Diary

What’s happening this week? 5-11 December 2016

whats happening this week

This week’s diary features a court case involving anti-fracking campaigner, Tina Rothery, plus two county council meetings, a training course, presentation, film screening, climate action assembly and a media festival.

Please let us know (click here) if any of these details are incorrect or if other events should be included. Event listings for the rest of December and later in the year 

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Meeting of Surrey County Council planning and regulatory committee to discuss details of a light management plan submitted by Europa Oil & Gas for its Bury Hill Wood (Holmwood) oil exploration site. (The agenda does not include the company’s application for extra security fencing at the site or the traffic management plan). 10.30am, Ashcombe Suite, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN. Details

Frack Off Our Forest question tabled for full meeting of Gloucestershire County Council: Does this council agree that water, soil, air, our ecosystem, land stability and the quality of life for Gloucestershire residents should be safeguarded and that a precautionary approach should be taken when determining planning applications which risk endangering local communities and the environment? Meeting starts at 10am, County Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester GL1 2TG. Details

Demonstration by Frack Off Our Forest: Lock the gate on fracking in Gloucestershire. 9.30am, outside meeting of Gloucestershire County Council, County Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester GL1 2TG. Details

Thursday 8 December 2016

Screening of Voices from the Gasfields and Q+A, hosted by Frack Free Formby. 6.30pm-10pm, Warren Farm Equestrian Centre, Southport Old Road, Formby L37 0AN. Details

Real Media tour: Media training workshop, 7pm-9pm, GAP Arts Centre, The Jubilee Centre, 130 Pershore St, Birmingham B5 6ND. Booking required. Details and to book

Are we going to be fracked? Presentation by Frack Free South Yorkshire, 7.30pm, Dronfield Civic Hall, Dronfield Civic Centre, Dronfield S18 1PD. Details

Friday 9 December 2016

Anti-fracking campaigner, Tina Rothery, due to appear before Preston Combined Court over a two-week prison sentence for contempt of court resulting from a dispute about legal fees with Cuadrilla. 11am, Preston Combined Court, Openshaw Place, Ring Way, Preston PR1 2LL. Details and Background

I Am Tina Too. Solidarity gathering in support of Tina Rothery, 11am-2pm, Preston Combined Courts, Openshaw Place, Ring Way, Preston PR1 2LL (see above). Details

In style at Styal. If Tina Rothery is sent to Styal Prison (see above), anti-fracking vigil outside the gates. 4pm 9 December – 4pm 16 Dercember, HM Prison Styal, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 4H. Details

Saturday 10 December 2016

Media Democracy Festival hosted by Media Reform Coalition, with speakers including John Pilger, Nick Davies, Kerry-Anne Mendoza, Peter Jukes, Professor Natalie Fention and Brian Cathcart. 10am-7pm, Clore Management Centre, Birkbeck, 25-27 Torrington Square, London WC1E 7JL. Details and to register

All we want for Christmas is Climate Action, Assembly by Divest Hackney, Campaign Against Climate Change, Frack Off London and Sustainable Hackney, outside Hackney Town Hall, Mare Street, London E8  1EA. Details

Please let us know (click here) if any of these details are incorrect or if other events should be included. Event listings for the rest of December and later in the year 

 

32 replies »

  1. Ruth, perhaps a headline about the fact that the EU and UK emission statistics are a misleading joke? They claim to be making progress in reducing emissions, but this is simply untrue, and is based on flawed carbon accounting. Wood biomass burning is worse than coal over a policy timeframe, but it is counted as zero emissions. Cut down the forests, much better than fracking right?

    Wrong. In the US, we don’t have to rely on phony carbon accounting. We are displacing coal with homegrown nat gas and making massive strides in reducing co2 emissions in one of the largest economies in the world. Despite the massive amounts of money spent on renewables in places like Germany, the UK, and Australia, progress in reducing GHG emissions is very poor, electricity prices are very high, and the grid is highly unstable.

