Stronger ‘Frackquakes’ Are On The Way, Scientists Warn | ThinkProgress

According to multiple reports, scientists attending the Seismological Society of America annual meeting agreed that fracking can change the state of stress on existing faults to the point of failure, causing earthquakes. That stress is generally not caused by fuel extraction itself, but by a process called “wastewater injection,” where companies take the leftover water used to frack wells and inject it deep into the ground.

via Stronger ‘Frackquakes’ Are On The Way, Scientists Warn | ThinkProgress.

UN Chief Warns Plans For Prosperity ‘Will Be Undone’ Without Climate Action

The United Nations secretary-general on Sunday urged world policymakers to do more to address the threat of climate change as negotiators attempt to forge a new global warming pact next year.

Speaking to hundreds of international delegates at the start of a climate gathering in Abu Dhabi, Ban Ki-moon warned that time is running out to reduce harmful emissions and that political leaders need to offer bold commitments to drive meaningful change.

“If we do not take urgent action, all our plans for increased global prosperity and security will be undone,” he warned.

Ban was in the United Arab Emirates capital to mark the start of a conference meant to lay the groundwork for a climate summit he has called for world leaders in September.

via UN Chief Warns Plans For Prosperity ‘Will Be Undone’ Without Climate Action.

Biodiversity offsetting is a license to trash | Climate Connections

proposal in the UK to destroy ancient woodland to make way for a £40 million motorway service station clearly reveals the flaws of biodiversity offsets.

Smithy Wood is a small area of woodland on the outskirts of Sheffield. The woodland has featured on maps for several hundred years. 800 years ago, the monks of Kirkstead Abbey used timber from Smithy Wood to make charcoal for smelting iron. The stained glass window above is in the chapter house of Sheffield Cathedral and shows monks smelting iron in the 12th Century.

Smithy Wood was split into four by the construction of the M1 motorway in the 1960s. Nevertheless, the wood is a designated Local Wildlife Site within Sheffield’s Green Belt. Woodland historian Melvyn Jones describes the importance of the remaining woodland:

via Biodiversity offsetting is a license to trash | Climate Connections.

The New Abolitionism | The Nation

n 2012, the writer and activist Bill McKibben published a heart-stopping essay in Rolling Stone titled “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.” I’ve read hundreds of thousands of words about climate change over the last decade, but that essay haunts me the most.

The piece walks through a fairly straightforward bit of arithmetic that goes as follows. The scientific consensus is that human civilization cannot survive in any recognizable form a temperature increase this century more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Given that we’ve already warmed the earth about 0.8 degrees Celsius, that means we have 1.2 degrees left—and some of that warming is already in motion. Given the relationship between carbon emissions and global average temperatures, that means we can release about 565 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere by mid-century. Total. That’s all we get to emit if we hope to keep inhabiting the planet in a manner that resembles current conditions.

Now here’s the terrifying part. The Carbon Tracker Initiative, a consortium of financial analysts and environmentalists, set out to tally the amount of carbon contained in the proven fossil fuel reserves of the world’s energy companies and major fossil fuel–producing countries. That is, the total amount of carbon we know is in the ground that we can, with present technology, extract, burn and put into the atmosphere. The number that the Carbon Tracker Initiative came up with is… 2,795 gigatons. Which means the total amount of known, proven extractable fossil fuel in the ground at this very moment is almost five times the amount we can safely burn.

Proceeding from this fact, McKibben leads us inexorably to the staggering conclusion that the work of the climate movement is to find a way to force the powers that be, from the government of Saudi Arabia to the board and shareholders of ExxonMobil, to leave 80 percent of the carbon they have claims on in the ground. That stuff you own, that property you’re counting on and pricing into your stocks? You can’t have it.

via The New Abolitionism | The Nation.

12 Reasons Why New Zealand’s Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster – Forbes

“New Zealand’s economy has been hailed as one of world’s top safe-haven economies in recent years after it emerged from Global Financial Crisis relatively unscathed. Unfortunately, my research has found that many of today’s so-called safe-havens (such as Singapore) are experiencing economic bubbles that are strikingly similar to those that led to the financial crisis in the first place.

Though I will be writing a lengthy report about New Zealand’s economic bubble in the near future, I wanted to use this column to outline key points that are helpful for those who are looking for a concise explanation of this bubble.”

via 12 Reasons Why New Zealand’s Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster – Forbes.

Northern Gateway setback could mean opportunity for aboriginal energy proposal | Warrior Publications

Eagle Spirit Energy and Aquilini stated Monday they have stolen support from two First Nations bands in Burns Lake and Fraser Lake who had granted conditional support for the Enbridge route and have now switched allegiance.

The announcement was attended by at least 20 B.C. aboriginal chiefs. And the consortium claims to have support from the majority of First Nations along their proposed routes.

The announcement came days after First Nations leaders revealed Enbridge is offering to give natives a much bigger stake in its project. The overtures, they say, came from Jim Prentice, a former Conservative minister of aboriginal affairs who was hired to revive Enbridge’s stalled negotiations with First Nations.

Winning First Nations support is key to any pipeline proposal to ship oil originating from the Alberta oilsands to B.C. through traditional territories.

Enbridge faces opposition from some First Nations groups who say the company has not addressed long-standing territorial and legal concerns.

via Northern Gateway setback could mean opportunity for aboriginal energy proposal | Warrior Publications.

Sustainability is destroying the Earth | Deep Green Resistance New York

Don’t talk to me about sustainability.  You want to question my lifestyle, my impact, my ecological footprint?  There is a monster standing over us, with a footprint so large it can trample a whole planet underfoot, without noticing or caring.  This monster is Industrial Civilization.  I refuse to sustain the monster.  If the Earth is to live, the monster must die.  This is a declaration of war.

What is it we are trying to sustain?  A living planet, or industrial civilization?  Because we can’t have both.

via Sustainability is destroying the Earth | Deep Green Resistance New York.

On the road to reconciliation, tension between miners and Aboriginals grow

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – While Canada has come a long way in reconciling pre-existing Aboriginal sovereignty with assumed Crown sovereignty, tension is rising between the proponents of several new mining projects located on Crown lands, or within Aboriginal reserves, and Aboriginals, who increasingly assert their rights.

In recent weeks, several Aboriginal communities have voiced their concerns regarding proposed mining projects, insisting on their right to self-determination.

For example, this week the West Moberly First Nations were in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, in Nanaimo, where they argued their case against a proposed coal project in an area 34 km north of Chetwynd, in north-east British Columbia, which had been deemed of “critical spiritual and cultural importance” by the community.

Last summer, the Energy and Mines Ministry issued mining permits to Canadian Kailuan Dehua Mines – a Chinese-backed mining company – for its Gething project, authorising the company to remove 100 000 t of material, transport 15 000 t of coal and construct the main components of a mine that would operate for about 30 years.

via On the road to reconciliation, tension between miners and Aboriginals grow.