BBC Program on Fracking, featuring Professor Iain Stewart.

ReBlogged from Lack of Environment: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

iain_stewart

Professor Iain Stewart

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Letter written to Professor Stewart by Lack of Environment, author Martin Lack: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

Herewith appended below is an email I sent today to Professor Iain Stewart (and copied to all those named in it).

Dear Professor Stewart,

I wanted to express my appreciation for the sensitive way in which you handled the issues in last night’s Horizon programme and for all the facts, figures and research findings it contained.  I was particularly interested in the evidence that shale gas has escaped from poorly-constructed wells in the USA.  Even if the UK can improve on the 6 to 7% failure rate in the USA, 100% success (i.e. no failures) is highly improbable.  Therefore, if fracking must be pursued (for whatever reason), this would make it imperative that the BGS establish baseline monitoring for methane as soon as possible. Would it be possible to get a copy of the transcript of the programme (or a list of References)?

Given my geological background and my MA in Environmental Politics, I have written a great deal about Fracking and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) on my blog.  However, having started out very much opposed to both Fracking and CCS, my position has evolved as a consequence of ‘exchanges of views’ I had last year with Professor Peter Styles (Keele) and with Professor Robert Mair (Cambridge/Royal Society).  As a result of these exchanges – summarised or linked to here on my blog – I would agree with Peter that we probably need shale gas.  However, I believe Peter also agrees with me that we probably cannot afford it*.  I also understand that the remit of the Royal Society specifically excluded the long-term sustainability implications of pursuing fracking.

Nevertheless, this leaves me wondering whether you could encourage the BBC to do a second programme to address the consequences of humans burning all the Earth’s fossil fuels simply because they are there; and/or the need for ‘Western’ per capita energy consumption to be drastically reduced?  Having read David MacKay’s book, Sustainable Energy: Without The Hot Air, I think our biggest problem is that most people do not think holistically about the problems we face or, even worse, they seem to think concepts such as ‘ecological carrying capacity’ are just eco-Marxist propaganda.  However, although it would seem that CCS is now going to be essential in order to minimise anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), I think it is also the biggest obstacle to getting politicians to take decisive action to decarbonise our power generation systems.

Even if such a second Horizon programme is not likely, I remain very appreciative of all you have done – and are doing – to raise the profile of ACD as an Earth Science issue that should be of concern to all.

Kind regards, [etc]

ReBlogged from Lack of Environment: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

* If fracking becomes the new energy boom, it is very hard to see how CCS will ever be able to be rolled-out on a global scale to keep pace with unabated CO2 emissions.

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World Bank: What Climate Change Means for Africa, Asia and the Coastal Poor

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A new climate report looks at likely impacts of present day, 2°C, and 4°C warming across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia.
  • It describes the risks to agriculture and livelihood security in Sub-Saharan Africa; the rise in sea-level, loss of coral reefs and devastation to coastal areas likely in South East Asia; and the fluctuating water resources in South Asia.
  • Turn Down the Heat warns that poor communities will be the most vulnerable to climate change.

As the coastal cities of Africa and Asia expand, many of their poorest residents are being pushed to the edges of livable land and into the most dangerous zones for climate change. Their informal settlements cling to riverbanks and cluster in low-lying areas with poor drainage, few public services, and no protection from storm surges, sea-level rise, and flooding.

These communities – the poor in coastal cities and on low-lying islands – are among the world’s most vulnerable to climate change and the least able to marshal the resources to adapt, a new report finds. They face a world where climate change will increasingly threaten the food supplies of Sub-Saharan Africa and the farm fields and water resources of South Asia and South East Asia within the next three decades, while extreme weather puts their homes and lives at risk.

A new scientific report commissioned by the World Bank and released on June 19 explores the risks to lives and livelihoods in these three highly vulnerable regions. Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience (Read it in IssuuScribdOpen Knowledge Repository) takes the climate discussion to the next level, building on a 2012 World Bank report that concluded from a global perspective that without a clear mitigation strategy and effort, the world is headed for average temperatures 4 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times by the end of this century.

Small number, big problem

Communities around the world are already feeling the impacts of climate change today, with the planet only 0.8 ºC warmer than in pre-industrial times. Many of us could experience the harsher impacts of a 2ºC warmer world within our lifetimes – 20 to 30 years from now – and  4ºC is likely by the end of the century without global action.

The report lays out what these temperature increases will look like, degree-by-degree, in each targeted region and the damage anticipated for agricultural production, coastal cities, and water resources.

“The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2°C – warming which may be reached in 20 to 30 years – that will cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat-waves, and more intense cyclones,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “In the near-term, climate change, which is already unfolding, could batter the slums even more and greatly harm the lives and the hopes of individuals and families who have had little hand in raising the Earth’s temperature.”

The report, based on scientific analysis by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, uses advanced computer simulations to paint the clearest picture of each region’s vulnerabilities. It describes the risks to agriculture and livelihood security in Sub-Saharan Africa; the rise in sea-level, loss of coral reefs and devastation to coastal areas likely in South East Asia; and the fluctuating water resources in South Asia that can lead to flooding in some areas and water scarcity in others, as well as affecting power supply.

