Friday, 31 October 2008

The County Council comes to Town

This is a chance to improve Ulverston's Town Centre.

Nick Raymond the County Engineer dares to come to us to find out what we want.

He has an abysmal track record in some respects. It is important for us to tell him clearly our views.

I have suggested several areas that could be improved in the town in the leaflet that has been widely distributed through half of Ulverston - East Ward.

Here is a copy.

First we need the appearance of the town centre to reflect our pride in our town.

Second we would greatly benefit from the new government scheme - "Shared Space" which would enable people and vehicles to mix freely and safely through the Centre - Market Street and Upper Brook Street.

Here is a recent shared space working in Brighton.

We expect our roads to look smart and attractive. Mr Raymond does very very little to help.

In addition to the poor state of our road markings, the most glaring example of his inactivity is regarding our cobbles.

Contractors were allowed to dig up holes in Market Street and not replace the cobbles correctly.

He did not supervise the work. United Utilities through their contractor Balfour Beatty did an appalling job. When we complained to him, no improvements took place even though the contractors were legally liable to repair faulty workmanship.

When I contacted United Utilities through one of their employees they reported that, yes, the work was bad and they would return to repair all the cobbles they were responsible for even though it was beyond the period where they were legally liable.

They stated that they had received no complaints from Nick Raymond about their work despite our complaints to him.

He clearly is not doing his job.

Furthermore we need street furniture : benches, lamps and signs, as suggested by Councillor Colin Williams recently. There is a place for sculpture and hanging baskets in areas such as Lower Brook Street, Potter's Yard and Bolton's Place with its Mural.

Shared Space is a concept that restricts the speed of vehicles so that pedestrians can take full advantage of the whole street. Drivers can access the buildings, but the street is not generally used as a thoroughfare. Vehicle speeds are kept to about 10mph, giving time for people to politely allow them access.

When Nick Raymond comes to Ulverston this next Thursday Evening at 7 pm in Glaxo Club to consult us about our town centre, we need to be very assertive and make sure he listens to us clearly. He has a tendency to want to tell us what we can and cannot have. He is not here to tell but to listen.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Stan Laurel and the County Square

I have major concerns about this project, however as it has gone through its consultation process and I did not participate (being immersed in teaching IT worldwide), now is not the time to gripe.

I accept the idea of having a statue of Stan, but am concerned that it should not be installed in such a way that it remains there more than say ten years.

The possibility of changing the emphasis in future needs to be thought about now.

Replacement of the statue with something else would appear to be fairly straight forward. The thing that concerns me are the rays in the pavement that will radiate out from the statue. They will have catchy phrases engraved in their surface which will be difficult to change, so they need redesigning now, before they have been made and installed.

Why would we want to change?

1. Stan does not represent the vitality of Ulverston, something we are proud of - he never lived here.

2. We have been sold the myth that coach loads of tourists will come to visit. What will we feel when this doesn't happen? If they come, will they visit the real town and spend in our shops.We should concentrate more on our regular visitors, who are concerned about the run-down state of the town centre.

3. Stan may be popular and known to the age group making the decisions but how about the young people that are the visitors of the future?

We have other things that have become synonymous with young Ulverston :

The Lantern Parade and the Flag Fortnight - thanks to Welfare State International - the activities of UCAN who took over the running of the finale of the procession at Ford Park and have added spice to life in our town.
The Mural in Bolton's Place, done by the children of the town.
The many festivals of all kinds that are driven by many local people.

We have several living individuals :
Chris Brammall, nationally acclaimed sculptor in steel, Keith Tyson,Turner Prize winning artist, Laura Barnett, LMB Design at The Bleach House Gallery, spring to mind,

The people behind our many varied shops - those that ran fashion week, Smith and Harrisons ...
The people behind our industries - Oxley.

Let's celebrate our vibrant town - not our fictitious past!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Where did the money end up?

The only place that I can think of is with some exceedingly rich people who have stashed gold bars under their beds.

What do you make of this riddle?

The bankers - maybe to some extent.

The people that sold houses but didn't sell them?

Why doesn't anyone talk about this?


I am.

