Wednesday 24 October 2018

Post Brexit Our Welsh Labour Government may truly change the face of Wales

Farming is important to almost all of Wales. Only one constituency, Cardiff Central, has no farms. Brexit gives an opportunity to change farming policy, but the current suggestion of our Welsh Labour Government is likely to cause considerable harm. Trees do need to be planted and even commercial forestry is said to be falling behind in replanting  stocks. Trees have many benefits to the environment but trees, like any crop, to have maximum survival and growth rates, need care and husbandry. Sites need to be suitable and training given. All this should be properly funded. After planting the retention of the trees depends on further funding.But bringing in schemes in haste and cutting other farming subsidies could cause farming businesses to fail and the loss of distinctive countryside, livestock and food production and all the businesses who rely on Agriculture will be affected. .  

The speed of the change and the rest of the UK and the EU still being subsided by farm payments puts our farmers at a disadvantage. Planting trees is generally a good idea,but planting them quickly on a huge scale and taking away subsidies for ordinary food producing farming may not  be so clever when our neighbours and competitors still keep the current payments and as a result produce their food cheaper. Labour believe all farmers in Wales will probably vote Plaid or Conservative. No loss to the Labour vote then, if farms go under due to this policy?.

Our farmlands now - will it be all trees soon?
The Welsh Government consultation closes on the 30th October. But is it really listening? 
Gwyn Wigley Evans has issued this press release below and asks that friends of farming  complete the consultation and give their opinions.
 Siân Caiach, 


Farming as we know it in Wales is about to disappear and it's all down to Lesley Griffiths from Her Majesty's Government in Wales
All 27 countries in Europe along with Scotland and Northern Ireland will be keeping the BASIC PAYMENT SCHEME (BPS) which is the lifeline to farmers on the Uplands in particular
A committee which was composed of mainly environmental groups, NRW (forestry commission to you and me, in new expensive clothing) and the traitorous CLA have come up with a unique formula to save agriculture after Brexit
Quite the opposite, they want to plant trees, 150,000 acres, which will get rid of 1,400 farms, it's the Highland clearance again (Scotland are not going down this road) with the devastation that will cause........... and they still want to produce food!
The countryside as you know it will disappear in large tracts of Our Nation/Ein Gwlad and their communities
The closing date for the consultation is 30th OCTOBER (next Monday)
I have filled the form  and I attach it for anyone to see
The questions have been formulated to give the answer they want.
The link is below to fill the consultation, please get as many people as you can to do so and help the farming community that is so vital the length and breadth of Your Nation
Thank you all

Gwyn Wigley Evans
Agriculture Spokesman

Monday 22 October 2018

Carmarthenshire Flooding, Global warming, and Thermodynamics by Robin Burn

Robin Burn explains the 
science behind the weather.

 President Trump has finally announced his change of mind,on the subject of global
warning, with the caveat that although he nowbelieves it is happening ,but doubts that
 man's interventions are the primary cause.

It may well be he has, along with myself, read the well reasoned article published on line by
 Eric R Pianka (1),  entitled Global Warming.It may also be that President Trump has
acquainted himself with the fundamental laws of physics, that rule everything that happens in
 the universe.

The existence of energy and gravity control the workings of everything that has happened for
 more that 10 billion years, and continues to happen and effect the working of our solar
 system for at least another 4 billion years.That is the length of time remaining until our sun
finally changes into a giant star and engulfs the planets including  our own in its death throws.

Pianka goes on to remind us that physics and chemistry have given us two Laws of
Thermdynamics: the first deals  with conservation of matter, and energy,while the second
 deals with increase in randomness (entropy).

 Pianka is quite firm in his assertiveness when he states, that, whilst some people seem to
think humans are  exempt from physical laws, we are not. An understanding of basic
 thermodynamics is essential to grasp the full  implications of energy usage by humans.

The first law"conservation of matter and energy" states that matter and energy cannot be
created or destroyed. Matter and energy can be converted from one form into another, but
the total of the equivalent amounts of both must always remain constant. Light can be
changed into heat,kinetic energy,and /or potential energy.

Whenever energy is converted from one form or another,some of it is given off as heat, which
is the most random  form of energy. Use of any form of energy produces waste heat.Unless
 this waste heat can be dissipated, temperature rises.

The only energy conversion that is 100 per cent efficient is conversion to heat,or burning.
 Dried organisms can be burned in "bomb calorimeters" to determine how much energy can
 be stored in their tissues. Energy can be measured in a variety of different units, such as
ergs, or joules,but heat energy or calories is the common  denominator. 

