Daily Archives: December 14, 2014

Mining the Largest Shale Gas Reserve in the Northern Hemisphere (UK): What the Frack?

VICE News

Published on Dec 1, 2014
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The UK government is going ahead with its plans to commence fracking across more than half of the country, hoping that it will boost the economy and provide an abundant supply of natural gas.

Critics of the process argue that it contaminates groundwater and damages the environment and public health. A grassroots resistance movement has emerged to fight the introduction of fracking in the UK, and it appears to be gaining momentum throughout the country.

VICE News travels to Blackpool, Lancashire, to see the fractivists in action. The seaside resort town is at the center of a David and Goliath battle between local residents and the energy company Cuadrilla over fracking in the region, which is believed to have one of the largest shale gas reserves in the Northern Hemisphere.

Read “The Only Fracked Site in the United Kingdom Suffered Structural Failure” – http://bit.ly/1yHYgNE

Read “These Towns and Counties Across America Just Banned Oil and Gas Fracking” – http://bit.ly/1F3oiwu

Watch “The Lake That Burned Down a Forest – Full Length” – http://bit.ly/1vZSnMX

Watch “Showdown in Coal Country” – http://bit.ly/1wfWtur

Check out the VICE News beta for more: http://vicenews.com

Global Climate Change
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Fracking 101


NationalSierraClub

Published on Dec 7, 2014

http://www.sc.org/beyondfracking Hydraulic fracturing — or “fracking” — is a natural gas collection method that poses a danger to our environment and our public health. Take action to keep dirty fuels in the ground at http://www.sc.org/beyondfracking

Global Climate Change
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Senate Votes in Favor of Dirty Tar Sands Pipeline, Senators Supporting Keystone XL Received Nearly $31 Million from Fossil Fuel Industry » EcoWatch

http://ecowatch.com/2013/03/23/senate-votes-in-favor-of-keystone-xl/
EcoWatch | March 23, 2013 2:25 pm |

Full production of the oil from tar sands in Canada would add 240 billion tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, severely hampering any efforts to tackle global warming.

The U.S. Senate voted in support of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on Friday, which would deepen our dependence on tar sands oil from Canada. The measure, introduced by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), signifies yet another attempt by Republicans to pressure President Obama to approve the TransCanada permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

According to Environment America, full production of the oil from tar sands would add 240 billion tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, severely hampering any efforts to tackle global warming. Unchecked global warming will harm present and future generations of Americans in many ways, including more extreme weather events like superstorm Sandy, the worst drought since the Dust Bowl and wildfires raging in the West.

The vote was on an amendment (#494) to the Senate budget resolution, which is not binding, and the White House still has the ultimate authority for approving or rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.

“By voting in support of the reckless and dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, these Senators have turned a blind eye to the threats global warming poses to our country and sided with the fossil fuel industry over Americans, our environment and future generations,” said Nathan Willcox, Environment America’s global warming program director. “We are deeply disappointed in their vote tonight, and urge them to oppose any future measures on this or other bills which threaten Americans’ health or our environment.”

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
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10 Reasons Why You Feel So Good in Nature

Kris Abrams | November 26, 2014 9:44 am

Earth, rivers, mountains and trees! Silent canyons, babbling creeks and growing green gardens! If you spend time in nature, you’ve probably noticed that you feel happier out there than in here.

But why? One of the better known theories, the “biophilia hypothesis,” suggests that we love nature because we evolved in it. We need it for our psychological well-being because it’s in our DNA. This theory rings true to me. But it’s so broad, it also leaves me grasping for more. What is it about nature and our relationship to it, that brings us so much joy?

Earth, rivers, mountains and trees! Silent canyons, babbling creeks and growing green gardens! If you spend time in nature, you’ve probably noticed that you feel happier out there than you do inside. Photo credit: Kris Abrams I’ve been asking this question for some years now. I’ve studied Ecopsychology, wilderness therapy and nature-based therapy. In my private psychotherapy practice, I work with clients in nature and bear witness to their experiences. And personally, I spend as much time as I can in nature. Putting all of this together, I’ve developed my own ideas about why nature makes us feel good and helps us heal.

(read more)

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Obama Tells Colbert: Keystone XL Could Be ‘Disastrous’

Anastasia Pantsios | December 9, 2014 4:14 pm
Last night, President Obama made his much-ballyhooed appearance on Stephen Colbert‘s The Colbert Report as the show concludes its run before Colbert moves to CBS’ Late Night early next year.

In a spectacular “get” for Colbert, Obama cheerfully endured Colbert’s parody of how the Republicans view him, while getting to tout his stances on immigration, the lack of action in Congress, the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and the likely non-benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline. He made some of his strongest and clearest remarks about the pipeline yet, raising hopes that he will veto it when it comes to his desk.

