27 September 2011

Mount Holly Orchard and Garden Charity Event Saturday, 1st October 2011

This looks like an interesting event, I can't make it but if anyone fancies going it would be good to hear about it:

Mount Holly Orchard and Garden Charity Event
Saturday, 1st October 2011
2 p.m. To 5 p.m.

The environment is under pressure. From oil spills to floods and droughts, our natural world needs an independent voice. To make sure Friends of the Earth have enough funds to take on big polluters, South East Essex Friends of the Earth (SEEFoE) are hosting an open Orchard and Garden Event at Mount Holly.

The Mount Holly Orchard was planted by a Quaker family in the early 1900's.
It contains apple varieties that were planted in Victorian times. It is one of the few orchards growing original Victorian varieties. A number of the varieties have still not been identified. In the course of the restoration, a
new orchard extension has been planted. This extension is entirely made up of additional historic varieties that might be interesting for transitioners and permaculturists as they have long storing capabilities.

Everything available can be tried and tasted. There might also be some original cox apples.

The current owners are self-sufficient and have started a small organic Market Garden. All proceeds from produce and brochures sold on the day will go to national Friends of the Earth.

Mount Holly, Castledon Road, Downham, CM11 1LH www.seefoe.org.uk

On the back of the Southend Victoria Line between Wickford and Billericay.
From Wickford Station, walk along the Crouch or cycle or share cars (Limited parking).

19 September 2011

Matt Harvey gig 21st Sept

The Stour Valley Transitioners have organised a gig with Matt Harvey in Ipswich.

It's at the Brewery Tap on the dockside, when it also happens to be pizza night.

Here's Matt doing a gig in Totnes

It's a free gig, but they'll pass the hat around towards costs :)

13 September 2011

The Effects of Climate Change on Human Evolution

Places available on this new course offered by the WEA (Workers' Education Association)

Date: 19th  September for 10 weeks
Time: 7.30 to 9pm (approx)
Venue: Methodist Church Hall, The Avenue, Wivenhoe (The Blue Church)
Tutor: Fred Boot
Cost: £45 (some fee remission for those on certain benefits)

For all enquiries please contact Vivienne Goldsmith 01206 822178

10 September 2011

Permaculture Design Course @ Apricot Centre

That time of year again (part 3)

Good news, Ruth (at least) has accepted my wager. You'll catch at least one of us at the Barn Dance in fancy dress. Come on Bob, Jo and Claire. And the rest of you.

It's mid September and all eyes are on Arctic sea ice extent as it rolls toward its summer minimum. It's of particular interest to climate nerds because ice is shiny: polar sea ice reflects sunlight back into space, whereas melted sea ice reveals the dark water beneath which absorbs the energy and warms - contributing to Global Warming and driving changes in weather and climate. Change in the sea ice extent is a gauge of change in Earth’s Albedo. I cobbled together the average figures for April to September in my last post (and spelled kilometre wrong) specifically because those are the months of the year where the sun is in the sky, either reflecting off the ice or warming the ice-free water.

image: NASA

Spend much time in the darker recesses of the Internet though and you’ll find someone tell you that ice melt in the Arctic isn’t important because when it’s summer in one hemisphere, it is winter in the other and the sea ice there is doing the polar opposite and growing. Does growth at one pole compensate for loss at the other - are pesky climate scientists alarmists only telling half the story?

It’s a nice thought, but sadly falls foul to another simple physical property - night and day. Sea ice isn’t the only thing to change seasonally. Day length changes too. And at the Poles, it changes dramatically.

Outside the summer months in the polar circles the most you can hope to see is a few hours of weak twilight each day. The sea ice may be growing again, but there’s little effect on Earth's Albedo because there's hardly any light to reflect. At the poles proper the sun doesn’t rise at all for nearly a full six months.

Meanwhile, during the polar summer when the ice is in full retreat...

Video used with kind permission of Michael Becker

p.s. while I’m waffling about a bit of ice thousands of miles away, don’t forget that we're hosting a composting class right here in Wiv at The Station Garden on Sunday Afternoon.

8 September 2011

That time of year again (part 2)

A few days ago I posted a little graph from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in the US, plotting the Arctic summer sea ice melt as we head toward toward the summer minimum, usually sometime around mid September. It’s tracking tantalisingly close to the 2007 record low.

In truth looking at ice extent for an individual year, while an opportunity for some bet making entertainment, isn’t terribly meaningful. If we do get a new record it could be down to a number of factors, Global Warming will be just one of them. Naturally variable weather can have a lot to do with it too. (The National Centre for Atmospheric Research crunched the data and estimated that between 1979 and 2005 influence is shared about 50:50 for warming vs other factors)

What is significant is the long term trend.

Natural variability can play either way so, while it can have a big effect on individual years, over time it evens out and has little bearing on long term trends. The trend is the warming signal.

So come on Bob, Ruth, Claire and Jo - what say you? I’m going with no new record for Arctic Summer Ice Extent minimum for this year (I’ve no special info, it could still go either way). Losers attend the Barn Dance in fancy dress.

6 September 2011

Compost Master Class Sunday 11 Sept

It's ok, the class is in Wivenhoe but I wanted to share this cutie with you...

Wendy Station Puss is purrusing for a a new head gardener to tend volunteers and vegetables next year. If anyone can help, please contact her via hello[at]transitionwivenhoe.org.uk

WSP will be assisting (she is so busy between naps and snacks) in the Compost Making Master Class at the station garden this Sunday 11th September at 3pm. All are welcome to come and find out more about this essential craft and share their experiences, good and slimy. Call Jo for more info 827649

3 September 2011

It's that time of year again

When it comes to global climate the Arctic is the canary in the coal mine - climate always changes first and fastest in the Arctic circle. Anyone want to place bets on whether 2011 will break the 2007 record ice melt? Results will be in, in time for the Transition Wiv Barn Dance.