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human activity and the destruction of the planet


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People living near the Norfolk coast will need to relocate due to sea level rise

A report in the Mirror on September 10th 2019:

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/thousands-flee-homes-uk-coast-19985006

Thousands of families on the British coast will have to move inland as sea levels rise, an international commission has warned. It is claimed that entire communities may need to relocate to higher ground due to the effects of climate change.

north norfolk

A report from the Environment Agency states: “Protecting against or accommodating sea level rise in low-lying areas may no longer be possible and coastal residents may need to systematically retreat.”  Emma Howard Boyd warned in May that “it was not possible to protect against flooding by building “infinitely high walls and barriers”.

The Committee on Climate Change has also warned that the number of UK homes at risk from coastal erosion could rise from 5,000 to 32,000 by 2050.

happisburgh1

Happisburgh

A new report from the Global Commission urges governments to invest more in urgent adaptations to incursions from the sea.

The District Council leader in North Norfolk said: “Climate change is the fault of everybody so why should a few people at the coast bear the problem?”

Charles Lydon & Jonathan Staley.

The UK is to be the host of the key United Nations climate talks in Glasgow in November 2020. The COP26 meeting is the most important summit since the global Paris Agreement in 2015.



 


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England is running short of water

According to a report from the CEO (Sir James Bevan) of the Environment Agency, and published in The Guardian, England could be running out of water in 25 years’ time.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/18/england-to-run-short-of-water-within-25-years-environment-agency

The reasons for this are an increasing population, with an increasing demand for water and the effects of climate change.

Sir James Bevan

People’s water use and leakage from pipes needs to be cut by 33% and 50%, respectively, according to Bevan.  He suggests introducing some ambitious measures, such as:

Building new and larger reservoirs; build additional desalination plants; and develop new ways of transporting water across the country.

In a speech to Waterwise, Bevan said that all water companies need to identify their biggest risk, that is Climate Change.  By 2040, more than half of our summers are expected to be hotter than the 2003 heatwave, he said, leading to more water shortages and potentially 50-80% less water in some rivers in the summer.

The average person’s daily water use of 140 litres could be brought down to 100, by raising awareness of water wastage and making it socially unacceptable to waste water.

England’s population is expected to rise from 67 million to 75 million by 2050.  Maybe this should be addressed, as well as the above measures.

Any planned developments to conserve water should also be sensitive to the needs of wildlife and the environment.



 


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Help for bees as Environment Agency trials pollinator project

Press release published on 11 July 2018

The project seeks to create more habitat for mining bees - like this one - as well as bumblebees, butterflies, moths and other pollinators

 

The beloved bumblebee is one of dozens of species set to benefit from an Environment Agency project to improve habitat for pollinators.

A pioneering pilot scheme in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire sees Environment Agency teams adapting their routine work in a bid to boost biodiversity.

The teams, who maintain thousands of kilometres of river and reservoir banks that serve as flood defences, have been experimenting with the frequency and timings of maintenance work, like grass-cutting, on the banks to see what best preserves the wildflowers and herbs bees need.

They have also compared the results of removing the grass-clippings or leaving them in situ – and have found that removing them helps plants like clover, ox-eye daisies, dandelions and buttercups flourish.

Tapping into expert guidance from a consultant botanist and entomologist, the trial aims to increase the native bee population including bufftail, solitary, carpenter, mining and leaf-cutting bees, as well as butterflies, moths, and other pollinators.

This season marks the third year of the 5 year pilot – and also marks the third annual Bees Needs Week, an initiative by government, conservation groups, industry and retailers to raise awareness of simple things anyone can do to support pollinators, like growing more flowers and leaving patches of their garden to grow wild.

At the same time, biodiversity officers have also been making the most of EA-owned buildings like pumping stations and unused land to install bee boxes, hotels and havens made of natural scrap material – many of which were occupied almost immediately.

Nikki Loveday, biodiversity officer with the Environment Agency, said:

It’s our mission to protect people and wildlife and this is a brilliant example of how being flexible and innovative can help us achieve more for our environment.

We’re adapting how we carry out vital maintenance on our flood defences and looking for any opportunity to support our precious pollinators and the wider ecology.

Ultimately, if we can make small changes at no cost we’ll aim to share our learning and inspire others to do the same to have a big impact.

Meanwhile, a series of workshops for staff are helping them learn more about pollinators and how to identify and create simple habitats. More than 50 staff have are already putting this training to use in their daily work – for example, drilling holes in wooden posts for carpenter bees when fixing fences.

Entomologist Steven Falk, an expert in bees, hoverflies and other pollinators, who has delivered the training and advised on the project, said:

Bees and other pollinators put approximately a third of all the food we eat onto our plates, and it’s so important we support them by protecting and enhancing their habitat.

We know from experience that doing the right things, like enriching their nesting and foraging spaces, will increase the population of our pollinators. Even small changes can make a big difference of lots of people do them at lots of sites.

The Environment Agency is in a good position to contribute since it oversees so much land and it gives me great pleasure to work with them to give a boost to our bees.

For more on small actions you can take to support pollinators, visit https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/bees-needs/.