“The American people want it. It’s going to create jobs. The State Department says it’s not going to raise the pollution in the atmosphere. You’re going to sign that, right?” said Colbert, parroting pipeline supporters and eliciting boos from the studio audience.

“Obviously, these young people weren’t polled,” the president quipped before returning the easy pitch Colbert lobbed his way.

“Keystone is going through an evaluation process,” he said. “Right now it’s being held up by a court in Nebraska that’s making a decision about whether the route is legal or not. In the first instance, I don’t make the initial decision. The State Department evaluates it …”

“But you’re going to sign it if it comes to you?” Colbert pressed.

“I’m going to make sure that we look at this objectively,” the President responded. “We’ve got to make sure that it’s not adding to the problem of carbon and climate change. We have to examine that, and we have to weigh that against the amount of jobs that it’s actually going to create, which aren’t a lot. Essentially, this is Canadian oil passing through the United States to be sold on the world market. It’s not going to push down gas prices here in the United States. It’s good for Canada. It could create a couple of thousand jobs in the initial construction of the pipeline but we’ve got to measure it against whether or not it’s going to contribute to an overall warming of the planet—which could be disastrous.”

See full story:

http://ecowatch.com/2014/12/09/obama-colbert-keystone-xl/

…(read more).

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Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations: David R. Montgomery

Dirt, soil, call it what you want—it’s everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it’s no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations explores the compelling idea that we are—and have long been—using up Earth’s soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations.

A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology, Dirt traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward. We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil—as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. David R. Montgomery sees in the recent rise of organic and no-till farming the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.

Food-Matters
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Climate Deal Would Commit Every Nation to Limiting Emissions

NYT-Climate-Deal-500

By CORAL DAVENPORTDEC. 14, 2014

Representatives applauded at the approval of an agreement reached in Lima, Peru, on Sunday to reduce the global rate of greenhouse gas emissions. Credit Cris Bouroncle/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

LIMA, Peru — Negotiators from around the globe reached a climate change agreement early Sunday that would, for the first time in history, commit every nation to reducing its rate of greenhouse gas emissions — yet would still fall far short of what is needed to stave off the dangerous and costly early impact of global warming.

The agreement reached by delegates from 196 countries establishes a framework for a climate change accord to be signed by world leaders in Paris next year. While United Nations officials had been scheduled to release the plan on Friday at noon, longstanding divisions between rich and poor countries kept them wrangling through Friday and Saturday nights to early Sunday.

The agreement requires every nation to put forward, over the next six months, a detailed domestic policy plan to limit its emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases from burning coal, gas and oil. Those plans, which would be published on a United Nations website, would form the basis of the accord to be signed next December and enacted by 2020.

That basic structure represents a breakthrough in the impasse that has plagued the United Nations’ 20 years of efforts to create a serious global warming deal. Until now, negotiations had followed a divide put in place by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which required developed countries to act but did not demand anything of developing nations, including China and India, two of the largest greenhouse gas polluters.

“This emerging agreement represents a new form of international cooperation that includes all countries,” said Jennifer Morgan, an expert on international climate negotiations with the World Resources Institute, a research organization.

“A global agreement in Paris is now within reach,” she said.

…(read more).

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Secretary Ernest Moniz, Department of Energy | Talks at Google


Talks at Google

Published on Dec 12, 2014

US Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, stops by Google for a conversation with John Woolard on November 13, 2014 to discuss current DOE objectives, oil exportation and carbon policy.

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Undercover cops infiltrate protest, aim gun at marchers


RT America

Published on Dec 12, 2014
The California Highway Patrol is under fire from Eric Garner and Michael Brown grand jury protesters after two undercover officers were revealed to have infiltrated a group of demonstrators, and then pulled a gun and threatened marchers. Details remain murky on the exact circumstances of the confrontation, but the protesters are angry that law enforcement was in their midst to begin with. RT’s Lindsay France has more from Los Angeles.

Global Climate Change
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“We are on a Course Leading to Tragedy”: At U.N. Talks, Kerry Delivers Urgent Plea on Climate Change


democracynow

Published on Dec 12, 2014
http://democracynow.org – The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, has entered its final day of scheduled talks. Deep divisions remain between wealthy and developing nations on emission cuts and over how much the world’s largest polluters should help poorer nations address climate change. On Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry flew into Lima and made an impassioned plea for all nations to work for an ambitious U.N. climate deal next year in Paris. Kerry said time is running out to reverse “a course leading to tragedy.”

Watch all our reports from the U.N. climate summit in Lima, Peru on our website:
http://www.democracynow.org/topics/li…

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