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Samsø and Climate Change

2011/11/16

I’m soooooooooo sorry!

To all of you who check in on this blog every once in a while, I apologize for my lack of posting.  I am taking a Master’s course (while teaching full time) and it’s been, well, nuts.  Having said that, researching for my last paper was rather eye-opening…

First of all, climate change is not looking so pretty.  According to the papers I read, no matter what we do, we are locked into 2 to 2.4 degrees of warming (relative to pre industrial temperatures.)  That’s scary when you think of the past two years that we’ve gone through as a planet with only one degree of warming.  And to keep it at 2.4, we need global emissions to peak in 2015 and drop by 50% by 2050.  I’m sorry to say that that looks less and less likely as time goes on.  And the later emissions peak, the hotter the world will get.  Don’t ask what happens at 5 degrees of warming…

On the other hand, writing this paper gave me the opportunity to learn about the Danish island of Samsø.  From 1997 to 2007, this island dropped it’s carbon footprint 140%!!!  They went from coal and heating oil to wind farms, solar collectors and heating plants that run on local wood and hay.  21 wind turbines for an island of 4300 people.  And all the extra power is sold to European countries  It is very impressive.

Wind farm off of Samsø.  Photo: energiakademiet.dk

Wind farm off of Samsø. Photo: energiakademiet.dk

Their example is really inspiring.  So much so that I intend to send my paper to our environment minister.  There are many parallels between Samsø and PEI, and I believe that what was done over there can also be done over here.  We’ll see if the minister reads my paper.

 

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