Why shouldn't we be allowed to take risks?

In the wake of criticism of the fell running event over the week end.

Why Not?

"We know what's best for the area"

Dawn Wright is understandably upset that someone is intruding onto her patch.

As Chairwoman of the Honeypot Community Group, she chose to write to the Evening Mail yesterday.

I choose to give this paper a wide berth!

She implied that I was "telling the locals what they want" and spreading confusing and negative information.

A few points.

She was the first to receive my leaflet, the night before they were delivered to selected houses - ones that I had visited before and where there was evidence of children in the house.

The information in the leaflet was based on many discussions that I had had with some fifteen to twenty parents in the area . It reflected what the locals appeared to be asking for. There is no doubt that skateboarding rates high on the agenda of many boys - I'm not saying that it rates higher or less than ball sports.

I got it wrong: I was shocked to find that the £50,000 on offer came with strings attached - according to Simon Hughes of SLDC - it had to be spent on a MUGA. How this happened in the first place is of concern to me and I hope to discover this eventually.

When Simon Hughes talks about a 'consultation' about the MUGA, I would have thought the phrase 'provide information' would be more appropriate.

I have already told Dawn Wright that I am eager to learn of her group's plans for the area and will continue to talk with all those interested as I make my way slowly door-to-door through the area!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Monitoring Dragley Beck in Heavy Rain

The rulers at Fitz Bridge: left at 10:30 Saturday night 25 Oct , right at 6:30 Sunday morning 26th Oct.

Each number represents 10 cm - about four inches.

The first was while rain continued to fall after about nine hours. The second was after the rain had stopped for about three hours.

At the time of the first measure, Low Mill Bridge was coping well:
and there was no flooding over the rope walk.

Now compare this to when the Beck broke its banks on September 5th
The video shows a reading of just below 6.

Conclusion: when the Beck breakes over the Rope Walk and heads across the fields towards South Ulverston, the Beck reads near 6 at Fitz Bridge.

You might have expected trouble yesterday by the quantity of rain in the day, but this is not the important factor. As long as it rains steadily at a moderate rate , the Beck can carry the water away fast enough, but if the rain falls fast when the ground is already saturated, then expect trouble.

Anyone passing and seeing a reading over 5.5 please give me a call on 480347 - I'll be down to look at the river - over to you!

Between us we'll get to understand the problem as well as the Environment Agency ! ! ?

Now for something more cheerful - have a look at the cavorting dogs at Ford Park on my "Seen in Ulverston" Blog - link on right, or if you're feeling lazy here . . . . .

whilst I get on with printing , cutting and folding 1,000 leaflets ready for tomorrow's delivery to your door mat.
How do I get them through your knuckle-proof letter boxes without screwing them up ? - I've made myself a cunning contraption - some people have seen something shoot across the hall at an alarming rate. Keep your cats in the back room for safety - don't want them hit between the eyes by flying 'Getting things done' messages, do we?

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Sex education for children

Someone in the Evening Mail put my view across very well.

We need to support the curiosity of children.

I remember my time in the air raid shelter at the bottom of someone's garden at the age of perhaps four or five with possibly three other children of similar age. For a short time we loved playing doctors, which consisted of one lying in the middle and the others 'operating'. It obviously made a big impression as we had one young girl who was very keen to show us her genitals - possibly to get a view of ours.

I can remember no more than great interest that she was different to me. There were no unpleasant vibes that I can remember - we were just innocently curious. The question "Why are we different?" didn't come up - we just were.

I believe this is where education goes wrong in our culture. We feel the need to convey facts rather than to satisfy curiosity.

A good teacher who is a good listener and who tries hard to 'get inside the head' of the student, will try to find out just what the child is asking.

This can be done by the teacher asking questions rather than providing facts. Getting children to think hard - as hard as they want to. Together with the group one can arrive at a fairly good idea of an answer.

Question after question - If you think this why then does that happen?

We were taught to teach our whole lesson by asking questions and guiding a class to finding the answers - in books - from others and for themselves - to the level of answer that satisfied them- each student to a different level. We then tried to help the students to assess the validity of the facts available. By doing this well, the motivation to satisfy most curiosity was sky high and students remembered very well.