    From a New Scientist article:

    \”The EU gets 65 per cent of its renewable energy from biofuels – mainly wood – but it is failing to ensure this bioenergy comes from sustainable sources, and results in less emissions than burning fossil fuels. Its policies in some cases are leading to deforestation, biodiversity loss and putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than burning coal.

    “Burning forest biomass on an industrial scale for power and heating has proved disastrous,” says Linde Zuidema, bioenergy campaigner for forest protection group Fern. “The evidence that its growing use will increase emissions and destroy forests in Europe and elsewhere is overwhelming.”

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2114993-europes-green-energy-policy-is-a-disaster-for-the-environment/#.WEUa6hEW3mI.facebook

      • Phil, I hope you realize that the authors of the study admitted that the data from their study did not point to the oil and gas industry. Direct quote from your article” The research shows that emissions increased the most in the middle of the country, but the authors said there is too little data to identify specific sources. ”

        You might also note that several more recentt studies have contradicted that report from Harvard, and pointed to growth in agriculture mostly as a source. Some have specifically noted a decrease in emissions from natural gas. Also, the area that showed the greatest increase in methane emissions is an area with high agriculture and livestock productivity – key methane emitters.

        You might educate yourself a little bit:

        “we also find that methane emissions from natural gas as a fraction of production have declined from approximately 8 per cent to approximately 2 per cent over the past three decades.” http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v538/n7623/full/nature19797.html

        http://www.ewg.org/agmag/2016/04/agriculture-spews-more-methane-oil-and-gas

        http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/10/02/biosci.biw117.full?sid=3c3036b7-b92f-40f2-b858-7a3a215cc424

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GB005406/full

        • Peeny – unless you can convince us that the Permian basin and other dry areas of Texas and mid-west America have been miraculously converted into wetlands or rice paddy fields then none of those counter articles explain the observed phenomenon.

          There’s also the amplifying effect of increases in any methane and CO2, leading to warming, giving rise to far greater releases of natural or surface/organic methane. Global warming deniers used to scoff and point out that the earth ‘breaths’ CO2 (releasing and absorbing it) in daily and seasonal cycles, to a far greater degree than any human caused emissions, which is true …. problem is the baseline keeps creeping up and the cycles don’t return to the same point. With methane now we’re at a very serious tipping point with amplifying organic, ocean floor (hydrate) and melting permafrost releases. Sure, they overshadow the gas field emissions but the smoking gun is in your hands old boy.

          Permian basin pic (looks like O&G fields rather than rice field to me):

            • You should read it more carefully. The clue is in the title. I understand O&G’s need to deflect such a critique though – no one is going to own up to the huge responsibility that this implies and there’s still a little wiggle room in the accountability issue (methane is an elusive product to get metrics on once in the atmosphere) – but not for long.

            • And yet the authors of the report said – “The research shows that emissions increased the most in the middle of the country, but the authors said there is too little data to identify specific sources”

              Can you explain how it was that you were able to discern the sources when the scientists who collected the data could not? LOL

            • The inference is logical and the evidence is growing. Like most good science nothing is expressed dogmatically but there is a key point: ‘..mounting research that shows that the government’s data on methane emissions is not consistent with observations made by universities and other institutions.’ From further background on the subject – the government and the EPA have clearly been over-reliant on the industry’s self regulation and (bottom up) data so far. O&G’s approach to self monitoring, particularly of methane emissions, ranges between poor and evasive. Obviously it’s not in their interests to be self incriminating. It has been left to other institutions to do the hard yards on this.

              You say ‘authors said there is too little data to identify specific sources’ as if to say this denies the logic. It doesn’t, it just means there is further work to do on pinpointing exact sources e.g. specific wells. Top down evaluations (aerial/satellite etc) are taking time to establish and correlate, but it is happening. Hot spots (for methane) identified over the Marcellus and central US fields agree with surface readings and studies by Duke and Cornell universities. Changes in agriculture and cow flatulence certainly do not account for the findings observed in the Harvard study i.e. “..U.S. methane emissions have increased by more than 30% over the 2002–2014 period. The trend is largest in the central part of the country..”

