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

Children’s Hospital, Central Valley, California: Murals

mural.gorilla.dtl

Children’s Hospital Central Valley, California.Sierra View Hospital, Porterville, CA.

Mother and Child 
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I was approached to paint murals in a new hospital wing for Children’s Hospital, Central Valley. The project entailed 150’ of nurses’ stations, eight hospital rooms, and an examination room. I called for help, and my son Charles Gilbert helped me for this month long project. My son was attending the Academy of Art in San Francisco, and left his studies for this project, I dropped out of the teaching credential program I was in. We dedicated our lives just for a month, and had the most enjoyable time with this project!

http://www.sierra-view.com/Pediatrics

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mural.hospital.2

We decided upon a theme for each room, a location in Africa, India, Australia, China.

We then focused upon what scenes we wanted to portray.

Thinking of the children, and the suffering and healing they would experience here,

we chose family scenes of Mother and Child.

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mural_elephant

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mural.tiger

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mural.koala.bear

The faces of the animals had to show loving kindness.

The eyes were so important.

We worked from photos of animal families,

and just painted what we saw,

all animals, including the human kind

love their children.

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Artist: Charles Gilbert

Artist: Charles Gilbert

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mural_lovebird

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mural_monkey.room

Animal family groups reflect values that human children can understand.

Children delight in seeing animals at play.

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mural.monkey.4

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muralist_dahartley

The Examination Room

These Monkeys are awaiting the appearance of their new friend, the Meerkat!

mural.meerkat

Meerkat

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Water Room, Hippopotamus and Crane.

Water Room, Hippopotamus and water birds.

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mural_water

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mural_waterbird

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Grandma Chimp

Grandmother Chimpanzee

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mural.chimp

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mural.leopard

Animals are dangerous in the wild, they had to appear kindly,

rather than hungary.

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mural.panda

Bamboo Room and Panda

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Bamboo Room and Panda

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mural_giraffe.room

African Safari Room

mural.garaffe.2

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mural_hospital.2

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mural_lovebird.2

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mural.minahbird

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Examination Room

Examination Room

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mural_zebra

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Our animal species are disappearing a such a rapid rate.

Humanity is spreading out even into animal sanctuaries.

We need more land for factories, resorts, plantations,

and economic growth.

Many animals will not be able to adapt the the rapid change in climate,

even the primates,

Homo Sapins Sapins

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens

mother and child - Bangkok, city of angels

mother and child – Bangkok, city of angels (Photo credit: Sailing “Footprints: Real to Reel” (Ronn ashore))

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There is an excellent blog on WordPress if you are interested in

animal protection and rights.

Animal Post: http://michaeleltonmcleod.com

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I am not showing what an elephant looks like with it’s tusks removed,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2244067/Elephant-Assam-region-India-tusks-trunk-tail-removed-suspected-poacher-attack.html

or

Tigers killed for the Japanese markets (aphrodisiacs) http://www.tigerhomes.org/animal/tiger-penis.cfm

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Even I can’t bear to look,

but as the world we know disappears,

our grandchildren will ask us about this, too,

“Where have all the animals gone?”

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www.sierraclub.org, www.350.org, www.greenpeace.org

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Meerkat. Taken in Victoria, Australia in Febru...

Meerkat. Taken in Victoria, Australia in February 2009. Français : Un Suricate (Suricata suricatta). Photo prise dans l’état de Victoria, en Australie, en février 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)