February’s Positive Climate News

Well, I almost can’t believe that it’s already time for our next instalment of Positive News. I’m trying to take comfort in the fact that February is a short month. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t seen some wonderfully positive news though – let’s get stuck in!

UK hills could become renewable energy ‘batteries’

Photo by Ian Cylkowski on Unsplash

Hundreds of hills across the UK could be transformed into renewable energy “batteries” through a pioneering hydropower system.

Traditional hydropower plants have been around for decades and help the electricity grid to release energy when demand is at its highest.

Borrowing technology from these traditional plants, the project would use excess green energy to pump water uphill via underground pipes. The water would then be released and flow downhill over generating turbines, when demand for electricity was higher.

According to the developers, RheEnergise, these newer systems are quicker and cheaper to build and also lead to fewer negative environmental impacts. There are also more potential sites across the UK, which means that around 700 sites could be developed in the future. This could provide a total of 7GW of energy storage, which is just over half of the total needed in the switch to 100% renewable energy.

Goodbye Gasgussling SUVs

The rise of the 4×4 has been disastrous for the environment with analysis indicating that SUVs were second only behind the energy sector as the biggest driver of global emissions increases between 2010 and 2018.

But that is all about to change! Jaguar Land Rover announced this month that its entire range will be electric by 2030.

Now of course the company had very little choice with the UK government banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by within the next decade. But I’m still counting this move as a win for the climate and a good example of how powerful government policy can be.

Prince Charles launched a Half Term Nature Challenge

During the UK’s half term Prince Charles teamed up with a number of nature-based charities, to create a series of nature challenges accessible and achievable to all those wanting to take part.

Whether you live in a town or the countryside everyone could join in the challenge while taking their daily exercise. All challenges could be carried out locally and by foot.

It’s at this time of year that all sorts of wonderful things start happening as Nature wakes up the world from its Winter sleep.  Buds on trees will soon become leaves, bulbs will start pushing Spring flowers up through the soil and we’ll soon be hearing the wonderful sound of birdsong every morning.  These things will happen near you, whether you live in a town, or a city or in the countryside.

HRH The Prince of Wales

Challenges included planting seeds, creating miniature gardens and making elephant artwork out of leaves.

Over 3,500 Turtles Rescued From Texas Cold

As temperatures plummeted in Texas last month both humans and animals struggled without access to power and water.

Turtles risked being stunned by the cold weather, which makes them so cold they are unable to swim and feed.

We very often don’t even think about the [cold’s] impact on animals, because we’re so worried about our own electricity and water. With this kind of event, it’s a classic display of humanity toward animals.

Gina McLellan, a 71-year-old retired professor and volunteer, told The Washington Post

The rescue operation was a huge collective effort that saw over 3,500 turtles being rescued from the freezing temperatures and warmed at the Sea Turtle Inc. rescue centre in kiddie pools and tarps.

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