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Pospoder lighthouse opposite Ouessant, photo Yves-Marie Quemener
A month ago, Norwegian storm ”Thor” hit Sweden while its twin sister ”Gertrude” brought strong winds to Scotland and Northern England with a red warning for wind issued for the Shetland Islands where gusts of up to 105 mph were recorded, delays to road and rail and ferry networks and school closures were widespread.
A few days ago, ”weather bomb Doris” came in over Britain with gales and snow. Continuing to France, she changed her name to ”Zeus” and hit Brittany with hurricane-force winds. Yesterday, winds reaching 191 km/h (119 mph = 53 m/s) were recorded in Ouessant, 180 km/h (112 mph = 50 m/s) in l’Ile de Groix.
In the beginning, storms were given arbitrary names. An Atlantic storm that ripped the mast off a boat named Antje became known as Antje’s hurricane. Then, in the mid-1900s, people started using female names for storms.
Then, meteorologists decided to introduce a more organised and efficient system, taking names instead from a list arranged alphabetically. The first storm to occur in a year would be assigned a name beginning with A, and so on. Before the end of the 1900s, forecasters used male names for storms forming in the southern hemisphere.
Since 1953, storms in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic have been named from lists drawn up by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated by an international committee of the WMO. The original list featured only women’s names and in 1979, men’s names were introduced – and now they alternate each year. Six lists are used in rotation, so the list for 2016 will be used again in 2022.
When a storm is deemed to be particularly deadly or costly, its name is removed from the list. This is the case of Flora (1963), Gilbert (1988), Hugo (1989), and Andrew (1992). Another name is chosen to replace it at an annual meeting of the WMO Tropical Cyclone Committees.
There are no storms that begin with the less common letters Q, U, X, Y or Z.
Senator Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas argues that current hurricane names are too “lily white,” and is seeking to have better representation for names reflecting “African-Americans and other ethnic groups . All racial groups should be represented,” Lee says, hoping federal weather officials “would try to be inclusive of African-American names” such as Keisha, Jamal and Deshawn (http://www.wnd.com/2003/08/20096/#MFT1G46k7mZzIutH.99.
Meanwhile, ”Zeus” will exit into the Mediterranean Sea and rapidly deepen as it moves toward Italy. We have no records of what her Italian name will be.
Weather map 8 of March 2017
The first boat has arrived at the Tilos pier, while the Stockholm archipelago piers in the north of Europe are still surrounded by melting ice.
Thanks Nina Shaieste for the southern pic and Mats Lindfors for the northern one.
During 2016, we made 76 postings on this ESIN site https://europeansmallislands.com. 16 of these were about events taking place in Greece, 8 in Scotland, 9 in Sweden, 7 each in France and Ireland, 6 in Finland, 3 in Denmark, and 2 in Estonia, Åland and Italy respectively.
The subjects were mixed: 7 out of 76 posts were about renewable energy (plus 2 about Smilegov), 5 about island schools, 4 about island kids, 3 about agriculture, 8 about literature and art, 5 about transports, 6 about ISISA, 4 about CPMR and 2 about waste. The intention is to give an overall picture of life on a small European island, its joys and hardships.
We had almost twelve thousand (11.824) visits by five thousand (5,375) visitors. Most of them came from the UK (c:a 2,000), Sweden (c:a 800), the US (c:a 750), Ireland, Greece and Germany (c:a 700 each), France (c:a 500), Italy, Estonia, Åland and Maldives (c:a 300 each).
Everything posted on this site is mirrored on our Facebook page which had an amazing 34,927 views during 2016. Most popular posts were: the letter from Arranmore on September 15 (seen by 1,478 people), Inishbofin’s ecoturism award on May 4 (1,138 views), the ESIN AGM in Brussels on October, 2 (1,010 views) and the opportunity for young islanders to study tourism in Palermo published on March 8 (1,005 views).
