A more sinister application of seismography

Seismography is the measurement of seismic waves of energy (like vibrations) that travel through the earth’s layers, most commonly associated with earthquakes. Indeed a seismometer’s main function is the monitoring and measuring earthquakes both big and small and such measurements can be a vital help when predicting, for example, the chance of a volcanic eruption or…

Horizontal fracking gets the green light in Lancashire

It’s hugely controversial and locally very divisive but this week, for the first time, horizontal fracking for shale gas has been approved in Lancashire. The UK government has not given up on its pursuit of natural gas and it is likely that this will be the first of many attempts to access potential gas reserves…

Preparing for the storm

Hurricane Matthew may have been downgraded to a category 4 tropical storm but, with persistent winds of up to 150mph expected, Jamaica, Cuba and especially Haiti in the Caribbean are getting ready for potential disaster with both flooding and mudslides predicted in the wake of the storm.  Storm shelters are being erected, water and supplies are…

Gentrification and the great social divide

Gentrification is, at least notionally, synonymous with the concept of regeneration. Impoverished and run-down areas of cities are either knocked down and re-built or given a make-over and transformed into a desirable place to live. Or, to be more socially provocative, gentrification is the eviction of the poor from valuable land to make way for…

The battle for the Arctic commences…

The North Pole and the frozen seas within the Arctic Circle are melting. We have been living with this uncomfortable truth for decades now and, whichever side of the climate change debate you come down on, there is no denying that year after year, the ice is retreating and access to this far-lung reach of…

Hinkley gets the final go ahead

It has been a decision delayed since July but today the new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point has finally been given the go ahead and looks set to set the tone for future energy sources in the UK: Hinkley Point approved The graph of projected energy use, shared in this article by BBC News from…

Can carbon capture really be compared to renewable energy sources?

The appeal of gas-powered power plants has been waning justifiably under the growing global pressure to cut CO2 emissions and slow climate change. The UK in particular  is under growing pressure to switch to renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar or nuclear energy but the change, as in many MEDCs, is slow to…

That final frontier is fast fading

Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, Americans would speak of that elusive ‘final frontier’, the wilderness that they were claiming for the present-day USA. Across the globe as population has grown exponentially during the 20th century, wilderness regions, defined as largely untouched by humans, have become increasingly rare. What is much more alarming is the rate at…

Babies in demand!

The threat of depopulation in Europe is finally making the headlines as MEDCs begin to realise that the European population is ageing and needs replenishing: Need for more babies in Europe

G20 promises much, but will it deliver?

G20 summit promises hope for the future of emissions and climate change… or does it? Only time will tell but it is off to a promising start as the USA and China agree to honour the Paris Climate Change agreement:  G20