Tiistai 16.11.2021 klo 13:40 - Mikko Nikinmaa
Climate change ain’t real.
Say that to anybody in British Columbia, if you want to be alone and disliked. First they had temperatures above 40oC in the summer, and now they have rain, which exceeds even their expectations. It has always rained a lot in BC in the autumn, but now the rains enough to cause flooding in an area known for its heavy autumn rains.
So when talking with British Columbians, start your conversation with the sentence above, if you do not want them to be your friends.
Maanantai 5.3.2018 klo 12:23 - Mikko Nikinmaa
These days most people live in cities. Actually urban life is probably the most compatible with sustainability provided that measures are taken to implement actions that on one hand decrease the effects of urban settlements to the environment and on the other hand decrease the effects of environmental changes on the feasibility of urban life.
Why is urban life sustainable? All the distances can be made short so that one does not need anything but public transport. (And public transport between urban settlements suffices). Energy and electricity production can be centralized and use effective and environment-friendly means. Also garbage collection can be made effective: in fact, there would not be the huge plastic pollution problem, if garbage collection had been effective.
However, the present cities are not planned to be sustainable. In many cases they are not built for people (minimizing distances) but for cars (maximizing the road area). The cities are largely concrete and steel, and all the water needs to run in canals lined with cement etc. Most cities are coastal, and the concrete, cement and asphalt continue to the sea-city interphase. With these properties, the effects of climate change in cities are maximal. In the absence of vegetation, the temperature can be several degrees higher than in a forest. Since the waterways do not contain any wetlands, heavy rains cause flooding, and since there is no free, absorbing vegetation between tha sea and the city, the storms also cause flooding of the cities. To change these features, one would need to build green roofs, small absorbing wetlands in the city's water channels, and stretches of coastal forests between the sea and the city. In fact, one of nature's innovations in storm-suspectible coasts is mangrove forests. With the help of the above changes in the outlook of cities, many of the extremely expensive damages caused by unusual weather could be altogether prevented.
The incentive to writing the above came from acknowledging the set of open access books on Environmental Science by Springer https://www.springer.com/gp/page/oabook/environment. One of the important areas covered is the relationship of urban landscapes and climate change.