Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Return of the Frackers?

Somewhat disturbing news that a panel have given a 'clean bill of health' to 'responsible' fracking (the process of extracting gas from shale deposits by forcing water and chemicals into the strata at very high pressure). Extraction ceased after the process was linked to small earthquakes near Blackpool (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-17737991). The panel have ruled that the 'mild' earthquakes were no worse than those caused by coal mining in similar locations in the UK. There is a continuing debate, however, about whether the process is, in any sense 'green'. A lot of energy is required to 'liberate' the gas in the strata and there are concerns about what happens to the water and its associated chemicals (there is the possible contamination of water bodies- a particular issue in this time of drought?). I remain concerned, if a similar process is utilised on Swansea Bay, as doing this underwater seems to be adding to the potential complications.

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Seeing the Changes 1236

Hurricane Ophelia also blew a Green lacewing ( Chrysopa 7-punctata ) into my house.