It is this kind of education in schools that I will be trying to promote in Cumbria wherever possible!

Who pressed Nick Raymond's button?



Makes you feel good, doesn't it !

Could it be that 'someone' sent the top photo to the police?

No - surely not - our Cumbria County Highway's Engineer is always giving Ulverston the best service he can.

Whoopse - Who told the workers to go home?

Or did this one slip by unnoticed ? - They're so faint you wouldn't, would you!

Pedestrians - who cares - my office seat is far too comfortable -

Drawing pin anyone? Go on Stuart - give him one!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

An unsatisfactory situation for Ulverston People - both young and old

With the political parties squabbling over who should have money for play ground facilities that is handed out from SLDC we are getting very poorly thought out strategies for providing facilities for young people.

This is typical of our Town Council who are not proactive in any way that can be detected.

As a group they do not look ahead and plan policies for the whole town. Instead each councillor tries to look important on their own patch and takes no interest in the town as a whole (I nearly wrote 'hole' - which is what Ulverston is becoming).

We need structured thoughtful plans hammered out for:

Tourism - Ulverston's official web site is a very looooooong time coming - it's been two years now since I complained to Jayne Kendal - now the Town Council have taken it over . . . . Thank goodness we've got an attractive alternative thanks to the efforts of an enterprising individual .Our streets look a mess with cobbles all over the place- to be repaired - thanks to the efforts of . . . . me! The road markings are warn out and not repainted. Some have been redone - partly thanks to me - reporting them to the police as unsafe and circulating all town and parish councils.

Parking - Some car parks unused - some streets jam packed so that the residents can't find a place for themselves - shop keepers unhappy because the spaces outside their shops are tied up by . . . residents. Car parking schemes for business people don't work. People don't observe the double yellow lines and are deemed by the Parking Warden to be 'loading and unloading' even if they stop for cash at the cash machine at Bargain Booze - promoted by - - the Town Mayor. It's a right mess.

Housing - with a totally different set of rules for 'Affordable Housing' so that we get none and Kendal gets a hundred - this is going to change - at last - did Ulverston politicians try changing this? Just asking? I did in my submission to IPATH in early 2007! and again in early 2008 in a submission to the Core Strategy.

In my opinion, party and local government policies do not focus on overall planning for Ulverstonians but act in a piecemeal way that results in Joe Bloggs feeling frustrated and angry.

Instead of having hope and trusting 'the system' he/she wants to wash his/her hands of the whole thing.

I am meeting a lot of people that can't be bothered and regard 'democracy' as a nonesense - a waste of time.

I sincerely believe there is a viable alternative - and that is to elect a load of thinking and doing Independents. People who have run businesses and plan ahead to get things done.

But then. I would think that!

Would anyone consider joining me as an Independent in any of the roles of Town, South Lakeland, or County Councillor? I would just act in a supporting role but NOT influence your thinking - you would be . . . . independent! We could work together on publicity. You could have an author role on this blog. We could share leafleting of houses in the area!

Some Councils, I find, are run by Independents and are able to put squabbling party politicians in their place - the dog house!

I'm in the Rose and Crown or the Market Square at 11:00 every Saturday . . . .

If you think the rain is bad today . . .

. . . . . watch out for Saturday.

Bull's eye?

If the Met office is right - over 1 inch in 3 hours at 4 o'clock with winds to match.

Our yearly total used to be 28 inches in 1970 . . . .

Have those phone numbers to hand.

I'll be down to Dragely Beck to check the damage.

This is the reading at Fitz Bridge at the moment!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Global Warning - we have 98 months

On the other hand some think we have had it already.

So is it time to have our final fling lasting some twenty years before chaos reigns!

Copied from the Westmorland Gazette Forum

"Problems occur when people use broad generalisations.

Environmental campaigner and Doom don't sit well with me.

As a Chemical Engineer who was employed to do research for Shell Oil in California and Glaxo in Ulverston I see myself in a wide range of ways. Reasonably knowledgable in some.

