take the contraceptive “pill”, they urinate out the residues which do get through the sewage treatment system and end up in the rivers where, in one research study, male sticklebacks (a small fish) produced eggs.

It is relevant to note that much (maybe most or even all) sewage from hospitals is, quite legally (but questionably safely) put directly into the public sewer system and treated, along with general urban sewage, in conventional public sewage treatment works (STW’s) with the products released to water courses (some of which are later, down-river, extracted for human consumption) and farm fields. That sewage will certainly involve the technical issues involving drug and antibiotic residues, and significant pathogen levels.

I will, over the next couple of years, be looking at recycling hospital wastes, safely.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 17 October 2018

The beginning of the end

It is not impossible to turn global warming upside down.

 

The New Scientist this week comments on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that we have 12 years to save the planet. Interestingly, while pointing out that the evidence is overwhelming that the rise in global warming is human-made and really dangerous and already producing problems, they also argue that the evidence is that we can do something about it.

What this blog is sometimes about is that composting urban waste globally could make a real contribution to limiting and even reversing by locking up Carbon in organic matter and by reducing and eliminating the manufacture of Nitrogen fertilisers (which, according to UN-sponsored research takes 21,000 kWh to make one tonne of N nutrient – and that is in a modern and efficient USA factory).

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 16 October 18

fracking-Cuadrilla-earth quakes

If you are reading this, yopu are using energy which has been provided, in th emain, by burning fossilised fuels. Ask yourself, does it make sense to use our shale gas or impost oil and gas from half way round the world and export the cash and jobs?

 

Anyone who says that hydraulic fracturing is without risks is quite certainly wrong.  Similarly, anyone who says that banning fracturing in the UK has less risk is quite certainly wrong.

What can be said is that in the UK, shale gas rocks are around twice as deep as is the case generally in the USA and the rocks are harder.  We also have dramatically better technology and policing by the Environment Agency.

Currently, we ship shale gas from the USA and Middle East in specially constructed ships.  If you heat your home with gas, ask yourself if it make environmental sense to ship gas half way round the world, from places that really do use much less safe production than we will do, and export the jobs.

For a short piece on earthquakes near Blackpool, search https://landresearch.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=991&action=edit

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 15 Oct 18

National Debt bigger than education Budget!

The national debt (what successive government have borrowed to buy our votes) is now £1.8 trillion.  The interest, we heard on the BBC News this evening (4th Oct 18) is greater than the entire education budget. That is insane. The people we borrow off (Chinese, Arab countries, etc) ) will not kill us off completely, they will almost do that but not quite, just milk us forever.  That is the nature of debt. We need to balance the books.  The only thing big enough is shale gas. Stop importing energy when we are sitting on a vast reservoir.  by the way, we can do it safely.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 4 October 18

Winds will get stronger

We know that burning aviation fuel advances global warming by producing GHG (Green House Gas), BUT, it also delivers what is called “global dimming” because the ice crystals which allow us to see jet contrails also reflect sun radiation back into space. Complexity yields uncertainty.

The global weather system is complex and how it will change with respect to the global warming that we all (except, apparently, Mr Trump) know is happening is difficult to predict in detail and fast enough. One of the problems with that is that by the time we are sure of something, it may be too late to do much about it. The evidence so far does not suggest that climate change causes hurricanes. However, it’s becoming more and more clear that a warming climate leads to more devastating hurricanes.

As far as UK farming is concerned, the implication is that winds generally will get stronger and storm winds will do more damage to crops. Wind breaks and stronger cereal straw are still likely to be part of the defence strategy.  Wind turbines may be a better investment, too.

 

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 3 October 18