Wednesday, April 23


Thats what we need in Waterlooville and the wider area. More local shoe makers and cobblers. But until that happens I recommend buying British handmade shoes. Guat shoes of Sheffield are an excellent example.

They may seem expensive at first. But that assumes that you buy into the fashion and wasteful mass produced shoe concept. Basically the idea behind locally produced products like shoes, is that you pay more initially but then get them re-soled and/or repaired at least once later. The resulting cost is the same over the years as two pairs of good quality mass produced shoes that you just throw away when you have finished with them.

So for no real extra cost, you get a pair of handmade shoes, made in the UK from locally sourced materials, all of which is much better for the environment.

It would be great if we had many cobblers/shoe makers set up in all towns across the nation, including Waterlooville, reducing imports, providing local jobs and services, plus more importantly reducing emissions and helping the environment. Civilisation wouldn't collapse just because we go local.

Tuesday, April 22

Local Elections campaigns

Well it isn't very long before we have to stick a mark on an election form. So far i have had two leaflets pushed through the door, two for the Liberals and one for the Conservatives. None for Labour so far.

The Conservatives pride themselves on these green issues:

1. Cleaning up chewing gum and shopping trolleys!
Cool that is so going to stop flooding, pollution etc. Maybe they should take a look at the photo i took a few weeks ago of the shopping trolley in a ditch. No word about plastic carrier bags or general rubbish that can be found around Waterlooville.

2. Providing extra rubbish collection at Christmas
Wow, this is so impressive! Instead of reducing the amount of rubbish collected, the Conservatives want to encourage us to produce more.

3. Increased the recycling rate in the area
I'll give them that one. Recycling has improved, but more needs to be done to get shops and manufacturers to change the packaging used so that we can recycle more. But the council also need to increase the types of materials that can be recycled.

4. Supports the Signing of the Nottingham Declaration on
Climate Change

I suggest this should be read, since close inspection shows this is a horrible compromise document. eg. It starts with the statement "Evidence shows that climate change is occurring".
The priorities of the declaration focus on adapting to the impacts of climate change and the only real commitment is to reduce the authorities own emissions whilst encouraging others to change.

Funny, because i don't see how voting for a bigger Tescos in Havant is compatible with encouraging others to cut their green house gas emissions! Or how building car parks around Waterlooville and a retail park encourages people to stop driving.

In fact in the Conservative leaflets 'Building a Better Borough' section, the Conservatives are actually proud of encouraging people to drive and shop til they drop! Suggesting that many big national retailer chains that have set up locally are compatible with the Nottingham Declaration. I mean it just shows how weak the Nottingham Declaration is, if businesses that import high carbon footprint goods from the likes of China are seen as good by the Conservatives. Or maybe they are just confused and bewildered by the changes that are happening.

Are the Liberals any better? Well i have no idea, one has to guess what their environmental policies are since there is zilch in the leaflet shoved through the door.

Added: Slight correction! The Liberal leaflet from Fred Dunford alerted me to the Havant Council consultations on the developments in the area. Thanks Fred, completed one already.

Nottingham Declaration

Wednesday, April 16

A 1.5 metre sea level rise and us

Recently two different scientific teams (Stefan Rahmstorf in Germany and Svetlana Jevrejeva in the UK) predicted that sea levels will rise between 0.5m and 1.5m by 2100. There are many predictions about sea level rises, including conservative IPCC predictions and scifi scale predictions that are much greater (naming no American names!).

This may seem irrelevant to anyone living in and around Waterlooville. Why would a 1.5m rise on the Solent coast have anything to do with people living on high ground at Waterlooville?

Well if you look at any maps that show the effects of different increases in sea level rises, you will see that even for small rises, the Solent coast starts looking a lot different when compared to other areas of the South Coast. With a 1.5m rise, Portsmouth in particular doesn't come off very well. Anyone living near Eastern road is probably going to have salt sea water permanently lapping around their front door and in their living room. In fact large chunks of the Portsmouth coast line will move inwards, covering streets.

OK so far, chunks of Portsmouth will be under salt water, is this all we have to worry about?

Well no, one obvious problem would be sewage, you can't have sea water getting into the current sewage system. So thats one problem. But that is relatively minor (Yes really, it is!). The main problem is that the sea isn't so benign that it will happily stay 1.5 metres higher than it is now. The next problem is the tide. What appears to be a minor problem of water permanently flooding a few roads, becomes a serious problem of flooding on a larger scale at regular times. So not only do you have people flooded out permanently, but also a greater number of people flooded a number of times a year by the tides.

That's not all. Regular tides are predictable, although probably not manageable without significant defenses. A bigger problem of a 1.5m rise for the whole of Portsmouth is the weather. Storms, surges and high tides would occasionally combine to flood great chunks of Portsmouth. If all these factors are combined then anyone living near the sea in Portsmouth would have to move. Those living on slightly higher ground would also have to move due to tidal flooding, those nearer the central areas will get fed up with the sewage polluting the homes and roads, as well as the weather related flooding.

Where does this all lead to?

Well Portsmouth City council statistics show the cities population being about 196,400 people in 2006. That is a lot of people who will need to move in the next 80 to 90 years. Yes, just 80 to 90 years. Anyone born this year is likely to see this happen in their life time. Even if only 50,000 have to move, that is a lot of people to accommodate in the local area or across Hampshire. If the whole lot move (and that doesn't include other coastal areas in Hampshire), then we have a serious problem.

How does this affect Waterlooville? Well maybe one of the obvious places to go when you're flooded out is nearby higher ground. The pressure to build even more houses in the area will be even greater. You would also have to move businesses, schools etc. The whole thing would be environmentally devastating and extremely expensive.

There are various scenarios that are possible. The first is that because the sea level rise would be relatively slow, the migration from Portsmouth will be gradual and people will even move out of Hampshire. The second possibility is that the government will spend huge amounts of money and put up massive sea defenses, something like New Orleans where much of Portsmouth would be below sea level. This may just put off the inevitable though?

However you look at the issue, Portsmouth and the surrounding area could have some serious problems to deal with in a relatively short time. The whole coast of Hampshire may very well become an economic dead zone, which will also propagate throughout the UK

Some useful links:
Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory
Potsdam Institure for Climate Impact Research
CReSIS Northern Europe Map

Monday, April 14

Buses and pedestrians diverted in Waterlooville

Pedestrians have to walk in the bus lane whilst Grainger carry out some 'minor' West of Waterlooville MDA work.
Big mounds of earth appear on the MDA site near London road. With food shortages and high prices across the world, here in the UK we are going to build houses on green field land and grow biofuels instead of food.
Some light machinery carrying out some 'minor' work on the West of Waterlooville MDA site, along the London Road.
Buses, cyclists and pedestrians all get diverted for some reason for a couple of weeks. Cars get off lightly.

Sunday, April 6

Snow in April 2008

Snow in April!
It's to late for an April fool joke. This really is 3 inches of snow in Waterlooville on April 6th.
Mind you it started melting about half an hour after it stopped as the air started warming up again and the clouds started clearing.
It's quite unusual for the South coast of England to get any snow, even more so this time of year. The last time we had a significant amount was probably some 20 years ago.