DG Energy’s Marie Donnely island pledge on December 2 reached 751 people, ESIN’s Elefteris Kechagioglou’s attendance to the CPMR 36th Annual General Meeting on May 19 was seen by 696 people and the recent link to “Islands of the Future” documentary films stirred the interest of 686 people.
A winter view from ESIN’s office in Karlby, Kökar. The temperature is just below minus and the sea is beginning to freeze. Wishing all islanders and island-friends a Happy New Year!
2016 ends like autumn, not winter, on Kökar. It’s almost midnight on New Year’s Eve, I’m a little drunk, out to pee in the shadowy slope beneath the old gate. It’s 5oC but the clouds are gone and the sky is boiling with stars.
Happy there aren’t any fireworks, hoping 2017 will bring better times for small islands, dreaming of zero waste and zero nonsense, wishing for more research, reflection, reaction and action. Kind of foolish to wish upon a star but remember they are all alive. Maybe they will let us all get a reasonable share of love from others and from ourselves.
In October 2014, ESIN hosted a meeting with young people from the Croatian organisations DESA based in Dubrovnik, SVIMA (Association for Civil Society Organisations and Civil Initiatives Development) and the Association for Sustainable Development of the Island of Rava. They wanted to prepare themselves for full utilisation of the European Social Fund.
At the meeting which took place in Stockholm Bengt Almkvist, Marian O’Malley and Christian Pleijel met with Dino Varenina, Ana Eric and Romana Hansai from DESA, Antonia Uskok who is the young vice mayor of Vis, and Ivan Srsen, born on Rava, living on Rava, working as an environmental officer, a local guide and producer of Fleur de Sel.
In June 2015, island kids from Åland, Turkey, Latvia and Latvia and of course Crotia met on Vis https://europeansmallislands.com/2015/06/12/island-kids-met-in-croatia/.
Later that year, Otočni Sabor (the Association for the Development of Croatian Islands) became a member of ESIN.
Now, Otočni Sabor, SVIMA and Association for the Sustainable Development of the Rava Island have commenced a new project called ”Active Young Islanders for smart small islands”.
The project seeks to equip young islanders (aged 15 – 25) of several Croatian small islands with policy-tracking, communications, advocacy and campaigning knowledge & skills through:
(1) Tailor-made workshops for young islanders and respective public panel discussions entitled “Smart small islands in the Republic of Croatia and active contribution of young islanders – reality or utopia” with a participation of relevant Croatian Members of the European Parliament / members of the European Economic and Social Committee
(2) An action research / a public panel discussion on the young women representation in the small islands’ decision-making process/in the small islands-based governing & management structures
(3) An advocacy campaign during which the young islanders will have an opportunity to clearly articulate to relevant decision-makers (line ministries & Croatian Parliament’s Committees) as well as the general public on their opinions/concerns with regard to transformative development agenda of Croatian small islands based on the “smart islands” concept.
The project makes me think of ”reverse mentoring” = traditional mentoring turned on its head. A method where more experienced (=old) people actively seeks the council of (young) people with less overall experience but fresh perspectives and skill sets.
Croatia is the youngest member of ESIN. We have a lot to learn from you.
Young olives growing on and old one, Rava (renowned for its olives)
The European Commission wants to boost the transition to clean energy. To this end, it is revising how it uses the financial tools of the Structural and Investment Funds.
As was indicated by DG Energy’s Marie Donnelly during the FOP22 meeting in Marrakech, 14th of November, islands are in the package.
In the Work programme Annex dated 30.11.2016, the Commission urges the Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank to consider that “islands and island regions provide platforms for pilot initiatives on clean energy transition and can serve as showcases at international level.” … “The Commission would like to help accelerate the development and adoption of best available technologies on islands and island regions, including exchange of best practice in financing and legal and regulatory regimes, and in energy for transport. The first step is to bring the islands themselves together, regardless of their size, geography or their location.” …
“In the first half of 2017, the Commission will hold a high level meeting in Valletta on the clean energy opportunities and challenges for islands. This will launch a process to support islands in their clean energy transition.” (see page 14 in the Annex attached).