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

Seed of Light Award Nomination, Thank you MisBehaved Woman!

Seed Of Light

Thank you MisBehaved Woman!

seed-of-light-award

You only need one to start a forest!

Planting is easy: if you receive this award, simply pass it on to another blogger who inspires you through the beauty of their words/images as well as any blog which brings joyful awareness to nature and our connection to each other.

I happily pass this lovely little seed along to:

SUNSET DAILY: http://sunsetdaily.wordpress.com/ 

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Challenges New Shell Tar Sands Mines .

Science Denial Alive and Well Among Policy Makers and Right Wing Heroes

Delaware Newszap:
GEORGETOWNSussex County Council members are not on the same wave length regarding the debatable issue of sea level rise.
At the May 7 council meeting, Susan Love, a planner with the Department of Environmental Control and Natural Resources’Coastal Management Program, delivered an update on progress made by the state’s Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee, which is developing an adaptation plan for the state that will provide a path forward for planning for impacts of sea level rise.
Ms. Love’s presentation drew no love from councilmen Samuel Wilson, R-Georgetown, and Vance Phillips, R-Laurel.
Mr. Wilson cast doubt sea level rise even exists.
“They don’t have no facts. It’s almost BS, to be honest with you,” said Mr. Wilson.
“Man has been on this earth … according to the Bible … about 6,000 to 7,000 years,” challenged Mr. Wilson. “Salt (water) may intrude. You’re talking like it’s going to happen in the next 10 years. It’s been 7,000 years we’re thinking it might come. If it hasn’t done it in the last 7,000 why is it going to do it now all of a sudden?”

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Climate Denial Crock of the Week

Delaware Newszap:

GEORGETOWN – Sussex County Council members are not on the same wave length regarding the debatable issue of sea level rise.
At the May 7 council meeting, Susan Love, a planner with the Department of Environmental Control and Natural Resources’Coastal Management Program, delivered an update on progress made by the state’s Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee, which is developing an adaptation plan for the state that will provide a path forward for planning for impacts of sea level rise.

Ms. Love’s presentation drew no love from councilmen Samuel Wilson, R-Georgetown, and Vance Phillips, R-Laurel.

Mr. Wilson cast doubt sea level rise even exists.

“They don’t have no facts. It’s almost BS, to be honest with you,” said Mr. Wilson.

“Man has been on this earth … according to the Bible … about 6,000 to 7,000 years,” challenged Mr. Wilson. “Salt (water) may intrude. You’re…

View original post 171 more words

Sierra Club: Send a message, say no to fracking and Lone Pine Resources!

Re-blogged from the Sierra Club.

currents-0912

Take Action: Oppose Environmental RoadblocksTake Action: Tell U.S. Gas Company to Stop Trying to Frack Canada

When the people of Quebec spoke out against fracking, a dangerous and dirty drilling practice that can contaminate water and put entire communities at risk, the Quebec government listened and put a moratorium on the controversial practice. Now, a U.S. gas company, Lone Pine Resources, has threatened to sue Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On top of that, the company is demanding $250 million in compensation for Quebec’s moratorium, which it says violates Lone Pine’s “right” to frack!

Take Action
Tell Lone Pine Resources to respect citizens’ rights to clean air and water and to drop its challenge.

Send a message and say no to fracking!.

English: Québec Province within Canada. Españo...

English: Québec Province within Canada. Español: Provincia de Quebec en Canadá. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A North American Free Trade Agreement...

English: A North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Logo. Español: Logotipo del Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (TLCAN). Français : Logo de Accord de libre-échange nord-américain (ALENA). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Navy Sonar vs. the Whale! Whale loses!

A Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), a m...

Thank you Pierce Brosnan!

“Whales should not have to suffer and die for military practice.”

The Navy’s reckless plan for training with sonar and explosives will put thousands of marine mammals in imminent jeopardy. Join me in calling on Defense Secretary Hagel to put safeguards in place that will protect our planet’s whales!

Take Action

 

Dear Friend Nature,

The Navy has announced new plans for training and testing with high-intensity sonar and explosives.

Unless we stop them, more than 1,000 whales and other marine mammals — including rare and endangered species — could be killed over the next five years.

Fortunately, NRDC is mobilizing nationwide opposition to this reckless plan.

Please join me in sending a message to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel right away.Tell him to direct the Navy to put safeguards in place that will stop this deadly assault on whales.

The scope of the Navy’s plans is staggering. They threaten entire populations of marine wildlife off the East Coast, Southern California, Hawaii and the Gulf Coast.

The Navy’s mid-frequency sonar will bombard whales with noise so intense — up to 236 decibels — it can actually cause their internal organs to hemorrhage.

There will be more than 5,000 cases of serious injury — such as permanent hearing loss or lung damage — and tens of millions of incidents in which marine mammals are harassed and harmed.

And these alarming numbers come from the Navy itself!

So it’s all the more distressing that the Navy refuses to put common-sense measures in place that could protect whales during routine training — especially because doing so would in no way compromise our military readiness.

Call on Secretary Hagel to chart a more responsible course by making the Navy take concrete steps to save whales from the deadly impacts of sonar and explosives. 

The Navy should start by avoiding key habitats where whales are known to migrate and raise their young — one of the most effective ways of reducing harm.

Time is of the essence. Once the Navy’s plan goes into effect, it will take a terrible toll on marine mammals for five long years.

Let’s not wait for thousands of whales to suffer and die before taking action. Please join me now in making your voice heard at the Pentagon in defense of whales. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan
Actor and NRDC Member
Natural Resources Defense Council