Let’s follow Germany with a renewable gas strategy instead of fracking

The International Energy Agency‘s ‘Redrawing the Energy-Climate map report‘, state there are 4 policies countries should pursue, to prevent a  Global 2°C temperature rise. The UK’s Government support and subsidies for ‘fracking’, run counter to what is required:

The policies in the 4-for-2°C Scenario have been selected because they meet key criteria: they can deliver significant reductions in energy-sector emissions by 2020 (as a bridge to further action); they rely only on existing technologies; they have already been adopted and proven in several countries; and, taken together, their widespread adoption would not harm economic growth in any country or region. The four policies are:
 Adopting specific energy efficiency measures (49% of the emissions savings).
 Limiting the construction and use of the least-efficient coal-fired power plants (21%).
 Minimising methane (CH4) emissions from upstream oil and gas production (18%).
 Accelerating the (partial) phase-out of subsidies to fossil-fuel consumption (12%).”

Inside track

gas flame partThis post is by Dr Bruce Tofield, associate consultant at the Adapt Low Carbon Group, University of East Anglia.

In launching Next steps for shale production, energy minister Michael Fallon said that fracking “is an exciting prospect, which could bring growth, jobs and security”.  There is, however, great concern about the damaging local environmental impact of fracking in Britain.  Less remarked upon is fossil fuel lock-in, highlighted recently by Rachel Cary.  As Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, has pointed out  “If the UK ever becomes dependent on shale gas, it will never be able to kick the fracking habit.”

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stickman’s corral: Review – Extreme Environment (Ivo Vegter)

Though I disagree with some of the points the reviewer makes during his review of Extreme Environment.  I think, he has highlighted the repeated nonsense of those who think ‘business-as-usual’ scenario is the one we should follow and environmentalist are just a bunch of ‘Nazis’.  The fact that Ivo Vegter uses Monckton as a source of knowledge to attack environmentalist, should give a clue to the his mindset.  There are points environmentalist can learn both from the book and the reviewer’s blog, for them to develop their case more hard-cast and understandable to all.

stickman’s corral: Review – Extreme Environment (Ivo Vegter).

Balcombe MP appointed Cuadrilla director to government

Lord Browne was previously CEO of BP, and was responsible for the decline of BP’s reputation for safety.  With appointees such as this, is it any wonder the Government is pushing for widespread ‘fracking’, despite all the evidence showing it has harmful affects on humans and the environment?

Balcombe MP appointed Cuadrilla director to government.

The Marcellus Shale Documentary Project, Photographing Fracking – NYTimes.com

As well as the USA, where residents are fighting the expansion of Shale Gas Methane extraction, known as ‘fracking’: The Marcellus Shale documentary project Photographing fracking. NYTimes com

it is also a problem in Australia with Coal-seam Methane  extraction: http://youtu.be/wCMcr27uAg4








Ripped-off Britons: Key political fibs, and some tips on how to refute them

I have posted before, that the UK, especially the City of London Corporation is the biggest Tax Haven in the World.  Our political elite, Labour and Conservative constantly tell us they cannot tax the rich because the financial sector would leave this country.  They also tell us, it is unfair to tax the rich, because success should be rewarded.  But we know, they have only been successful by acting in a criminal way and evading tax.  That, money will trickle down, but for generations we have seen the reverse.  The article below gives some answer, you can use in reply to the nonsense being peddled by the political elite.

Ripped-off Britons: Key political fibs, and some tips on how to refute them.
You can send a message by signing the following petition, asking for a reform of the banking sector:

Big Change in Banking  

The papers are full of stories of how the Conservatives are going to cut benefits, claiming tax-payers are sick of paying for the work-shy.  Most of those who are on benefits have no choice, there is no paid work for them.  The way the Economy is modelled, does not take account of those who do unpaid work, such as housewives and those who care for relatives.  We are going back to the times of Dickens, were the poor were thought to have brought on themselves and deserved punishment.  Whilst the rich fleece each other in a very corrupt business world.

Jobless and big-families lose benefits  

I wonder, are those who are in employment and earn more than the average wage, will continue to receive child benefits, even though they do not need it?  The cuts are supposed to be in the region of £10 billion but the Government is taking about spending £70 billion of a Trident missile program replacement, not mentioned in the papers.

Welfare-cuts of £10 Billion 

And of course this ‘Green’ Governments commitment towards renewable energy, which has seen the Chancellor talk about tax-breaks for ‘fracking’.  Has disillusioned major energy companies, who are now talking not investing in the UK.

Green Energy under threat

Is the natural gas industry buying academics?

I thought I would reblog this blog about academics receiving funding from ‘fracking’ companies who then post reports stating ‘fracking’ is safe.  They have not only denied ground-water contamination but even reported it geologically safe after a number of earthquakes after ‘fracking’ has taken place.  I believe this is more evidence why ‘fracking’ should be banned in this country.