What I attempt to do is question:

Why do people want to trust other scientists rather than those at the Met Office who tell us that if no more carbon dioxide was added to the earth's atmosphere the temperature would steadily rise in the future?

They believe that whatever happens (except - see later)the average temperature in the future will rise and keep rising. - I keep reading the statement "most scientists agree with the above".

If we do nothing to restrict carbon emissions then the temperature will rise very quickly at an accelerating rate in the future.

Whatever scenario we envisage - the temperature will rise. All that is questioned is how fast it will rise.

When the temperature rises enough we as humans cease to be able to live here!

I don't see this as Doom but fact. I can live cheerfully with this thought! I shall just enjoy the time that is left!

The only way that the temperature rise can be halted is if we (scientists/engineers) can actually remove carbon dioxide faster than it is being emitted.

To do this we have to remove in the range of 350ppm or 0.03 % from the earth's atmosphere. Though this is possible in theory, the problem is that we have to do this without using carbon fuels to provide the massive amount of energy required. This will be an exceedingly difficult feat to pull off requiring much of the worlds resources to achieve. More importantly we need to provide very large funding from world government funding to do this.

With the system that we have of free enterprise, a democratic system that allows the masses to take decisions I see no hope of achieving a consensus to concentrate on this issue.

Removal of carbon dioxide at the source of the emissions is already being done by a very few power plants - in Germany - I believe.

This is a far easier task as the carbon dioxide can be present as high as 20% in the exhaust gases once the water is removed.

To use this approach carbon fuels would only be burnt in specially designed power stations that generated, say , electricity.

Everything else would be driven by electricity. A complete change in technology.

Accept it - realistically - it's not going to happen.

What we can do as adjust to the thought that we face a future where there will be mass panic as the reality of what is happening dawns on the masses. This will be a hard time but one I'm looking forward to dealing with.

One way is to build some very strong and loyal relationships with people who will work together and cope.

Can we adapt quick enough?"

Your visits in the last month

Welcome to all new visitors here!

In the last month there have been 225 completely new visitors (compared with 84 last month).

Better still 60% of those viewing this blog are ones that are returning.
169 returned for more than ten times, whilst 59 returned more than 50 times.

As you can imagine this is very encouraging to me!

How long can this continue?

It is great that people are beginning to comment. This is one of my goals :

To provide a space where people can have their views heard.

I assure you that all comments that are not abusive are published so that a debate can take place!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Meeting people is part of getting things done!

If you like meeting and chatting with interesting people and getting a glimpse of how they live you will want to follow the Ulverston Christmas Art Trail !

You can also have fun with your mouse here and see lots of pictures!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Rain, rain, rain.

Expect heavy rain and strong winds this Thursday according to the Met Office.

The next bit of sunshine will be Friday afternoon.

Enjoy it, as rain will continue for the next fortnight in lesser amounts.

Dragley Bank may burst their banks!

Use 0845 609 6609 for blocked drains in Cumbria.
Make a note of all blocked drains that can't cope with the flow and report them to the 24 hr service. Take a note of the reference number and use this to add further items to the original so that all problems are dealt with. Blocked drains that threaten property are dealt with in 24 hours. Its worth reporting all problems so that they get dealt with eventually.

Use 0845 988 1188 for flooding from rivers in the UK.
You can register to be told of a flood warning by email, phone, mobile or fax by using this number if your house at risk of being flooded.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Hoad Graffiti

In business, if you keep your place smart and show you care, then people also take care of your things.

This town gives out the message in many ways that it doesn't care. No wonder it gets abused!

Good news for the Honeypot?

What would be a good games area for the Honeypot ?

Wendy Kolbe is bringing Margaret Belk,Community Development Officer, SLDC, to a meeting at Dale Street School:

This Wednesday 22nd October at 7 o'clock.

The spending of some £50,000 plus to involve children and young people is being discussed.

A MUGA has been proposed which looks like this:

To me this is a real disappointment. The money could be spent much better.

There is already a grassed area with fencing around it for kids to kick a ball around - is it used?

It is very rare to be offered money. we need to think carefully before acting.

