Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April 2016 in BC

This month has seen some dramatic highs in the province and has been relatively dry.  

We have seen temperatures in mid April in Victoria that would be close to record highs at the end of May.   Record highs that have stood for decades, or in one case more than 100 years, have fallen by up to five degrees.

We have seen a dramatic number of wildfires in BC already.   We are just short of 15,000 hectares burned in BC.    This would be a very high large area burned at the end of June in most years.  It is in fact a larger area than what burned in 13 of the last 96 years.

Globally February and March were dramatically warmer than in the past.

So is this climate change?   Likely but it is also not the only reason for extremes.   We are in an El Nino which leads to warmer temperatures in some parts of the world.

We are experiencing the strongest El Nino on record.   This should mean BC is warmer and drier than normal, which seems to be the case, but the warmer temperatures of this spring are wildly out of the normal range.   El Nino should mean other areas are seeing cooler temperatures but this is not the case that I can see anywhere globally.

The extreme highs we saw in BC last week are well outside of any historical precedence - not only were records set, but those records were up to five degrees higher.   There is no way this can be placed on El Nino, no matter how strong,   This is clearly climate change.   The only significant change in the last century has been the increase in greenhouse gases from humans.

Friday, January 1, 2016

In 2015 -eating beef was 52% of my greenhouse gas impact

In my life the biggest source of greenhouse gases comes from eating beef and dairy.   If I want to reduce my impact on the world reducing beef and dairy will be the easiest way to do it.

Currently I have consumed the following beef and dairy per year

  • Beef - 50 to 60 kg per year - this is about equivalent to 1,250 kg of CO2 
  • Dairy - 230 to 255 kg per year comprising 
    • Milk - 150 to 200 litres per year about equivalent to 140 kg of CO2
    • Butter - 20 to 25 kg per year - about equivalent to 133 kg of CO2
    • Ice Cream - 25 to 40 kg per year about equivalent to 50 kg of CO2
    • Yougurt and Sour Cream - 2 to 4 kg per year about equivalent to 5 kg of CO2
    • Cheese - 10 to 15 kg per year - about equivalent to 53 kg of CO2
This means my CO2 equivalent from beef and dairy last year was about 1,630 kg

These numbers are all based numbers specific for BC.
I also eat about:
  • 25 kg of chicken per year, 40 kg CO2eq
  • 15 kg of pork per year,  38 kg CO2eq
  • 100 kg of wheat per year - 80 kg CO2eq
By far the biggest single source is from beef.  

My other sources of greenhouse gases in 2015
  • Car travel - 100 kg CO2
  • Transit  - 200 kg CO2
  • Other food 50 kg CO2
  • Electricity 180 kg CO2
  • Consumer goods 100 kg CO2
Making my 2015 greenhouse gas impact at 2.4 Tonnes CO2 eq.

2/3s comes from beef and dairy and 52% alone from beef.   

I am going to try and reduce the beef and dairy I eat this year.   If I can reduce it by 50% I should be able to reduce my 2016 CO2 equivalent to about 1.6 Tonnes.   My beef intact is already down 40% from what it has been in the past.  

This or course would be dramatically different if I fly anywhere this year or if I end up with a car again.