Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 07:04 • Guest
UK fracking: drilling begins at Cuadrilla's Lancashire site

By Ruth Hayhurst at DrillorDrop.

The shale gas firm, Cuadrilla has confirmed that drilling began today at its site at near Blackpool.

The Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton will see the first horizontal shale gas exploration wells in the UK.

A spokesperson for the company said drilling began early this afternoon but was unable to give a precise time.

Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 00:57 • Guest
UK fracking

The UK government has placed a lot of hope on fracking to provide a “lower carbon” source of energy. However, John Richard Underhill, chief scientist & professor of exploration geoscience at Heriot-Watt University argues the scale of shale gas reserves has been hyped. While the debate about fracking so far has been about economic benefits vs harm to the environment, no one is paying attention to the geology he writes at The Conversation.

Gas is hugely important to the UK. The country uses more than 65 billion cubic metres to heat most of its 25m homes and generate around a quarter of its electricity each year. Despite efforts to move to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, demand for gas is likely to remain high for the foreseeable future.

Until 2004 all the gas the country needed was sourced from the UK, primarily from the North Sea and East Irish Sea. Since then, production has declined to the point where indigenous gas provides only 45 percent of the total. The shortfall comes from European pipelines (38 percent), particularly from Norway and Russia; and liquid natural gas (LNG) deliveries (17 percent), primarily from Qatar.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 00:00 • Guest
Climate change triple threat to Europe

New studies confirm climate change’s triple risk to Europe. The heat is on, lives are at risk and the floods are arriving earlier, writes Tim Radford at Climate News Network.

Researchers have just issued three separate climate warnings to the citizens of Europe on the same day, in three different journals – a triple risk salvo.

Monday, August 14, 2017 - 02:50 • Kyla Mandel
Lord Lawson uses false climate data

The climate science denying group the Global Warming Policy Foundation has admitted that it shared an “erroneous” temperature dataset to support Lord Lawson’s false claims to the BBC last week that global temperatures aren’t rising.

Three days after Lawson’s BBC interview – which was immediately and widely criticised in the media and by scientists – the climate denial group tweeted out Sunday afternoon that it was “happy to correct the record” and has since removed the tweet after a request to do so by climate scientist Ed Hawkins.

According to the tweets, the graph was originally produced by US meteorologist Ryan Maue, an adjunct scholar of the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute co-founded by Charles Koch. It was published by weather forecaster and climate science denier Joe Bastardi. Both Bastardi and Maue work for WeatherBELL Analytics, a private weather consulting firm.

Monday, August 14, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Coal mining jobs in Britain

The number of people working in coal mining in Britain has dropped by half compared to this time last year the latest statistics show.

According to employment numbers compiled by the Coal Authority and seen by DeSmog UK, 732 people worked in coal mining jobs in June 2017. This is compared to 1,381 employed in June 2016.

In an effort to tackle climate change the UK has pledged to phase out all unabated coal (coal without carbon capture and storage technology) by 2025. In 2016 emissions from coal dropped by 50 percent compared to the previous year and coal use continues to reach record lows. In April, Britain had its first ever coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution.

Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 00:00 • Mat Hope
Climate Theatre: The Hero Who Overslept

There was a graph. Then there were some balloons. And then they started dancing.

You find some pretty weird things at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. But I can (almost) guarantee there’s only one show with a waltzing climate change Prof.

The Hero Who Overslept is a two-man “lecture-drama hybrid” that its creators say tries to take climate change science out of the world of “thinky thinky” and into the realm of “feely feely”.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 02:56 • Mat Hope
fossil fuel industry

Given its history of human rights abuse, environmental destruction, and penchant for multimillion dollar executive bonuses, the oil industry doesn’t immediately spring to mind as natural actor to help solve a global poverty crisis.

Nonetheless, a new 97-page UN-sanctioned report authored by an industry group and World Bank offshoot outlines the oil and gas sector’s vision to be a “key part” of efforts to encourage sustainable development.

The report acknowledged that fossil fuel companies “can have both positive and negative impacts on a range of areas covered by the SDGs” – the UN’s sustainable development goals for 2030.

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 00:00 • Mat Hope
Tufton Street sign

Climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF), has a new director – a well-connected, pro-Brexit, millionaire Tory funder with a vested interest in slowing the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.

Terence Mordaunt was quietly announced as having joined the board of directors of former chancellor and prominent climate science denier and Brexiteer Nigel Lawson’s GWPF in April.