Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Al Gore inconvenient truth & Zaragoza Expo 2008

around 10 days ago I went to see the "An inconvenient truth" documentary with a friend.
I feel that Mr. Gore makes sense in what he says and, if not, it seems to me a nice way of passing the time till he finds anything he likes more (presidential elections?) or both.

After leaving the cinema, I felt sorry for all those huge glaciers just getting smaller and smaller, then becoming tiny seracs…then i thought about Zaragoza and its desertic surroundings...

I also felt confused with all this data that talks about warning but in fact, in some places, could mean freezing…for instance, Mr. Gore explains that the last Ice Age in Europe came quite suddenly when fresh water from North America went into the ocean and, as a result, Europe temperatures got drastically colder…

A summary in my head is, if understand it correctly, and overall increase in temperatures (helping the Poles ice-melting … rising sea levels up to 6 metres by…well, we don’t know…) with some poorly understood changes in weather patterns.

At the end of the movie there is a link to a webpage which I visited. You can do the same at http://www.climatecrisis.net/aboutthefilm/ . There you can find the following apocaliptic message: “Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced”.
Uff, I think the page should deal with information and awareness but without creating any anxiety to the visitors. What do you think?

Let’s relax and try to understand the Global Warming hipothesis. What follows is my (poor) understanding (critics/comments accepted ;)

First you need to figure out the relation between CO2 increase and temperature increase.
To do that you will need to establish Co2 levels over a period of time. Mr. Gore do it for you and states that the level of CO2 (measured through ice cores) is now higher than at any time in the past 650000 years. And the temperature too…The last eleven years have included the ten hottest since records began.
Second, you need to believe (as Scientifics seem to do) in the Greenhouse effect
Third, and last step, the link needs to be made: more CO2 means more greenhouse effect, which in turns helps to trap more heat…Simple.

Well, no thatsimple. First, warming doesn’t ocurre evently across the planet…why? Well, we don’t know. And as we don’t know why, we say that weather patterns have a great degree of variability…this is what we say when we don’t understand something….too complex. Second, it is not that easy to measure the earth temperature (it is not like fever measuring with thermometers)…

But in the meantime, till we understand, we in Europe are already limiting those nasty greenhouse emissions…also in big events…as in our Expo Zaragoza 2008. Please, let us know any examples of best practices from previous Expos and/or events that could be implemented in the Expo Zaragoza 2008. From my side, I will check what is being actually done in Zaragoza…Last but not least, let me know what do you thing of all this…

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Zebra attacks Expo in Zaragoza

Normally you can expect international or global events being disturbed by NGOs. For example, environmentalists accusing the organisers to cement the wild meander where the Expo will take place. But what would happen if the Zaragoza Expo in 2008 is “disturbed” by small Mussels dressed in fancy zebra tones?. Material for a colourful Expo carnival parade around the pavilions? Maybe. But it can be more real than that. Millions of these conquers which –as some of the visitors- come from overseas might be there in 2008.

The Spanish delegation, supported by the Estonian, Maltese, Portuguese, Polish, Danish and Belgian delegations, recently asked the European Commission to propose measures to put in place – and to coordinate implementation of - an efficient comprehensive Community legislative framework to tackle the problem of invasive alien species.

Oh, the European Union. That means that here there is a problem, a big problem. What we do then?. Earlier this year there was an international conference in Zaragoza (http://www.fundacion-biodiversidad.es/opencms/opencms/fundacion-biodiversidad/resources/archivos/formacion/programa_mejillon.pdf ) to exchange views on how to deal with the invasion...

.... but other parties are joining the debate…maybe from a less scientific background, but not doubt with wisdom for imaginative and artistic proposals. For example Arrudi (http://www.10lineas.com/arrudi/). He was selected to fill the river meander where the Expo will take place, known as “ranillas” (ie. small frogs”) meander with thousands of designed frogs.
I hope the ranillas will stand the fight against the zebras…otherwise, as proposed by Arrudi- I would advocate for the creation a new Spanish “tapa” to be served on all food menus at Expo Zaragoza 2008.You guest...yes, using the zebra mussels as main ingredient. Would you volunteer to taste it?