Solar energy falls on Earth's surface at any given place and time,creating heat.Unless this
same amount of heat is  dissipated back into space, Earth will warm. Conversely, if more heat
 is re-radiated back out into space than is  received , the planet cools down.

Earth's atmosphere used to be in a complex equilibrium. Certain gases in the atmosphere,
especially carbon dioxide prevent re-radiation of longer infrared wavelengths generated by
incident radiation,holding heat in, thus warming the planet ,the so called greenhouse effect.

The concentration of carbon dioxide has risen steadily over the last 40 years, and continues
to rise due to deforestation and burning of fossil fuels. Global warming could have arrived
sooner except for an increase in particulate matter increasing atmospheric pollution between
1940-1970,allowing less solar energy to penetrate to the surface. The balance shifted during
the 1970's enhancing the greenhouse effect leading to rapid global warming.

Up until approximately 10,000 years ago the earth was generally in thermal balance , the
glaciation or cooling  period, and deglaciation, the warming period creating the thermal
balance, happening approximately every 100,000  years.The alterations in the earths orbital
distance from the sun, Milanovitch cycles, as well as slight changes of the  earth's angle of tilt
 away from the vertical, were responsible for the periodic glaciation and deglaciation.

The event 10,000 years ago is significant in as much as this was considered to coincide with
agriculturisation of human activity. Deforestation was the key process of this change of human
 activity from being hunter gatherers to farmers..

As an aside from 1620 onward with the advent of European colonisation of the Northern
 American landmass, mass deforestation has removed nearly all of the virgin forest
During the glaciation /deglaciation periods, methane, a greenhouse gas, was either trapped,
 or contained during  the glaciation period, and subsequently released during the deglaciation

Now because of the consequence of global warming over the last 10,000 years, accelerating
 from deforestation, and enhanced over last 200 years of industrial activity worldwide, more
 trapped methane is being released ,contributing to an ever acceleration of global warming.

It well be the result that the tipping point is unfortunately behind us and reversal of global
 warming unobtainable . The world human population now exceeds 8 billion, and the rise is
 accelerating. Industrialisation is  generating increasing global wealth, leading to this human
population expansion,creating the need for ever growing resource usage. Energy to support
this growth is now being generated by the switch from carboniferous use to natural
occurring solar, wind, and hydro energy. However the ability to do this depends on the ever
increasing usage of the  power plant and the need to replace redundant carbon burning power

Unfortunately until the industrial nations can generate enough  power from solar, wind and
hydro stations, we have  to continue with the usage of fossil fuels to supply the building of non
carbon using power plants to replace fossil fuel usage.

A radical change of thinking is required. For instance the increasingly popular carbon dioxide
 removal from the atmosphere  concept will not be possible in the short term due to the
amounts needed to be removed, removal of gigatons of carbon dioxide is not energetically

The world needs to consume less energy.

A recent report that the creation of ultra large solar energy farms in the sub Sahara regions
 has actually altered the  local climate. More rain is falling in the regions where solar farms
 exist allowing for revegetation. and food  production.

(1.) Eric R Pianka; Global Warming

Wednesday 10 October 2018

The human cost of poor maternity services -too many dead babies and many more may be damaged too - Robin Burn.

Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydful 
Twenty stillbirths and six cases of babies dying shortly after birth are part of  a Cwm Taf Health Board inquiry, October 2018. Cwm Taf serves several very deprived valleys' communities.

The journey of human birth is said to be the most dangerous in human life. Its a shame that in the modern health care system catastrophic life changing and even fatal mistakes are being made and subsequently repeated. Here Robin Burn explains how damage occurs if problems during birth are not picked up and action taken.

Again and again the same patterns recur. In 2007, the Royal college of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists inquiry “Each baby counts, examined more than 700 recent neonatal deaths and injuries.

It reported that 3 out of every 4 babies may have had a different outcome, had they received different care.

This revelation has been a long time coming, and the results are not surprising, as this phenomenon has been recognised for over 20 years.

The report recently released, examined 1136 stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries during 2015. In many of the 727 cases reviewed in depth, problems with accurate assessment of foetal well-being during labour, and consistent issues with staff understanding and processing of complex situations, including interpreting baby heart-rate patterns, were cited as significant factors.