            • And yet there is no fracking going on in the central part of the country, Phil. The Marcellus is in PA my man.

              You have fallen behind the times in terms of methane studies. I referred you to a host of recently released studies that show tie rising methane emissions to sources other than gas, and that specifically cite reductions in gas methane emissions. You can ignore all you want, but the science supports what I say. It clearly does not support your point of view as the authors of the very study which you cite specifically argue against your point of view.

            • ‘Marcellus and central’ was as written – spectacles need checking? Re. ‘no fracking going on in the central part’.. you’re kidding right? Draw a line between Dakota and Texas (the two most heavily Fracked territories and ongoing sources) – forgive our misconception if you don’t call that central. It’s certainly neither east nor west. Your reports don’t address the contended issues I’m afraid.

            • I forgive you for being challenged as to geography! All you have to do is look at the map to understand how foolish you are. Texas shows very little change in methane despite a massive increase in production. Same goes for north and south dakota, Phil! LOL

              North and south California show marked increases but those don’t correspond to massive increases in o&g production. Same for New York, North Carolina, Iowa, and Georgia. These states don’t even have o&g production, but saw huge spikes in methane.

              The biggest increases are found in the miss and ohio river valleys. States like missouri, kentucky, tennessee, arkansas, indiana, illinois. These are certainly not hotbeds of fracking.

              What does make sense, however, is that agricultural output is causing increases in these regions.

              Methane from ag sources overtook o&g last year, leading the EPA to make the following statement, Phil: ““Methane (CH4) emissions in the United States decreased by almost 15% between 1990 and 2013. During this time period, emissions increased from sources associated with agricultural activities, while emissions decreased from sources associated with the exploration and production of natural gas and petroleum products.”

              You’re just flat wrong, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the authors of your own study. But don’t worry, this is par for the course!!! ;o)

            • From that study we’re refering to…
              “Schneising et al. [2014] found from SCIAMACHY satellite data that methane emissions grew by 1.5 Tg a−1 in the Bakken (North Dakota) and Eagle ford (Texas) oil and gas basins during 2006–2011, which alone would drive an increase of 5% a−1 in CONUS methane emissions. Franco et al. [2015] reported a 4.90 ± 0.91% a−1 rise of ethane concentrations over 2009–2014 at the Jungfraujoch European mountain site and pointed to the growth of North American shale gas exploitation as a possible explanation. Vinciguerra et al. [2015] found an increase of ∼6% a−1 in ethane concentrations in Maryland over 2010–2013 and attributed it to gas production in the Marcellus Shale upwind. They found no such increase in Atlanta, where there is no nearby oil and gas production.”

              That Gosat map really needs to have the earlier CONUS (satellite) mapping beside it to understand the gross measures – it’s just showing the net changes not absolute values.

              An earlier satellite mapping showing a clearer mapping of total emissions – that the Scheising statement is based on is here below (if the link works) – associated text says “Imagery indicates the increase is largely from increased emissions in the shale gas & oil fields of the U.S. between 2006-2008 and 2009-2011” :

            • There simply isn’t any proof of causality in any of that, Phil. Pure speculation.

              And from the agency responsible for protecting US environmental interests: ““Methane (CH4) emissions in the United States decreased by almost 15% between 1990 and 2013. During this time period, emissions increased from sources associated with agricultural activities, while emissions decreased from sources associated with the exploration and production of natural gas and petroleum products.”

