Sunday, September 25, 2011

The problem is that it is immeasurably harder to produce conclusive scientific documentation of those changes - which glaciers are melting and how fast? - and Himalayagate has made scientists especially cautious.

The result, according to Byers, is a big knowledge gap. Scientists have access to satellite images of the Himalayas, but compared with other regions, such as the Andes or the Alps, there is relatively little on-the-ground research. Satellite imagery only gives a partial picture; it can reveal a glacier shrinking in length, but it gives little indication of whether the ice is thinning. In addition, record-keeping on glaciers and temperatures got under way relatively late in Nepal.

Other researchers backed the Scott team. "Although many of these regions have decreased in area and thickness over the past decade(s), reported in many recent scientific papers, the misinterpretation of enormous losses of glacierised area from these maps is far off the range in measured losses," said Hester Jiskoot, a glaciologist at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta.

A 2010 US documentary film, Gasland, showed homeowners setting fire to the water coming out of their taps, such was the volume of methane contained in the water. The flames were said to be the result of nearby fracking operations contaminating the water supply, but the oil industry has denied this.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Todd Stern, the US president's envoy for climate change, said the European Union was the only remaining "major player" that would potentially support a continuation of the protocol after its provisions expire in 2012. The lack of support from other countries bodes ill for the forthcoming talks at Durban. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Friday, September 23, 2011

More than seven people search for every room that comes on to the rental market, according to This huge demand is pushing rents up, and as they climb so too does the size of the average deposit. Much of the demand for rented property is coming from would-be first-time buyers struggling to meet lenders' deposit requirements.

Nicky Chambers, a lettings manager at estate agent Douglas & Gordon, adds that there are certain criteria a guarantor must meet. "They have to be a UK homeowner, earn at least £35,000, and must pass the necessary credit reference checks," she says.

Case study: 'whoever bids highest wins'

Esther Shaw

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Climate Change Educational Resource Pack for Key Stage 4 explains the scientific basis of climate change and explores how changes in climate change could impact citizens of Wales. In particular it looks at how citizens could adapt to living in a different climate. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

The Greenlands Labour Club in Preston, Lancashire, hosted a ticket-only fight night that included the eight-year-olds' bout which lasted 10 minutes.

At one point, one of the children appears to burst into tears, and medical staff are called in to check them. None of the children are wearing headgear or padding, but the organisers pointed out that they were not allowed to kick or punch each other and that it had been "an extremely good event."

The sport, also known as Mixed Martial Arts, encompasses a range of martial arts that are used during bouts in cages.

Paul Jackson, manager of Warriors gym in nearby Plungington said: "The main question I would ask is why were the parents allowing them to do that? I wouldn't really agree with anything like it.

"The kids were there to fight; they have fought before. The parents were there. Would people rather these kids were out on the streets with guns and knives?"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

1) That the government is removing the public subsidy for higher education

The rest of the globe isn't looking to see what the English are doing in regards to education, they are laughing at us.

The People's History Museum have have contributed to a resource pack that can be adapted to suit children from 7-16 years. It tells children about the birth of the British Peace Committee, and how that committee campaigned for their cause.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Britain has around 150bn cubic metres of recoverable shale resources, according to the British Geological Survey, which could meet the nation's gas requirements for 18 months. Cuadrilla is expected to disclose its first estimate for the amount of shale gas found inside its Lancashire licence area next week. According to the chief executive, Mark Miller, the signs are "encouraging".

Friday, September 16, 2011

For example, these forensic methods have identified hair from a specific dog known to be present at the scene of the crime which was attached to a suspect's shoe, or pieces of matching plastic have been found lodged in a shoe and at a murder scene. Carpet fibres can be traced back to a specific house or clothes fibres can be recovered from obstacles navigated for a getaway, like walls and fences.

And it's not just criminal forensics. These methods can be used for environmental forensics too. For example, scientists are working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to identify fly-tippers.

In planning, possibly more than in any other arena, the devil is in the detail - and there are some aspects of the draft proposals that give cause for concern.

