Friday, September 24, 2021

Mikis Theodorakis (1925-2021)

Michail "Mikis" Theodorakis, the renowned Greek composer died earlier this month, at the age of 96. He was best known for the musical score for the 1964 film "Zorba the Greek" which is likely the best-known piece of Greek music in the world.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Irish leader de Valera a godfather of IRA - Sinn Féin violence 1970-1998

President de Valera kisses the ring of John Charles McQuaid, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, at the Turning of the Sod ceremony for the new University College Dublin (UCD) campus at Belfield in South Dublin, September 1962 UCD Archives

Éamon de Valera (1882-1975) was the most consequential Irish politcial leader of the 20th century who held high office as taoiseach (prime minister) and president for 35 of the 41 years in the period 1932-1973. He had three particular obsessions 1) searching for proof that his claimed Spanish father Vivion de Valera (Valero) was not a fiction and had been married to his mother when de Valera was born in New York 2) the revival of the Gaelic language and 3) the ending of the political Partition of the island of Ireland.

He failed in all three objectives.

De Valera had a deeply long-term hostile attitude to the Belfast government and he even travelled as far as New Zealand to lobby the British government to support a United Ireland.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Climate change challenges of the 21st century

The Moon and Earth's Troposphere: Silver-blue noctilucent clouds are shown extending far above the orange-coloured troposphere, the lowest and densest part of Earth's atmosphere. Photo: by NASA taken by the Expedition 28 crew (began May 2011) aboard the International Space Station.

July 2021 was Earth’s hottest July since global record-keeping began in 1880. July had two $25bn flood disasters and the Earth’s hottest "reliably measured temperature on record" was 54.4°C (130°F) at Death Valley, California." July 2021 was the sixth wettest July on record in the US.

Lytton, West Canada, had a temperature of 49.6°C on June 29 (a record beaten 3 consecutive days); Morocco: 49.6°C at Sidi Slimane, July 10 and the United Arab Emirates: 51.8°C at Swiehan, June 6.

Temperatures for Verkhoyansk, a remote Siberian town inside the Arctic Circle, hit 38°C on June 20, about 18°C above the average maximum daily temperature in June.

Fires ravaged forests in many parts of the globe.

Among EU27 countries Ireland had the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 at 12.8 tons of CO₂ equivalent which includes the main greenhouse gases. The EU27 was at 8.4; Germany at 10.1; Denmark 8.1; Sweden 5.2 and non-member the UK at 7.3. See chart. Luxembourg data are not reliable as over 40% of its workforce live in neighbouring countries.

The category is 'Total emissions and international aviation.' See the European Environmental Agency chart below. *Also check the detail of the dataset at end of the page.

Greenhouse gases make the Earth habitable but concentrations have risen 50% after a period of 800,000 years