In his book, published in 2003,entitled “Children who do not look you in the eye, The Secrets of Autistic Behaviour”,Professor Antonio Parisi, a neurophysio-pathologist, working at the University of Naples, discusses in length the prenatal causes of encephalitic disturbance (brain injury) in the Chapter entitled “Etio -pathogenesis of autism” p 41 (1)

Parisi, commenting in his book, particularly concentrated on hypoxia (lack of oxygen) following too rapid or over lengthy labour, leading to brain damage, despite the natural protection of the brains of new-born babies should be less vulnerable to to a lack of oxygen than those of adults. Hypoxia is also the cause of brain injury during delivery (associated with the use of forceps or suction devices) and other neurological effects such as autism. Hypoxia is undoubtedly the most risky factor. Dystocia (problems slowing birth) can also accentuate this process.

This is a common occurrence in the case of autistic children, says Parisi, “Our research team often encounters one cause of brain injury which seams to provoke similar vulnerability to a second pathogenic cause of brain injury. Most cases of brain injury occur around birth.

This is an extremely important finding and suggests that still not enough is done to prevent brain injury during delivery in some UK hospital delivery units.

(1)  Parisi, Antonio, Children who do not look you in the eye,

The secrets of autistic behaviour.

      Napoli: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane,2003.

      ISBN 88-8114-0597-3

Dr.Antonio Parisi, assists Dr. David Delacato at the Delacato Clinics

in Sorrento and Milan for the rehabilitation of children and adults on

the autistic disorder spectrum existing since the 1970’s.

Robin Burn I Eng FIMMM

Sunday 7 October 2018

Building homes as power stations, but in the service of their residents not power companies! by Robin Burn IEng. FIMMM

Power to and from the people

The subject of production of  power in the form of electricity has been discussed on this blog on a previous occasion and the author is pleased to report that the United Kingdom Government has increased the amount of development support, for the future construction of nuclear powered electricity, from already available small pressure water reactors technology.

It has recently come to this authors attention that experimental development of mini power generators closer to home is well under way. (1) 

The same source advises that "new solar power installation in the UK hashalved for the second year running in 2017 with new solar capacity falling to 4.1 GW in 2015 to 0.95 GW in 2017"

The report lists barriers to solar investment, claiming that 'Operation of inflexible centralised power generation technology is often still being strongly over-subsidised,like the UK's Hinkley Point C nuclear plant,while self-consumed solar power is being inappropriately highly taxed.

The mini power generation stations proposed are in fact the homes of the people 

The experimental work,is being carried out by academics and researchers  from Swansea University UK,who have shown that,given the right circumstances,using existing and industry approved construction techniques,along with solar power generation,and lithium ion battery storage systems,can generate more power than can be used. To date an experimental prototype mock up has produced half as much electricity again over consumption.

The progress of technology,being applied to the production of more efficient solar power collectors, both in cost and conversion efficiency,makes for a more sensible means of the generation of electrical power.
Usage of energy is at the source of production,eliminates the need for inefficient,transmission systems vastly increases carbon reductions and decreases the use of non renewable fuels and is not  subjected to power outages of any form.

As such technology is incorporated into house building practise, costs will reduce with the increased usage of new technology. Thisidea has been suggested for the Neath Port Talbot area of the Swansea Bay City Deal

Artist's impression of the new homes

A transfer of government subsidies to reduce house building costs incorporating "in house" power generation,rather than build new power stations,will, by default, give rise to much needed house building programmes.

New research is being carried out to improve solar power to electrical power conversion rates reducing manufacturing costs,by printing of  solar cells onto plastic film,and the use of new material for solar cells.
Improved energy conservation by better insulation as well as improving power storage techniques systems make for more energy efficient . Up to now green energy has been exploited by various subsidy grabbers and financiers, often to the detriment of those whose homes can produce power.

Time now to give real "Power to the people !"

  1. Source;Materials World, Volume 26, Number 8

Monday 1 October 2018

David Conrad Rees

David Conrad Rees 1941 to 2018
A man who fought fearlessly for his community, exposed corruption and wrongdoing and took the UK government to court – and won!

David Rees 

David Rees died in August 2018 from a brain tumour after a brief illness. He was 77. After his retirement he enjoyed life. He loved walking and trips with his wife Rose, home improvements, looking after his garden and protecting his community from exploitation and pollution. David was a founding member of People First – Gwerin Gyntaf and served as the Party’s nominating officer.

David and Rose lived in Denham Avenue, Stradey, Llanelli and he rose to the challenge when his community was threatened with a very negative transformation plan. The local elite rugby club needed money to clear their £9 million debts and build a new stadium worthy of their new regional status. A plan was hatched to build a huge residential housing project on the site of the Stradey Park Stadium and move the club to an out of town site. The scheme was led by Carmarthenshire County Council , and the Chief Executive promised that it would not cost the public a penny. In fact, it cost millions of pounds of public money.

