Packraft Camp at Whiteness Head – March’s Outdoor Sleep

Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in Camp, Climate, Earth, East Highlands | No Comments
Packraft Camp at Whiteness Head – March’s Outdoor Sleep

I’m now at 25 months of sleeping outdoors at least once a month. One might imagine that it would get easier after two years, but I still experience an inbuilt resistance to leaving my warm house and comfortable bed for the dark unknown.  Even when my logical mind knows that I am bound for a pleasant […]

This Green Winter Bivvy is a Sign of Things To Come

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Bivvy, Climate, Commentary, East Highlands | No Comments
This Green Winter Bivvy is a Sign of Things To Come

This month I have a bit of climate chat for you. As you can see from the accompanying photo of my ice-encrusted bivvy bag, my January sleep was chilly but not particularly wintery. Not only is there no snow at my bivvy spot, there is barely a scrap of the white stuff to be seen […]

A watery future? Sea level will rise by 25 metres, eventually

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in Climate, Earth | 2 Comments
A watery future? Sea level will rise by 25 metres, eventually

David Hume wrote in 1777 that “all inferences from experience suppose … that the future will resemble the past”.  This is a natural human tendency and a pretty good rule of thumb, but it has its limitations. Take the example of sea level. It has altered very little in the last 6,000 years, the period during […]

Bog wood: the Caledonian forest and climate change

Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Books, Climate, Human Origins, Landscape | 3 Comments

Exposed bogwood on the shores of the channel between Loch Bad an Sgalaig and Dubh Loch, near Gairloch Anyone who has wandered the Scottish hills must have at some point been perplexed by the presence of bog wood, preserved tree stumps with radiating roots that protrude from the peat in what appear nowadays to be […]

Renewable energy – could tidal power supply all the UK’s electricity?

Posted by on Apr 6, 2011 in Climate, Commentary, Science | 4 Comments

I seem to spend an increasing amount of time engaged in debates with my work colleagues about renewable energy. Usually we exchange a few half-remembered and unverified ‘facts’ until two or more clearly contradictory statements emerge, at which point we retreat from the topic, muttering about checking facts and getting  to the bottom of the matter […]

Does it make any difference if we object to wind power developments ?

Posted by on Mar 28, 2011 in Climate, Commentary, Science | 3 Comments

Loch Ness from Lochend beach I am rapidly coming to the dismaying conclusion – based on the recent approval of the vigorously opposed Corriemollie scheme – that an increase in blood pressure is the only thing likely to be gained from the opposition of wind farm developments. As a consequence of the no doubt well-intentioned […]

Fresh insights into the glaciation of Scotland: Tom Bradwell at the Inverness Field Club

Posted by on Mar 2, 2010 in Climate, Earth, Landscape | No Comments

  A couple of weeks ago I attended one of the Inverness Field Club‘s winter lectures. Despite having very nearly used up half my biblical allocation, I was the youngest person in the audience by a considerable margin. I had been coaxed into this gathering of the grey-haired, this amalgamation of the aged, this exhibition of the elderly, […]

Short review of ‘The Wind Farm Scam’ and a bit of skiing

Posted by on Dec 24, 2009 in Books, Climate, Ski | 4 Comments

Welcome to the Christmas edition of my blog. It certainly feels like Christmas round these parts, we’ve had lying snow for well over a week now. The photo below is of  snow-laden pine and willow. I was very pleased that last week’s post elicited a response from David Mackay, the author of the book  ‘Sustainable […]

Windfarms, Sustainable Energy and Biodiversity

Posted by on Dec 8, 2009 in Climate, Uncategorized | One Comment

The run up to the Copenhagen climate talks has provoked a rash of anti windfarm chat on the outdoor blogs. I’ve decided to join in and air my reservations about the wind farm frenzy that is currently sweeping the nation. I wrote the text below in response to a post of Chris Townsend’s but  decided to give it an […]