            • Paul … interesting item. The last two paragraphs are particularly relevant here. While O&G try to pass the buck on biogenic methane it’s clear from close inspection that drilling alone (while in process) can cause some huge releases of shallow/biogenic methane – puncturing and releasing pockets of the stuff on its way to the target shale layer … never mentioned of course, and only noticed when you’re deliberately looking for it. Airborne and land based studies have shown this but it can vary from virtually zero to huge amounts and it isn’t predictable as far as I know. The telltale ethane signature is something to look into further. Simpson notes: “… that other recent work on ethane emissions—which can co-occur with methane—suggests a considerable contribution from fossil fuel sources to the recent methane increase. That research suggests fossil fuels are behind at least 28% of that increase”.

            • We’ve tried to be helpful peeny – pointing out that the thin ice that you’re skating on is just getting thinner, but still you skate on. Your Government/EPA has been complicit in progressively obscuring or denying the real science – getting worse over time. Now Trump and FF/climate-denying collaborators plan to get rid of the EPA all together (with all those restrictive protection laws!). What this retired EPA employee Wes Wilson has to say about their practices is extraordinary, the EPA has been hamstrung for a long time… ‘Truth about Fracking’ : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7XgoekcrBw

            • Again, Phil, do you have any proof that the EPA has taken a stance that denies climate change? I don’t think you realize it, but you sound like some kind of kooky nut job when make off-base, unsupported statements like that. Of course the EPA hasn’t taken a stance against climate change. The agency is full of people who are big environmentalists and who are almost as zealous as you in their pursuit for all things Green. That is why Trump is lashing out at them.

              If you are so certain that methane emissions from gas are causing a spike in general methane emissions, then you need to show evidence supported by proper scientific methodology. Just showing an increase in methane emissions over a geographic location will not cut it, Phil. Note that those who have gone so far as to drill down to specific locations and measuring specific emissions, where causality is determined, have said that gas methane emissions are declining.

            • Fanciful response… I’m not saying the EPA is denying climate science. What I’m saying is that they have become very skilled at avoiding any trails of evidence that point back to the O&G industry as sources of both groundwater and air pollution. This is due to political influences including the exemptions by law from being allowed to rule (or give evidence) on particular findings. Time and again you see cases of them having pulled out of investigations that would lead to conclusive incriminating data.

              Wes Wilson gives an insight into the EPA processes and evasions in that video (and he’s just one source of many). And he is no Green zealot either, much as you’d like to dismiss him by name calling, he’s a highly recognised and qualified scientist in both geological engineering and water resource management. Again – your credentials peeny are?

  2. We all support Ms Tina Rothery in this attempt to imprison her over very minor charges, the industry is guilty of far worse.

    As an example of that and to put a wider view of why and what we all are fighting to prevent is this report from UNEP regarding Nigeria where for some ten years Ogoniland has suffered gross and illegal spills, accidents, negligence and unregulated or controlled pollution events that has destroyed many thousands of lives and will take a conservative estimate of 30 years to clean up.
    Quite how this ‘clean up and reparation’ will be accomplished or even attempted is not stated, probably because it is technically and economically impossible and will doubtless lead to further pollution in the process.

    This must not and will not happen here in the UK, just as it will be opposed in Dakota.

    http://www.unep.org/newscentre/default.aspx?DocumentID=27076&ArticleID=36199

    Even one such event in UK considering our dense population and rural dependency will devastate this country permanently whilst fracking firms go bankrupt and run away to offshore tax havens.

    • “We all support…?” Is this the Supreme Leader speaking again? A little presumptuous? Some of us support the Law. If there is no custodial sentence, fine. But if there is a custodial sentence then also fine.

      • Takes one to know one Paul, or is it the Alt ID again peeny? Yeah me and my dog and cats, we use the Royal “we”, all my posts are a autonomous collective though I suspect my cats have more to do with running the kitchen. How is the bunker these days? Invaded anywhere interesting lately? The protectors of Dakota and Swanage have declared independence I see! Have a nice day!

