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Environmental News Made Simple
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Good morning curious.friends,

Lots of big news this week including USA quitting the Paris Agreement plus 11,000 scientists calling for a global climate emergency and...

The curious.earth podcast will be winging its way to your ears very soon. Our first episode will be coming out in December and it's all about how to celebrate a sustainable Christmas. Send us your questions today and we'll share our tips with you all in the podcast!

Reading time is 3:57 minutes.
Enjoyyy

p.s. a big curious.welcome to Joe, who has joined the team, enjoy his first article below :)
Energy

Fracking Forbidden...but is it a happy forever after?

by Helen Steiger

What's Going On Here?

On Friday, the government announced that they were banning fracking in the UK, effective immediately, to the delight of curious.earth and other green beans and environmentalists nationwide.

But, it's not a ban - it's a halt

What Does This Mean?

Let’s start with the basics - what actually is fracking? It’s been in the media so much over the past few years that it’s easy to forget what it actually is…

Also called hydraulic fracturing, fracking is a method used to obtain natural gas from hard-to-reach shale rock. Natural gas is a fossil fuel, and despite our transition towards low-carbon energy sources, it remains a primary source of fuel for heating, electricity generation and the manufacturing of plastics and other organic chemicals.

Shale rock is porous, with little pockets within the rock that trap natural gas. Fracking involves fracturing the shale rock using high amounts of pressure by pumping sand, water and chemicals into the rock. This causes the gas to leak out to the surface where it can be collected. 

We found this diagram super useful to get our heads round the process ….

The only active fracking site in the UK was operated by Cuadrilla near Blackpool. The moratorium (halt on all fracking-related frivolities) was made after scientific reports warned that it was not possible to rule out “unacceptable” consequences for those living near fracking sites. This was following a number of earthquake-tremors that were triggered in the summer as a result of fracking in the area.

Why Should We Care?

Because fracking is not in any way helping us to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels! Land-based hydraulic fracturing has only being pursued on UK soils because it is getting more difficult to find natural gas in the ocean bed. This really isn’t solving the problem - if we are to reduce carbon emissions to prevent further global warming and climate change, we really need to move towards low-carbon alternatives.

The news was also of great delight to the fracking nanas - our new favourite protest group. This quieter but very effective group of mothers, grandmothers and older women (they’re not all actual nana’s FYI) base themselves at the entrance to the Cuadrilla drilling site near Blackpool - , singing, dancing, reading poems, knitting and generally obstructing activity where possible. They’ve garnered support from local residents and have been engaging in activism for over 1,000 days! The group’s dedication to the cause is a shining example of environmental activism. 

Do not be fooled and think the fight is over - Cuadrilla announced on Monday that it hoped "to address concerns so that the moratorium can be lifted" in order to further develop their site in Northern England…. There are also concerns that this latest move by the government is purely to win more votes in the upcoming general election - particularly as the ban is not permanent. So celebrate with caution - fracking may not be banned forever….

Be Curious!

  • Support the anti-fracking Nanas - check out local anti-fracking movements in your area and vocalise your views on this important matter. It may be banned temporarily, but it needs to be permanently banned in order to be certain fracking activities won’t resume in the future!   
 
  • Switch to green energy - it doesn’t cost more and it means your home is being fuelled  by more renewable, low/zero-carbon energy sources. The main energy and electricity providers to look into IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER (L) include Bristol Energy, Bulb, Cooperative Energy, Ebico, Ecotricity, Good Energy, Green Energy UK, Pure Planet, Octopus Energy, Ovo Energy, So Energy and Tonik Energy, to name but a few... 
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Sport

Climate change and sport, what is the state of play?

by Joe Stratton

What's Going On Here?

For a lot of us, sport is a form of escapism, one that brings us joy as well as heartache but ultimately brings people together from all walks of life.

In the shadow of a future dominated by climate change however, our favourite sports and their far-reaching positive impacts could be under threat.

What Does This Mean?

Extreme weather has already started to have an effect on sport on the world stage:

Efforts so far have focussed on reducing the direct impact of sports themselves, but is it time sporting associations made use of their influence, accessibility and finances to raise awareness of an issue that is likely to affect them to their very core?

Why Should We Care?

These events interrupt the wonderful entertainment that sport provides, not to mention the financial implications of postponements and cancellations. Such events will only become more common and it will become increasingly difficult for sporting franchises to adapt.

Sport also play an integral role, particularly in the developing world, in alleviating poverty, and boosting community wellbeing. This is where climate change could have a devastating impact.

Cricket is an excellent example of this. Developing countries such as Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and the West Indies place Cricket at the heart of their communities. Such countries are likely to suffer the most from a changing climate and without them, sport on the world stage would not be the same.

Ultimately, sport could be used more effectively as a tool for communicating sustainability . With a huge audience and countless role models to call upon, the potential for influencing positive change is huge.

The UN have started a Sport for Climate Action initiative, calling on sporting associations to join forces and adhere to five  common guiding principles in achieving global climate change goals.

Be Curious!
  • Support the individual athletes who advocate on social media by helping to spread their message. As a role model they are key drivers of behaviour change.
  • We can support organisations who are pioneering change to avoid climate change affecting their beloved sports:
  • Forest Green Rovers are on track to be the world’s first carbon neutral football club. They utilise renewable energy sources, a fully plant-based food menu and have seen incredible results on and off the pitch. Find out more about their journey here!
  • POW (Protect Our Winters) are mobilizing the outdoor sports community in a fight against climate change!
  • Check out this report which outlines how climate change is affecting our favourite sports here in the UK and the pioneering clubs who are leading the way. 
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Other news we found curious...

'Untold human suffering': 11,000 scientists from across world unite to declare global climate emergency - Independent
Delhi residents engulfed in pollution blame authorities for inaction - Guardian
'Pre-cycling': River Island joins closed-loop scheme for surplus fashion stock - edie.net
Trump confirms USA is quitting the Paris Agreement - NYTimes
People Who Try To Be Eco-Friendly By Buying Less Stuff Are Happier, Study Claims - BPS
Bristol clean air diesel ban plan approved - BBC
Extinction Rebellion: High Court rules London protest ban unlawful - BBC
Helen Steiger
NEWS WRITER
Joe Stratton
NEWS WRITER
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