Instead of proposing a solution, wouldn't it be better to consult the local young people as to what they want?

There is quite a lot of interest amongst young people from the Honeypot in skateboarding and how about something for young children, furthermore the presence of parents and adults can have a real influence and bring people together.

What is needed is an area where lots of people with different interests get together.

They do this in France very successfully.

So how about:

Seating in a small park area:

Something for the young people:

This is one they've got in Grange.

with Skateboarding:
This is in London and doesn't have to cost a lot - what is needed is a flat smooth surface of concrete with a few concrete 'boxes' of different heights for the kids to 'Grind' on!

Come to the meeting, particularly if you're young, and express your views!

Here's a link provided by Lukeuk below

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Blocked Drain South Ulverston

This drain was blocked and caused flooding all across the back lane behind North Lonsdale Road so that the flooding of a house was only prevented by the action of a group of local residents.

Here's one that defeated even the experts!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Flooding again next week!. . . .Getting things done outside . - . Forget it!

New link added to your right.

Downpour is forecast this afternoon, Tuesday, at 16:00.

Watch out!

This will be nothing compared with a week's time

On Sunday and Monday , 20th and 21st - solid rain could be really bad!

Dragley Beck will burst it's banks again if the forecast is right.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Money - can it ever be this important !

Thank you Peter Macdiarmid - photographer!

There are some people whose lives seem to be depend on it.

To most of us, people, and particularly, people that can be relied on, are far more important.

That's why I feel more comfortable with the kind of people that live in East Ward rather than those that live in the likes of Kilner Park - working class people rather than 'the haves'.

What do they have other than possessions?

Things are going to get tough and we will depend on each other (and not on what we own) more.

Next Saturday, 18th October, 11:00 till 2:00 will be my time to talk with you on the market square - weather permitting!

A series of important meetings for locals to attend

This is an opportunity to suggest improvements to walking, cycling, public transport and safe use of the car in Ulverston’s town centre to the County Councillors, Pauline Halfpenny and Wendy Kolbe. County Council officers will be at the meeting, including Nick Raymond, the Area Engineer. There is no specific funding attached to this consultation to do any work. However, the Plan will be useful as and when County Council funding does becomes available – the Council will be clear about local people’s priorities.

It would be important to attend all three meetings if at all possible.

1. Thursday 6th November, 7pm, at Glaxo Sports and Social Club, Cavendish Street
This meeting will explain the process and invite people to list things which
could be improved under the four headings (above)
2. Tuesday 18th November, 7pm, Methodist Church Rooms
This meeting will ask people to score the items raised at the first meeting in
terms of importance
3. Thursday 4th December, 7pm, Coronation Hall Supper Room
A meeting to discuss the scores given at the previous meeting in relation to
how the County Council would score those same items. The aim is to agree a
final priority listing which will form the Community Travel Plan for Ulverston town centre.

This map, thanks to Google, has been adapted by me!

This consultation is your chance to tell the County what improvements you would like to see in relation to walking, cycling, public transport and safe use of the car.It could include speed limits, car parking, road surface repair, Zebra crossings and the regulations for traffic and parking in our shopping streets.

Many Thanks to Unitied Utilities

The United Utilities' Sun shines on Ulverston's Cobbles!

A phone call has just been received from Jeremy Robinson, Water Maintenance Project Manager, Carlisle regarding the repair of Ulverston cobbles in Market Street.

They have undertaken to work with the County Highways to rectify the work needed to bring them back to a high standard.

They are to be greatly commended for this action because , as far as can be ascertained, they had no legal obligation to do this.

They are obviously concerned about their standing with the community and those of us in the town who have worked to get this matter sorted, will want to congratulate them for their actions.

Thank you United Utilities.

Work will be coordinated with the County and therefore will not take place until 2009. In the mean time the cobbles will be re-examined to check whether any remedial work is urgently required to improve the safety for pedestrians.

I will forward your (complimentary !) messages to Jeremy Robinson, though I imagine a lot of people will want to wait to see the actual physical improvements before committing themselves to praise.