      • Tell me what custodial sentence should be given to the companies who have polluted Ogoniland in Nigeria for ten years without declaring it and the hundreds of miles of gross polluting pipeline spills across USA And are you going to congratulate the native protectors in Dakota for upholding the law when the oil companies and the police and militia clearly broke every law in the book? Do try to answer these questions without diverting to personal attacks!

  3. Phil C – I expect you know as much as I do about Ogoniland i.e. very little. And as for Dakota, I have no issue with this decision. I also know very little about that. But I do have extensive experience in working in the upstream oil and gas industry in many countries, onshore / offshore most on this BB. I also appreciate how oil and gas (and coal) have improved and developed the world. Peeny is just like you, reads a lot, surfs the net, uses Google but has never worked in the industry and has no direct experience of it.

    I wonder if our home grown “protectors” would be as persistent as those in Dakota?:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/gallery/2016/dec/06/standing-rock-blizzard-hits-protesters-as-controversial-pipeline-halted-in-pictures

    With regards to Ogoniland there is apparently another side to the story:

    Ogale is in Ogoniland. SPDC has not produced any oil or gas in Ogoniland since 1993. Access to the area has been limited by a rise in violence, threats to staff and attacks on facilities.

    This litigation has to be considered against a longstanding and very difficult history in Ogoniland which includes recurrent social unrest, historic pollution attributable to diverse causes including civil war, criminal damage, and in recent times a dramatic escalation in the practice of “illegal activity [which] is endangering lives and causing pockets of environmental devastation in Ogoniland and neighbouring areas” and which risks “an environmental catastrophe” in the Niger Delta. (UNEP Report, page 104).

    The Guardian article states: “The result could be a massive clean-up of Ogale”. Yet, a settlement reached with a UK court is unlikely to achieve this objective. Lord Goldsmith during his representations to the court on behalf of SPDC said: “If it is a clean‐up that we’re talking about, this is the wrong court to be asking to do that. The court won’t be able to police it.”

    Nigeria is in a process of reconciliation over these historic issues in Ogoniland as part of which it was decided that an independent international agency (UNEP), not a national court, would undertake an environmental assessment and supervise clean up. UNEP has recommended a multi-stakeholder approach, coordinated by the Nigerian government, to redressing environmental impacts in Ogoniland. The Nigerian government and in particular its current President have fully endorsed this path of peaceful multi-party reconciliation in the region. SPDC is fully committed to this process.

    Divisive, costly, and time-consuming litigation by courts unfamiliar with the law and realities on the ground does nothing to address the real problem in the Niger Delta: widespread pipeline sabotage, crude oil theft and illegal refining. The UNEP report itself states: “Treating the problem of environmental contamination within Ogoniland merely as a technical clean-up exercise would ultimately lead to failure….” SPDC is not in general liable to pay compensation arising out of the illegal activities of oil thieves and saboteurs.

    The paragraph in The Guardian article relating to contaminated water in Ogoniland, specifically the benzene references, is misleading. The UNEP report found that the site where the benzene contamination was found lies beside an abandoned third-party pipeline associated with refinery activities. The pipeline is not operated by SPDC. Any suggestion that SPDC was the source of the benzene contamination is completely unfounded and unsupported by evidence.

    The Bille and Ogale communities have chosen to bring these claims in the UK instead of in Nigeria, whose laws govern SPDC Joint Venture operations. We are contesting the jurisdiction of the English court over these claims. We believe that allegations concerning Nigerian plaintiffs in dispute with a Nigerian company, over issues which took place in Nigeria, should be heard in Nigeria.