Shelter will challenge some of the draft proposals to make sure that they deliver the right homes, at the right prices, in the right places - while protecting the environment. That is no small task - but it is the entire point of planning and it's vital that we get it right. But we must not allow the national challenge of how to meet the need for secure affordable homes for everyone to be clouded by the self-interest of the housing advantaged pulling up the ladder after themselves.

I'll run through the paper in a bit of detail (as it is behind a paywall). The pair start by saying the Fukushima disaster in Japan "revealed technical and institutional weaknesses that must be fixed around the world. If nuclear power is to grow on the scale required to be a significant part of the solution to global climate disruption or scarcity of fossil fuels, major steps are needed to rebuild confidence that nuclear facilities will be safe from accidents and secure against attacks."

They acknowledge that new reactor designs with automatic safety features may reduce risks, but say: "For the next few decades, most nuclear energy will be generated by the hundreds of reactors that already exist and those that will be built with existing designs. Hence, the near-term focus should be on upgrading safety and security for existing and planned facilities and building institutional approaches that can find and fix the facilities that pose the highest risks."

They propose actions in six areas.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And here's a former M&A banker who agreed to meet:

thestudentspirit says:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Geoengineering the climate is a controversial subject, and rightly so. The Royal Society published an influential report reviewing the topic in 2009, but neither supports nor opposes geoengineering in general, and does not support any particular research projects, financially or otherwise. The report warned of the great uncertainty about the feasibility, costs, effectiveness and environmental and social consequences of almost all geoengineering ideas. However, it concluded that unless major cuts to greenhouse gas emissions are made soon, geoengineering technologies may become necessary.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

. Lewis Baston's guide to the new seats

These early results corroborate fears from rival parties that Conservatives would be the major beneficiaries of boundary reform. At present, the Conservative parties tend to have larger majorities than Labour or Liberal Democrat MPs, providing a greater degree of protection against such changes.

. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Futurists have predicted a future world full of even more exciting technologies, miniature gizmos and sustainable and environmentally friendly energy resources.

So, for a high risk score, the researchers are not simply saying that mankind will physically run out of these metals - in fact many of them are in abundance - but rather that the risk of them becoming unavailable is high.

The risk list highlights and quantifies the need for countries to secure a reliable supply of technology metals for the future. It also makes me even more thankful for my now indispensable mobile phone.

More control

Jackie Schneider, a former SMK winner for her effective campaigning to improve school food, points out that social media also gives small groups far more control over their message. "You don't have to spend hours begging to use a photocopier, or if your local paper won't run a piece, you can just write your own. I recently got involved in a new, local campaign to save one of our playing fields and we got the word out with Twitter incredibly quickly."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Alok JhaThe God Species: How the Planet Can Survive the Age of Humans

Subscribe for free via iTunes to ensure every episode gets delivered. (Here is the non-iTunes URL feed).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What we need is an imaginative approach by the government. As president of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and as a founding member of the Pro Housing Alliance, I believe the government needs to put housing at the top of the public health agenda. It needs to introduce changes to land taxation to help finance regeneration and urban renewal, it needs to provide 500,000 green and affordable homes per year for the next seven years - and it needs to rescind the changes to housing benefit rules. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Friday, September 9, 2011

Geoengineering research can be considered analogous to pharmaceutical research. One would not take a medicine that had not been rigorously tested to make sure that it worked and was safe. But, if there was a risk of disease, one would research possible treatments and, once the effects were established, one would take the medicine if needed and appropriate. Similarly we need controlled testing of any technologies that might be used in the future. Hopefully we will never need geoengineering but, if we do, to fail to assess its usefulness and safety in advance would be a risk no one, least of all those most concerned with the environment, would thank us for.

.?The proposal for a giant tether designed to combat global warming seems right on the boundary between "very cutting-edge" and "crackpot" science. I hope the designers have factored in a legal team to deal with any peculiar weather - anywhere - occurring as a result of this experiment. It seems virtually guaranteed that someone, and perhaps many, will file lawsuits if the slightest aberration in weather occurs. Before spending millions of pounds developing such a system, the investigators, and the funding agencies, should take a very hard look as to whether they can cope with such issues. I doubt that they can.

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