As far as can be determine some of problems have arisen because of the lack of communication between the Highways Engineer, Nick Raymond and United Utilities management who state that they were never asked to return to rectify their work.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Democracy disappearing

This is the office for the Neighbourhood Forum, the staff are having to travel to Kendal now that this office is closed. The Forum already never publicises its meetings in the town in spite of it being meant to be a way that the community can keep in touch with its politicians.

It had a meeting last week in the Coronation Hall and half of those there were councillors with only ten members of the public present.

Now we can't even walk into the office and talk to someone. Kendal and Carlisle are again taking over.

Its malfunctioning was one of the reasons that urged me to become a County Councillor. It will be one of the first things I try to change so that everyone's voice can be heard.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

The roundabout that never was !

Some say there isn't room for one here at the junction of the A590 and North Lonsdale Road.

Who allowed Persimmons to wriggle out of their commitment to build one?

It is reported by Wendy Kolbe that there wasn't enough room.

Finding out is one of my priorities and then asking again for this subject to be reviewed is the next.

There is a petition circulating that already has 200 signatures and will be presented shortly to the County Council. Unfortunately the County only allow the public to pose one question per meeting.

Is it time that Wendy Kolbe, Cllr for the area, took the matter up again?

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Looking Good - sights like these raise the spirits

People respect the Bright Double Yellow Lines

Round the corner - business as usual!

Credit Card Fraud

This is becoming more prevalent and the criminals cleverer.

In one instance someone used my details to try to purchase airline tickets for £1,500.

This was spotted immediately by my bank - The Cooperative and my credit card changed.

However much cleverer - another company using the name " VUE BSL LTD" then used the same details to withdraw only £16.20 which was not spotted immediately.

Lots of small amounts add up to one big one and are easily overlooked!

It slipped by me totally.

The latter company was only brought to light when people used the internet to alert others about

VUE BSL LTD and a pattern emerged.

Again my bank alerted me of this ploy and I have confirmed that I did not make a purchase from an Edinburgh firm at the time.

Furthermore the last time I used my credit card - and this is not often - it was to buy a SONY battery from UK DIGITAL through eBay.

The following email was written to them with a copy to the local police but no reply received :

" Someone has used my credit card details to attempt to buy goods and services illegally

Your company were the last people with whom I used my credit card.

You may have someone working for you with access to credit card details who is misusing this information.

As you see I am alerting the police to this possibility."

Feel free to send me similar info confidentially - gd at done to avoid SPAM

This reminds me of a newspaper story I read some forty years ago:

A clever fraudster used to comb the obituaries and notices of deaths and send an 'outstanding bill' for a mere umbrella for a small amount of money to many of them.

The executors settled these unimportant amounts without question!

Eventually he was found out, no doubt living in luxury - this guy was caught - perhaps many aren't - the less greedy ones!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Global Warming - facts

Many people suggest that global warming doesn't exist.

Here are the facts as presented by the Met Office.

The black line represents the average temperature change of actual observed figures.

Is it rising, steady or going down?

The green area represents predictions from various sources as to what that would be if no human activity was taking place.

The next graph shows the same actual figures in black set against the predictions that include the effects of human activity.

My conclusions are that:

Average temperatures are rising.

The predicted estimates are about right

So what are your conclusions?

That the Met office are lying?

That the black line will suddenly dip?

If this was a graph of the water level at your front door - would you:

Get Sand Bags?

Buy a Pump?

Go back and watch Tele?

Get the politicians to agree to do something about the cause? - Fast?

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Global warming explained simply ! ! ! ?

Here an attempt is made to put forward the 'facts' of global warming using a number of sources and words of others - see the references given in the earlier posting below.

(In any good science there are no such things as 'facts', otherwise new theories would not evolve as we understand the world more clearly. What we accept as facts are only high probabilities, eg the sun rising in the morning, the apple falling to the ground. This 'doubt' should not be used as an excuse to ignore them. In this case if the Met Office is issuing the warning you could justly be considered ignorant to ignore their predictions unless you are more knowledgeable than they. It is nevertheless difficult to face up to unpleasant facts - we use every ruse to avoid facing unpleasant facts and there are powerful commercial interests who wish to promote our doubt.)

