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

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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.

Sexual Abuse Victim Compares Military Service to Being Trapped In ‘Domestic Violence Relationship’

Joyce Hackelsitelogo

Joyce Hackel

Joyce Hackel is a producer at The World.  Article Re-Blogged from PRI’s The World from BBC.

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Jennifer Norris enlisted in the Air Force when she was 24-years-old. (Photo: Protect Our Defenders)US military leaders were summoned to the White House on Thursday for a crisis meeting about sexual assault in the Armed Forces. Sgt. Jennifer Norris knows the issue well. She’s a veteran of the US Air Force and is now a member of Protect Our Defenders Advocacy Committee.

Sgt. Norris’ problems began in 2006, shortly after she’d enlisted in the Air Force as a 24-year-old. Her recruiter invited her to a party at his home in Maine where she says he raped her.

Norris explains why she didn’t press charges at the time.

“I’d just started the Air Force. So the last thing I wanted to do was go into the commander before I even left for basic training and say, ‘Hey, your recruiter just raped me.’ I was still just trying to figure it all out,” Norris says.

Sgt. Norris says she “soldiered on” and started climbing the Air Force ladder. She received technical training and got security clearances. But at her permanent duty station in Maine she says she was assaulted by several of her superiors. When she finally did report the abuse, she says she was labelled a troublemaker.

Since leaving the military in 2010, she’s dedicated herself speaking out on behalf of the victims of sexual abuse throughout the Armed Forces.

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English: United States Air Force flag with fringe

English: United States Air Force flag with fringe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Rank insignis for General of the Army...

English: Rank insignis for General of the Army (United States Army), Fleet Admiral (United States Navy), and General of the Air Force (United States Air Force). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)