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Show Your Stripes

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

I spent some time on this website during the week after Met Eireann featured it in the nightly weather forecast. The ‘warming stripe’ graphics are visual representations of the change in temperature as measured globally over the past 100+ years. The website allows you to focus in on specific countries. Each stripe represents the temperature in that country averaged over a year. For most countries, the stripes start in the year 1901 and finish in 2019.

According to SFI, Ireland releases about 60 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year, crudely broken down into 40 million tonnes from energy (electricity, heat and transport) and 20 million tonnes from agriculture. The aim of the incoming government is to reduce it by 7% a year over the next few years (a policy that was agreed by all parties in the last Dail).

One thing that occurs to me coming out of the Corona Virus shutdown, is just how much CO2 we put into the atmosphere due to a daily commute. I was in the car yesterday, briefly, and realised that I've used it so little since the shutdown that I've only put diesel in it once since March 12th. It usually gets a 65 litre fill every two weeks, and when those 65 litres are burned, that puts about 170 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere. Just getting to and from work. That means that I've put 1 tonne less CO2 into the atmosphere due to the shutdown. I'm sure similar numbers are replicated all over the country.

I don't think schools can realistically shift to working from home, but I wonder how many of those in other jobs who have been doing so over the last few months could continue to do so in the future, given just a little bit of encouragement - and maybe a little help by way of broadband, IT support etc...

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