Tue, 2015-01-27 14:52Julie Dermansky
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Texas Town at Center of Latest Earthquake Swarm Questions Fracking Impact

January has been a shaky month for Irving, Texas. Twelve earthquakes rattled the city during a 48-hour period at the end of the first week of the new year.

“It was very scary. I was at my job on the 4th floor in a cubicle surrounded by glass,” Tonya Rochelle Tatum, a loan specialist who works in Irving, told DeSmogBlog. “One quake seemed like it lasted five minutes. No one knew what to do.”

The earthquake swarm shows no sign of stopping. On January 21, five more quakes struck.

The quakes are relatively small, all of them registering under 4 on the Richter Scale. None has caused significant damage to property or resulted in bodily harm — but that hasn’t stopped people from worrying about their personal safety and property.  

A Dallas suburb, Irving sits atop the Barnett Shale, a geologic formation rich in natural gas. Seismic activity is not something the region is known for, and the fact that the earthquakes are now in the news has many fearing their home values will drop.

Residents want to know what is causing the quakes, the likelihood they may increase in size and if anything can be done to stop them. A public meeting held January 21 by city officials to address the earthquakes and other issues overflowed the 250-person capacity of the Irving Arts Center.

“Everywhere they’re fracking they have earthquakes,” someone in the audience yelled out, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Tue, 2015-01-27 03:21Kyla Mandel
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MPs Overwhelmingly Reject Moratorium on Fracking

Fracking lives to see another day in Britain as MPs overwhelmingly reject a proposal to place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for shale gas.

A mere 52 MPs voted in favour of the amendment to the controversial Infrastructure Bill yesterday. The vote follows a report released earlier that day by the cross-party House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee calling for a ban on fracking due to the risks it poses to Britain’s efforts to tackle climate change.

The amendment was voted down by 308 MPs including the Under Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Amber Rudd, and DECC Secretary of State, Ed Davey, demonstrating their steadfast support of the nascent industry in face of rapidly mounting public and political opposition.

Mon, 2015-01-26 11:22John Mashey
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MedievalDeception 2015: Inhofe Drags Senate Back To Dark Ages

Sen Inhofe shows an obsolete, false-cited graph

On January 21, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) again displayed the same deception/incompetence that pervaded his book, The Greatest Hoax (2012).
In this video segment (3:00-5:20), he presented a poster on the Senate floor that matches the image below from “Kyoto by Degrees,” an anonymous Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Opinion piece, June 21, 2005.  Both contained claims plausibly called academic or journalistic deception, created for public confusion.

Regardless of ancient tempreatures, modern temperature rise is human-caused, not just natural variation: you damaged your furnace so it now ignores the thermostat.  Heat varies erratically, room by room, and day by day,  but each week the house  is overall wamer than the last. Your attic Arctic fridge's ice cubes are melting and even the basement freezer is starting to struggle. The furnace will take months to fix, and you need to start, whether or not you believe rumors that some previous owner experienced warmer weather.

Following is the WSJ image Inhofe used without mentioning that source:

WSJ image from 2005.06.21Trend in average” : Deception.
The original curve was sketched in 1965 by Hubert Lamb, who grafted estimates of 900-1680AD with 1680-1961AD measurements compiled by Gordon Manley.   It covered  a 21x34-mile patch of England.
“exactly as shown”: Falsification. false citation. Real science uses captions and caveats,  ignored here by cherry-pickers who plucked the graph out of context and even altered the image.
mean”: Fabrication.  See below.

Lamb MWP curve never global, real science improves

The attached 4-page excerpt from IPCC(1990) includes the real p.202 image in context, shown below for easy comparison with this altered version.  Someone changed “Years before present” (sic) to “Year,” deleted (c), capitalized all words and  converted sans-serif to serif font.  The resulting image was copied along murky paths, including onto p.33 of Inhofe's Greatest Hoax book, where it is cited as “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change, the IPCC Scientific Assessment 202 (1990).  His story there is clearly refuted by IPCC's surrounding text pp.199-203. Perhaps he never read that.

Mon, 2015-01-26 09:55Brendan Montague
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Matt 'King Coal' Ridley Loses Power Station Buyer Due to European Regulations

The latest exclusive from our #MattKingCoal investigation shows how climate denier Matt Ridley has been impacted by European carbon emissions regulations…

Lord Ridley, the aristocratic farmer and science writer, has weighted all the evidence and after due consideration decided that the world's leading researchers have become overly alarmed by the threat posed by climate change.

His views have nothing to do with the fact he has an opencast mines on his family estate. And his opinion is entirely unrelated to the fact his local power station will no longer buy his coal because European regulations have forced it to abandon fossil fuels.  

Ridley is currently expanding the two opencast mines on the family’s Blagdon Estate so that a total of 8.4 million tonnes (Mt) of coal can be excavated ahead of 2020, increasing his profits to an estimated £4.1m each year.

Mon, 2015-01-26 04:37Kyla Mandel
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Tate Visitors Could Donate 1p Each to Make Gallery BP Free

Art lovers visiting Tate would have to donate less than 1p to allow the galleries to drop oil company BP as a sponsor, according to figures released today following a Freedom of Information request. 

Sponsorship figures released today show that BP donations increased from just £150,000 in 1991 to only £330,000 in 2006 - less than 0.5 percent of Tate’s overall operational budget during that time.

The donations, which continue today, mean BP has its flower petal logo hanging around the gallery and, according to campaigners at Platform, provides them with a 'social licence to operate' by making them appear socially conscious and respectable.

The sponsorship figures were released after the Information Tribunal ruled in December that Tate galleries must disclose the controversial sum of money BP paid as a sponsor between 1990 and 2006.

The landmark ruling was the result of a three-year long Freedom of Information appeals process by London-based campaign group Platform, information charity Request Initiative and law firms Leigh Day and Monckton chambers.

Embarrassingly Small

Brendan Montague, Request Initiative co-founder and DeSmog UK editor, said: “Tate Britain and Tate Modern had a combined visitor-ship of more than 2.6m people during 2013. We estimate that if every 20th visitor donated just £0.01, enough money would be raised to make Tate BP-free.”

Mon, 2015-01-26 01:33Guest
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MPs brand fracking 'incompatible' with UK climate targets

This post originally appeared on Carbon Brief.

Fracking should be banned because it is incompatible with the UK's climate targets, according to the cross-party House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).

The  committee's report has been rushed out in advance of a series of parliamentary votes this afternoon on the government's  Infrastructure Bill. Ten MPs have tabled an  amendment to the bill that would ban fracking “in order to reduce the risk of carbon budgets being breached”.

This amendment also has cross-party support: it is backed by former Conservative environment secretary  Caroline Spelman along with two other Conservatives, five Labour MPs and one each for the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

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