Calling Russia evil for not welcoming the 1.5C report is pointless and uninformed, this is why

Barents Observer post about Russian exploration of Arctic.

From my nice relatively uninformed cosy British seat this looks terrible environmentally whilst on the other side – if they don’t do it, someone else will which is equally terrible and even worse from an international security perspective.

I don’t believe in climate change denial caused by fossil fuels in a STEM rich country who are also being already affected by it but with economic dependencies, I wouldn’t expect them to be shouting loudly from the rooftops about it or welcoming a report that suggests self-annihilation. Would you in the same position?

Any scientific evidence from Russia about the Arctic in particular deserves international consideration and critique where applicable. I don’t know how much that is happening.

And re security – an article about “Why the New Arctic cold war is a dangerous myth”

Expecting certain governments to magically stop fossil fuel production, especially one under unnecessary economic sanctions is unrealistic.

Personally instead of immediate fossil fuel divestment, I think a UN specialist scientific and economic Commission could specifically look at countries where fossil fuel dependencies and interdependencies obscure innovative thinking about alternative energies and ways of capturing, storing and distribution if we are going to reach the 1.5C target by 2020. Having grand scientific challenges with funded prizes such as great discoveries in the past may help. A commission if wanted must investigate and act quickly because poorer nations do not have time.

An excellent overview – translated via Yandex, Angelina Davydova’s report on Russian economic thoughts and climate funding – in Kommersant:

Warming will go by the rules

The UN conference was unable to agree on the modalities of dealing with it.

Saturday night in Katowice ended the UN conference on climate change. The results of the two-week session adopted the guide on adaptation to climate change and a set of rules the implementation of the agreement — but they describe only the reporting countries on the implementation of commitments, climate measures and costs. Agree about the economic mechanisms, and to convince countries to take enhanced commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions UN delegates are unable.

The most important achievement of the UN conference on climate in Katowice was the approval of the rules of the Paris agreement and guidance on adaptation to climate change. Rules determine how countries should report on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the actions of adaptation, allocation of funds and their spending — will have to do it every five years, in 2023 and 2028 respectively. “The rules define the procedure and the reporting structure, monitoring the global situation, however, the action of the rules does not prescribe,” says the participant of the conference, the Director of the program “Climate and energy” WWF Russia Alexei Kokorin.

Success in the extension of country commitments the conference has not reached. Despite data on the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the world in 2017 (after three years of stabilization) and a poor prognosis for 2018, plans to increase the obligations stated only Canada, several EU countries and Ukraine. Current voluntary commitments by countries and their measures of low-carbon development output the world to increase global temperature more than 3 ° C by the end of the century. To keep warming to within 2 º C, it is necessary to increase the obligations three times, and to limit to 1.5 ° C — five times, according to the report of experts of the UN Programme on the environment. New applications on a voluntary commitment, however, is only expected in September 2019 at the climate summit in new York will be hosted personally by the UN Secretary-General antónio Guterres.

The delegation of the Russian Federation (until Russia agreement not ratified) at the UN conference for the first time headed the new special presidential envoy for climate Ruslan Edelgeriev, who succeeded Alexander Bedritsky. Mr. Edelgeriev confirmed that Russia was preparing to ratify — is working on the concept of state regulation of greenhouse gas emissions (see “Kommersant” on 4 December), long-term low-carbon development strategy and the plan of adjustment of the economy to climate change.

The Ministry has dispatched on the coordination in departments the new version of the draft law on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions

Support during conference received the climate funds — Germany and Japan will allocate them for $1.5 billion, France, Finland and Norway confirmed that ready to ensure the operation of the Green climate Fund in the years 2020-2023. The world Bank announced that in five years will be allocated to climate projects $200 billion and will begin financing of projects of adaptation to climate change. However, the requirements of countries to access these funds has caused conflicts, tightening the end of the conference on the day. The demands for Brazil’s access to money has a new mechanism of sustainable development did not give the parties to agree on the economy of his work (see reference) — the solution to this issue is postponed for a year, and instead of Brazil, the UN conference will take Chile.

Not so developed, to refuse money

Access to funds climate funds triggered a series of conflicts, tightening the end of the UN conference for the whole day. So, the Turkish delegation insisted on leaving the group of countries with developed and transition economies due to the unavailability of her funds international climate funds the United Nations (for the same reason Turkey will not ratify the agreement itself). The same problem at the conference spoke the representatives of Belarus. Note that Russia because of sanctions is also experiencing difficulties with access to international green financing (primarily funds of the international development banks and Global environment facility), which is a serious obstacle to decarbonizing the economy, said the representative of “Business Russia” and “Russian partnership for climate protection,” Oleg Pluzhnikov.

The second conflict was also financial: the delegation of Brazil insisted to allow access to a new market mechanism of the SS (the steady development mechanism) projects launched during the Kyoto Protocol (then most of these green funds received Brazil, China and India). The firm position of Brazil not given to harmonize the rules of operation of market mechanisms — the question was postponed for a year. Also, the country refused to host the UN conference on climate in December 2019 — it was moved to Chile. However, such contradictions have already become traditional for climate negotiations: emerging economies require differentiated approach depending on the level of development and achieve the mandatory inclusion of financial assistance itself in voluntary commitments by developed countries under the Paris agreement.

Angelina Davydova, Katowice, Poland

Polar Museum in St Petersburg

For Arctic part of course attempting (and failing) to keep up with COP24.

Went to new Polar Worlds gallery at Maritime Museum – from 1953, it includes an Arctic Survival guide (like SAS and other ones) and apparently includes “the best faces to pull to prevent frostbite and when you expect bits of you to ‘fall off’ should you fail.”