Here are the 'established facts'. Feel free to find fault with them, and it would be hoped that this is because you have found some added information to share with us!

Then if convinced - doing something about it would be the logical result!

A major reason for Global Warming is the so-called "carbon cycle effect". Plants, soils and oceans currently absorb only about half of the carbon dioxide emitted by humankind's activities.

While this occurs, Carbon Dioxide concentration is rising continuously. It is one of several ‘Greenhouse Gases’.

Greenhouse gases absorb thermal infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, by the atmosphere itself, and by clouds; and then re-radiate thermal infrared in all directions, including down to the Earth’s surface. The heat does not escape. The temperature rises.

As temperatures increase, the absorption of greenhouse gases by the plants, soils and oceans decreases.

For example, plant matter in the soil breaks down more quickly at higher temperatures, releasing carbon more quickly, and amplifying the warming trend.

With the temperature rise, the ice in the polar regions melts revealing soil which, because it is not white, absorbs heat from the sun more efficiently. Thus the temperature rises even quicker.

Methane released from the thawing of permafrost will add to the warming. This methane release is currently not included in the calculations, and becomes more of a risk for larger temperature rises.

Hence, the risks of dangerous climate change will not increase slowly as greenhouse gases increase. Rather, the risks will rise exponentially, like an explosion, if we do not reduce emissions fast enough.

Thus the longer the green gas emission is greater than that absorbed or removed the faster the problem becomes insoluble, even with extraordinary measures.

Thus the sooner we act to bring down green gas emissions to a steady state where they are being absorbed and removed as fast as they are produced, the sooner we will stop the temperature rise and keep the world as we know it 'safe'.

See posting below for links to information and what you can do!

When are Ulverston's surfaces Dangerous

The Highways Authority claim repeatedly that they repair holes and surfaces withing 24 hours if they are deemed to be dangerous. However they have very arbitrary definitions of what is dangerous. Ultimately it depends whether cases brought against them are successful.

These injuries were received through tripping on one of Ulverston's uneven pavements some time ago.

The cause of the problem a half inch depression in the pavement.
The same place taken from the side.
Located outside the Chinese Takeaway on New Market Street. This defect still exists. Photo taken today.

We normally don't expect these to exist so they catch us out. How do we decide something is dangerous? This clearly was to this lady. How long to put right - 30 mins? How long to rectify all similar defects? Several days or in the case of Market Street weeks?

The situation with Market Street is different in that the work of the replacement of the cobbles was not satisfactorily supervised to a high standard and the contractors not made to return to repair. Thus work that should have been done for free has now ended up as the County's financial responsibility.

It's not difficult to find even worse holes in road surfaces, this one on Stanley Street
What is the mechanism for getting these repaired?

Stuart Taylor from Capita tells me he comes to town from Kendal to check the roads and pavements every three months but is this enough and what does he miss? If he finds something that is dangerous he repairs it in 24hrs - but what how does he define dangerous? It was difficult to pin him down!

Photos like this emphasise to the County that in fact our roads and pavements are not safe. Please sendmore here to make this point.

Bear in mind that we can never be completely safe , but we like to feel that someone cares and is trying!

If you would like to make a claim you may wish to use this service recommended by Esther Rantzen

Met office warning of the consequences of Global Warming

A burnt-out firefighters’ truck after forest fires devastated southern Greece during a heatwave last August. Photograph: Louisa Goulimaki/AFP/Getty Images

An article in the Guardian today spells out clearly the findings and predictions of Vicky Pope, the Met Office's leading advisor to the government.

"The warning from the Met office Hadley Centre is likely to cause widespread concern, especially as the Met Office has a reputation for taking a cautious approach. It advises the UK government, the United Nations and other governments and businesses."

Vicky Pope has written her own article where you note that Methane emissions from the Permafrost are given as cause for concern - as I discussed in my earlier page of the blog on August 10th - I told you so!

Some people would suggest this is an essential read for thinking people who may then want to contact their local MP to ensure that this matter is taken seriously.

Friends of the Earth make this an easy process with a prepared letter which you can adapt.