“The second phase of this report truly reiterates our need to bring global attention to the tasks necessary to hold warming to 2ºC,” said Rachel Kyte, the Bank’s vice president for sustainable development. “Our ideas at the World Bank have already been put into practice as we move forward to assist those whose lives are particularly affected by extreme weather events.”

Open Quotes

The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2°C – warming which may be reached in 20 to 30 years – that will cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat-waves, and more intense cyclones. Close Quotes

Jim Yong Kim
President, World Bank Group

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Challenges New Shell Tar Sands Mines .

Sign California! Support Fracking Moratorium AB 1301 Petition. 350.org Bay Area

Please Join Food & Water Watch – Make a difference.

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/

The Dust Bowl, by director Ken Burns. Will this Ecological Disaster Return Anew? An interview with Paula Zahn.

Streamed live on Nov 15, 2012

http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/dustbowl/

THE DUST BOWL

Encore Broadcast April 23 and 30, 2013
8:00–10:00 p.m. ET on PBS

CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS

THE DUST BOWL chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, in which the frenzied wheat boom of the “Great Plow-Up,” followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation. Vivid interviews with twenty-six survivors of those hard times, combined with dramatic photographs and seldom seen movie footage, bring to life stories of incredible human suffering and equally incredible human perseverance. It is also a morality tale about our relationship to the land that sustains us—a lesson we ignore at our peril.

On November 15, join Ken Burns along with Paula Zahn in a live YouTube event and national dialogue regarding the Dust Bowl‘s legacy on both the environment and the culture of the United States. Panelists will discuss current drought conditions along with the importance of environmental awareness and the effects humans have on the natural world. Join the conversation at youtube.com/pbs. Submit questions at youtube.com/pbs or tweet using hashtag #DustBowlPB

(This is the archived version of the live event held on Nov. 15, 2012) The Dust Bowl premieres on PBS Nov. 18-19, 2012. More athttp://www.pbs.org/dustbowl

Ken Burns, Documentary filmmaker

Ken Burns, Documentary filmmaker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Buried machinery in barn lot in Dalla...

English: Buried machinery in barn lot in Dallas, South Dakota, United States during the Dust Bowl, an agricultural, ecological, and economic disaster in the Great Plains region of North America in 1936 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NOW PLAYING: Dust Bowl Preview

 

Message from 350.org. Make your voice heard. Give the State Department and President Obama your opinion on the Keystone XL pipeline.

10 DAYS!

That’s how long we have to flood the State Department

with comments opposing Keystone XL.

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arkansas-oil-spill

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To hit a million comments, it will take a lot of us pitching in in different ways.

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At 350, we won’t email you every day for 10 days (more likely 4 or 5),

but we will use social media and other tools at our disposal

 to promote the push every day between now and the 22nd. 

In particular, we will be relying on our Social Media Team

to share crucial info about each day’s issue —

if you’d like to join the Team and help super-charge key content

over the next ten days, click here: act.350.org/signup/social/

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Keystone XL is a climate disaster, and an economic loser.

If built, it would carry 800,000 barrels a day of tar sands to export for the next 50 years,

leaving a toxic legacy for communities along the route,

and a massive carbon footprint on the atmosphere.

And we’re going to do whatever we can to stop it.

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Thanks for all you’ve done, and all you will do to stop the pipeline.

Duncan

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Can you submit a comment to the President and State Department
explaining the energy security case for stopping the pipeline?
Click here to submit your comment: act.350.org/letter/kxl-sprint-day-1/
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I oppose Keystone XL because it is simply not in our national interest.

TransCanada has already arranged to export the oil shipped through this pipeline,

allowing them to pad their bottom line and pump more money into tar sands development.

We don’t need their oil and we certainly don’t need their toxic mess.

The only reason to build this pipeline

is to expand TransCanada’s profits and further expand tar sands

***

Can you submit a comment to the President and State Department

explaining the energy security case for stopping the pipeline?

***

 Click here to submit your comment: act.350.org/letter/kxl-sprint-day-1/

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Trans Canada Keystone Oil Pipeline

Trans Canada Keystone Oil Pipeline (Photo credit: shannonpatrick17)

For the next ten days our friends across the movement are coordinating a ‘Comment Sprint’ to submit hundreds of thousands of comments against the pipeline — hopefully hitting 1 million in total.

If you’ve already submitted a comment, keep reading: you’re able to submit more than one, and in fact, you should. We want to show that people are opposed to the pipeline for many reasons, all of them grounded in hard facts, so every day for ten days, we’ll focus on a new reason to oppose the pipeline and submit new comments.

The State Department’s review has been heavy on politics and light on science, so the more we focus on the facts, the stronger our case to the President and the public will be to stop the pipeline.

The first day of the comment sprint is today. The first issue we’re focusing on is how the pipeline undermines energy security. We need to clear about one thing: TransCanada wants this pipeline so they can get tar sands oil to export.

President Obama’s job is to decide whether the pipeline is in the US national interest. TransCanada has shown that it’s not. In filings to the State Department and contracts with refiners, they’ve spelled out their plans to pad their profits by exporting it to the international market where it will fetch a higher price — putting more money in the pockets of big oil and accelerating tar sands development in Canada.

Truck hauling 36-Inch Pipe to build Keystone-C...

Keystone XL demonstration, White House,8-23-20...

Keystone XL demonstration, White House,8-23-2011 Photo Credit: Josh Lopez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)