David became one of the “Stradey 9” campaigners and as the chair of the Stradey Residents Association helped lead the campaign to save the rugby ground and the open spaces planned to be covered by hundreds of new homes. The site was a dangerous C2 flood plain that should never have been built on. The Welsh Government eventually went against its own planning policy and allowed the development. Carwyn Jones himself is on record in correspondence with Welsh Secretary Peter Hain in support of helping the Scarlets, rather than following the rules. During this planning struggle the terrible truth of the massive sewage pollution of the Burry Inlet, the estuary on which Llanelli sits, and the subsequent death of millions of cockles and other wildlife became apparent.

The sewage system had been inadequate since a new system had been installed in 1997 and sewage was frequently discharged without full treatment to stop back flooding into homes and streets. Eventually, after 2001, the level of human fertiliser in the water caused devastating problems with mass deaths of cockles occurring annually. House building clearly contributed to the sewage problem.

David Rees  on a local beach

Due to David and the other campaigners the number of homes to be built was reduced by a hundred to 350. The new homes were raised metres above the flood plain to keep them dry but leaving the existing, neighbouring dwellings at possible greater risk of flood. The open spaces of Stradey were covered not only by these new builds but also a large new primary school built on the “green wedge” despite promises to retain the land for community enjoyment. The area suffers from traffic congestion with long tailbacks at peak times, and air pollution. Both problems David correctly predicted.

David could not stop the building of all the new houses but he fiercely took up the case of the environmental pollution caused by the sewage discharges. Welsh government, the Environment Agency, Carmarthenshire County Council and Welsh Water Dwr Cymru all denied that there was any problem. David decided to take the case to the European Court.

Small notice at Llanelli Beach warning visitors to wash their hands - E Coli levels were high  and rising up to 2009 when Carmarthenshire County Council decided to stop testing the water and cover themselves by putting up this notice.

With the help of MEP Jill Evans he submitted the evidence of infringement of EU environmental law to the European Commissioner in 2006 who passed it on to the Court of Justice. He was joined later in the court action by the cockle pickers whose livelihood had been devastated. David was an active member of Llanelli Flood Forum, chaired by local MP Nia Griffiths who supported him in the cause but could not persuade her colleagues in the Welsh Government to stop the pollution before the court judgement against the UK in 2016.

David had to take the case against the UK Government even though they had not committed the Crime. The Welsh Government, who gave permission for the discharges, and the local County Council, who should have stopped all house building in the area, were primarily responsible.
Eventually the European Court found in David’s favour, exposing the true facts, the guilt of the regional government, and instructing that the situation must be addressed.

Stradey Park Housing Estate under construction

David was born in Llanelli on Saturday, the 23rd November 1940 to Ernest and Peggy Rees. His father was in the RAF during the war and died in Rhodesia in 1943 in what was termed a ‘friendly accident’ after 2 RAF planes collided. His mother then had the responsibility of bringing David up on her own and she did a great job. He went to Llanelli Grammar School and then started his trade as an electrician in Trostre Steel Works. He also went to a night class in electronics and later worked in Llanelli Steel Works and from 1975 worked for Rank Xerox repairing copy machines.

David met Rose, his wife, at a party in 1963 and they were to marry 10 years later in 1973. Their only son Conrad became a policeman and source of pride to them both.
David retired in 1998, but soon answered the call to be a local hero and to defend his community and our environment. David was not one to sing his own praises in life but we should remember him now as a true Llanelli hero.
warnings on Llanelli Beach 

It is a tragedy that David did not live to see the completion of the multimillion pound Llanelli “Rainscape” scheme which his actions forced WAG and Welsh Water Dwr Cymru to initiate in Llanelli after WWDC was judged to be shamelessly polluting the Loughor Estuary and Burry Inlet with hundreds of sewage discharges. The environmental damage, clearly supported by Welsh Government, Environment Agency Wales (now Natural Resources Wales) and Carmarthenshire County Council now has to stop. The scheme seeks to stop sewage discharges by separating ground water from the sewage system. It has not yet been completed and it will take several years before its impact will be seen.

Our Estuary was a protected wildlife area and major shellfish fishery. Due to the local council policy of massive house building and the deliberate cover up by WWDC and WAG millions of animals have died needlessly and a major industry has been lost. We have yet to see whether enough has been done to allow the area to recover. The pollution continued for almost 20 years before the European Court findings. David hated injustice and we should all hope that his legacy will be clean water and the long awaited return of the cockles and all the other rare species poisoned by human greed, callousness and very deliberate neglect by public bodies.

Many thanks to David's family for permission to write and publish this obituary and for the biographical details and photos of David.
Siân Caiach