    • OK Lets get something straight before we go off half cocked: You say “Peeny is just like you (nothing could be further from the truth), reads a lot, surfs the net, uses Google but has never worked in the industry and has no direct experience of it” Well hoop de do, to correct your error, i do have experience with the oil industry, not in the upstream production or the exploration side, but part of the downstream team of various engineering consultancies to develop containment and clean up processes and safer transportation of crude and refined in the Middle East. Clear yet?
      Logic chopping the issue into legally and politically handle-able chunks is what is displayed in Nigeria and here too. i am really not interested in the whole organisational melee of avoiding responsibility and blame, no one is ever guilty any more, corporate lawyers will make sure of that, Occasionally by some administrative paperwork error or misspelling cock up something actually gets done but these are usually quickly squashed in order to save corporate face and money and reduce claims of negligence and even then to tie them up in acres of legalese that stretches on for years and years.
      So i have no faith in the process of avoiding blame displayed in meaningless terms such as ‘misleading’ and ‘third parties’, ‘oil thieves and saboteurs’ i have seen too much of that corporate avoidance.
      My feeling now is that this dirty industry must be stopped in this country before it has a chance to establish itself, or the lawyers will make a laughing stock of any claims resulting from negligence as they have done everywhere else.
      We have more than enough oil and gas for centuries yet, that should be concentrated on production of those many goods we are still hooked upon until we realise that meaningless and useless “things” “possessions” are not the way to achieve a stable society. The future is free renewable energy, or at least as close as we can get to it until we figure out how the universe really works.
      Dealing with the fallout from all this insane production will take centuries to achieve at least, maybe not even then, So we get cold for the winter, wear more clothes, build communities that look after the aged and the infirm not lock them away in increasingly un-affordable ghettos.Learn from their experience just as we always did before this society turned mean and selfish.
      Better we start here, start now, before we give our children a headache they can never overcome.,
      Renewables are only late arriving because development and funding is stifled if not crushed and hidden in order to derive the maximum profit and political control and manipulation from the money fountain of fossil fuel monopolies.
      Energy poverty is a sick illusion based upon profit margins and fraudulent budgets, people die of hypothermia because their lives do not register on the profit and loss calculations, not because they cannot be kept warm, but that the industry and government makes it too expensive to keep them warm.
      The result is no one cares for anyone or anything except for the money, peoples lives are destroyed whist corporations fight over profit margins and who is to blame for the results od failure and negligence. That is all too late for the destruction of our dwindling habitat and ecology for people and wildlife and devastated landscapes i have seen for myself over the years.
      Have a peaceful and enlightening Christmas, give, dont take.

    • Fascinating insight following the disappearance of Eric Braverman into the oil pipeline business and the operations of the Clintons and Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Jordan, Turkey and just about everywhere else, links to Isis Hamas, Hezzbola, Boko Haram and others clear links to organised terrorism, the Arab spring movement, Arms sale and all the nasty dirty filthy business of oil and money and treason.

      (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1ONo-6xs8M) (just remove the parentheses.)

      What price misleading, third parties and oil thieves and terrorists now? And the pro life activists get called terrorists???

    • Fascinating insight following the disappearance of Eric Braverman into the oil pipeline business and the operations of the Clintons and Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Jordan, Turkey and just about everywhere else, links to Isis Hamas, Hezzbola, Boko Haram and others clear links to organised terrorism, the Arab spring movement, Arms sale and all the nasty dirty filthy business of oil and money and treason.

      What price misleading, third parties and oil thieves and terrorists now?

  4. ‘We are contesting the jurisdiction of the English court over these claims. We believe that allegations concerning Nigerian plaintiffs in dispute with a Nigerian company, over issues which took place in Nigeria, should be heard in Nigeria.’
    I thought you had retired?

    • Well picked up. Yes, still retired. The above is a quote from the Guardian comments to the article – Igo Weli, General Manager for External Relations for the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC). “We were disappointed not to be given the opportunity to contribute to this article, so I’d like to make a number of points.”……..

      Always two sides to a story.

      You may be interested in this, I am sure John Powney is, where are the renewables when you need them? Getting as bad as Germany over here…..

      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/06/diesel-farms-national-grid-tax-breaks

      I guess the point is that diesel can supply on a demand basis, night time, high pressure, no wind etc.

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