Have found Polar Museum in Russia (physically in St Petersburg) online (in Russian)

Instagram pics:

2018 from a tiny island

It’s 2018 and apparently it’s ok to fund lies to smear another country but if it’s smearing our own then it’s a massive problem.

Exploring the Arctic – British perspectives

Nick Drake shares poetry and Professor Peter Wadhams who has led over 40 polar expeditions explain melting ice caused by climate change

Sustainable and urban living research at Surrey University

Students presented from UG research projects and staff also presented where they received internal funding for a project or to go and present internationally.

A big theme are their multidisciplinary research collaborations including across different sustainability themes.

I learnt what a vortex generator is (sounds like something out of Back to the Future) and also perovskite solar cells.

Other research included Vitamin D for northern & southern hemispheres particularly when hard for different social groups to get exposed to sunlight; blockchain & sustainable supply chains (tracing, tracking fraud / modern slavery), sludge management & anaerobic digestion.

One student completed a water audit onsite and now investigating infrared autoflush, water flow management and use of an unused borehole to help reduce water usage.

And on a Surrey note, I am going to be returning there – joining the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences on a digital learning contract later this month. I’ve already got another project to do from a conversation tonight.

I will miss Roehampton – will still be involved with DICATS and probably the follow up collaboration – maybe together with Surrey as it’s not so far down the road.

Carols – non political

I’ve been ‘teaching’ my piano student carols as many free sheet music arrangements available, they are great way to practice very repetitive rhythms with chords and both hands together.

I also used a couple of tiny clementines which I put under her hands during one lesson to help keep her fingers up. May get to Christmas chocolates next week.

She is going home to Ukraine then for Christmas and is ordering a piano so she may be able to perform them – so far (she mostly chose)

  • Good King Wenceslas,
  • I saw 3 ships (I thought she might like as she is from shipping city but actually a little underwhelmed, note to self…)
  • Hark the Herald
  • Coventry Carol

Hoping to do Stille Nacht / Silent Night next week as it’s also so beautiful too.

We haven’t found an arrangement yet but a Ukrainian carol below.

She is learning a french song from a Russian film, has self-taught herselfLa Laland and is currently self-teaching herself Bohemian Rhapsody. Amazing student – she does it mostly by sound and then writes (English letters)


Smartphone cooling for VR 360 recording and streaming

I am investigating overheating / cooling whilst we are running tests for VR and 360 recording and streaming because our personal smartphones get hot quite quickly even with an aluminium case and we will be streaming for four hours. You don’t have to use a smartphone for streaming and our tests were using a smartphone with the Vuze+ camera which we will be using with laptop instead of phone. But we are interested to know if there are options for smartphones. If we use something like an Insta360 Air we will need additional cooling options if recording / streaming motion of some kind for at least an hour. (Have not purchased Insta360 personally but may do in early 2019).

There are VR 360 portable cameras such as Vuze XR, comparison chart where this does not appear to be an issue.

A technical colleague suggested some kind of metal plate but this may be difficult if you want to hold the phone or an accessory stick. Some cases appear to be on or nearly available such as Optimal. If a mobile phone could be streaming / recording and doesn’t need to be held, then a mobile fan / radiator may be an option (again not tried but this would be interesting to see how much noise it makes and how it affects the quality). Research includes looking at graphene to cool and I guess manufacturers will continue to look at internal as well as external options as VR usage and streaming increase.

Depending on any fan noise, this looks like a nice idea for temporary cooling, if you are not outside and/or there is a lot of warm air circulation already because the USB powerbank looks quite small and light. Will ask around.


International day for Elimination of violence against women

Of course if you’re a female thug, a day like this is viewed as a challenge to their freedom to commit thuggery.

Here’s some good ones though

taekwondo sparring

One more session next week then we will be finishing, I aim to have done enough to help people who want to train at a club get a feel for what is involved as a minimum. One of ‘students’ kindly took some photos again today – beautiful but cold morning – nice backdrop. I was encouraging my opponent to come in and kick or punch – whilst it’s a little artificial with photos, it gives something of an overall guide.Half turn kick was good – they were kicking at or below knee height when they started last autumn.

I’m attempting to go back to training a couple of times a week from December onwards which may include running sessions or parts of them as well.

arms open wide encouraging student to kick chest student full turn kick circling getting ready to punch arms open wide encouraging student to kick ches


Please donate to Kemerovo permanent memorial

I was unable to visit in person in the summer but have interest from several people who wanted to donate financially. I read that the temporary memorial has been removed and they are hoping to build a permanent memorial / memorial garden. We received a nice reply from the local administration who have advised that there is now a fund for the permanent memorial construction. If you would like to donate directly to the fund they have advised something along these lines as a reference – provision of material assistance for the construction of the memorial in connection with the fire in Winter Cherry Mall, Kemerovo:

Details for settlements
Inn 4200000б30
PPC 420501001
the IBAN 97 4/0
OKPO 02286354
the RCM 32,101000
BIC 043207001
R / C 401 01 8 1 040000001 0007
Кемеровской области (главное финансовое у1rравление
Кемеровской области лl с 04392039400)
БК в шоле 104 платежного поручения 855 2 07 02030 02 0018 180
Euros EUR:
Beneficiary’s bank (Bankalararas) :
Corr.assoupt J\b 3 0Z 0 1 97895 0020000003
Krasnoyarsk Branch, SWIFT: VTBRRIJM2KRA
KEMEROVSKOY OBLASTI (Somerseta switch) : 40 6 03 9 7 89 1 2 03 02 0 00 5 2
Weightage’s bank (Bankpenalties):
Corr.account J\b 3 03 0 1 8403 5 0020000003
Krasnoyarsk Branch, SWIFT: VTBRRUM2KRA
KEMEROVSKOY OBLASTI (Noorsootootaja) : 4 0 б03 84 00 1 0200 20 3 0 5 1