Is the natural gas industry buying academics? 

One of the reports mentioned in the blog above, mentions past coal mining activity in the past in an area of concern.  Read-heading it reminded me of the fact Lancashire was heavily mined.  Even under Manchester, there are numerous abandoned coal seams, with the ex-Commonwealth Games stadium on the former pit of Bradford Colliery, closed in about 1968:


Manchester City Council to axe head of planning post

This article from Planning, is about the shake of the highly paid jobs in Manchester City Council.  It is a pity, this was not done the other year, instead of axing funding for Youth Services and Sure-Start.

Manchester City Council to axe head of planning post.

Manchester City Council is to abolish its £70,002 a year head of planning post, one of a host of high-ranking roles that the local authority says will save more than £1 million a year.

Peter Babb, head of planning and building control, is to take early retirement, the council said. The role will be discontinued.

The council said that further cuts to its planning services would also be made. In a report published last week, the council said it anticipated “further management changes” to its planning services that would result in “further savings”. These proposals are expected to be debated by the council’s personnel committee, made up of six officers and headed by chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein, in June. Further details were not available at the time of writing.

Steve Mycio, the £138,066 a year deputy chief executive (regeneration), is to also leave as part of a shake-up of the local authority’s planning and regeneration services. The post is to be abolished. Responsibility for economic development and regeneration, will fall under the remit of the assistant chief executive (regeneration), who will report directly to the chief executive.

The £120,894 a year post of strategic director of transformation, currently held by Elaine Bowker, is also being discontinued. The strategic director of transformation’s functions will be integrated into the role of deputy chief executive (performance).

The council said that the new “corporate core” of the council, comprised of the chief executive, city treasurer, city solicitor, director of communications and deputy chief executive (performance), would be in place from 12 April. Planning understands that the incumbent deputy chief executive Geoff Little will continue in this role.

Last month the council published its proposed budget for 2011/12, setting out how it intended to make £109 million of cuts over the next financial year, rising to £170 million in 2012/13.


Shale Gas (fracking)

On Thursday 31st June, I attended a presentation given by Ed Hough of the British Geological Society at the University of Manchester.  As well as giving an insight into the the geology behind shale gas and its history.   When was introduced, the person doing the introduction made reference to another lecturer who dismissed what had been reported in the media as being absolute rubbish.  Which did cause a few titters amongst some of the audience.  

He did give the reasons why companies and some governments are keen to pursue the exploitation of this resource.  The UK is expected by 2020 to import 80% of its fuel from overseas.  That 40% of primary energy is derived from gas.  That the UK has very little storage capacity, together leading to a supply gap.  He did mention the fluctuation of gas prices, but made no reference to the future markets and commodity traders causing these large variations in price.  He emphasised that the UK was sitting on a potential 20 trillion Cubic Feet of shale gas. 

There was a list of all the companies interested in shale gas extraction in the UK.  And a chart was produced showing the amount of fluid used and it which was produced from a report from the GWPC.  The chart showing the amount of fluids used, is courtesy of the EPA.  

Ed Hough, try to play down the amount of chemicals used as of being a small percentage of the amount of total fluids used, 3,000,000 gallons.  But it is not the percentages you should be looking at the actual amount in gallons used.  For example, Hydrochloric Acid which is a highly corrosive liquid, amounts to 3,690 gallons.  These fluids are injecting in at a rate of approximately 45 gallons per minute over the initial drilling and fracking process.  Ed Houghs, like All Consultancy: http://www.all-llc.com/publicdownloads/ALLShaleOverviewFINAL

try to play-down the toxic and environmental damaging aspects of these chemicals by stating they are used in domestic processes.  Would you drink a thimble of Ethylene Glycol, an anti-freeze which is highly toxic?  He also went on to dismiss other concerns reported in the media, groundwater contamination by methane and other pollutants, methane escaping to air, correct treatment of waste water, contamination of water courses, radioactive waste (gamma rays) and earthquakes.  That in well maintained and sealed wells most of these issues are improbable or very unlikely.  Like the, Fukushima or Deep Water Horizon

I think Ed Houghs gave himself away when he said he was working with these companies and did say, ‘we’, a few times.  Nothing was said of Global Warming or Climate Change as Marc Hudson of Manchester Climate Monthly pointed out to Ed Houghs, during question time.  As Lawrence said after the presentation, geologists are there to find resources for companies to exploit. 

Figure 6 depicts a horizontal well, which is composed of both vertical and horizontal legs. The depth and length of the well varies with the location and properties of the gas-containing formation. In unconventional cases, the well can extend more than a mile below the ground surface.