The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Protestors Block Fracking Site With Giant Wind Turbine Blade
At 5.30 a.m., fifty people blocked the entrance to IGas’s exploratory drilling site in Salford, a metropolitan borough of GreaterManchester in North West England, with a giant wind turbine blade. The campaigners arrived at the site and unloaded and assembled the 17-meter blade from its three component segments. They were spotted by a security guard who called the police, but the officers who arrived on the scene were too late to prevent the blockade from having the wind turbine blade set up.
The campaigners then left, leaving the heavy blade in place across the entrance, complete with a large red Christmas bow. All vehicle access to the site is disrupted by the 1.5-ton blade, which cannot be moved without large numbers of people or special equipment.
“The government’s plan to increase our reliance on gas—including fracked gas—would lead to higher energy bills and more pollution," said Rachel Thompson of Frack Free Greater Manchester. "The only reason they’re going down this path is because of the power and influence of the big energy companies."
“The big six can make far bigger profits from fossil fuels than from clean energy or home insulation schemes, which is why they’re using their cosy relationship with government to block renewable alternatives and keep us all burning their expensive gas," Thompson continued. "That’s why we all need to stand up for a fairer, cleaner, more democratic energy system without the big six profiteers in charge.”
IGas has obtained permission to drill a 3,000 meter (10,000 foot) test well at Barton Moss in Salford, in hopes of extracting both coal bed methane and shale gas. If the tests prove successful, IGas would then be likely to use the controversial extraction method of horizontal slickwater hydraulic fracturing or fracking.
In the U.S., where fracking has been underway for several years, the practice has been linked to water contamination, air pollution and risks to local water supplies, with more than 1,000 leaks and spills reported in one year in North Dakota alone. If fracking were to spread across the UK, it would lead to the extraction of large amounts of oil and gas that would otherwise have remained in the ground, with serious consequences for the climate.
The fracking industry itself has admitted that the practice is unlikely to bring down energy bills, and economist Nicholas Stern has accused the government of “baseless economics” for claiming otherwise. Meanwhile, the government’s own Committee on Climate Change has released a report showing that a shift away from fossil fuels to renewables and energy efficiency could save the UK public £85 billion per year.
Following a summer of high-profile anti-fracking protests at Balcombe in West Sussex, which ended when the drilling company Cuadrilla withdrew its fracking application, Barton Moss is now widely seen as the new frontline in the battle for clean energy in the UK, and in Nov. 2013 a “Barton Moss Protection Camp” was set up at the site.
Actions are frequently launched from the camp to disrupt drilling activities at the site, and at least 10 people, including local residents, have been arrested in the last few weeks. This year’s anti-fracking protests seem to have shifted public opinion. According to national polling by the University of Nottingham, support for fracking dropped significantly after the summer protests at Balcombe.
Today’s action was carried out by a group of people from all over the UK who had been inspired by the Reclaim The Power protest camp at Balcombe earlier this year.
“We’ve delivered this early Christmas gift to IGas to remind them that we don’t need damaging, risky and polluting energy sources like oil and gas to power the UK," said Sandra Denton, who was one of those who put the blade in place. "The government and the big energy companies are planning to build a new wave of gas-fired power stations, partly fed by thousands of fracking wells across the British countryside."
"This would lock us into using this expensive and dirty fossil fuel for decades to come, trapping us in a future of spiralling energy prices and disastrous floods, storms and droughts as climate change kicks in," Denton said. "Meanwhile, a shift to properly insulated homes powered by clean, community-owned or publicly-controlled renewable energy would rescue millions from fuel poverty, prevent thousands of winter deaths and give us all a decent chance at avoiding runaway climate change.”
“I didn’t know today’s action was going to happen but I’m very glad it did," said Pearl Hopkins, a local resident. "It’s great that people are coming from all over the country to support us at Barton Moss—and with creative blockades like this one."
"Local people have tried using all the official channels to object to this scheme, but the council and IGas seem determined to brush our concerns under the carpet and carry on regardless," Hopkins explained. "We’d like renewable energy for the future—not the destruction of our towns and countryside with thousands of drill sites.”
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
'How Dare You Put Our Lives at Risk': Pennsylvania Democrat Brian Sims Rips GOP Members for 'Coverup' of Positive COVID-19 Tests
Brian Sims, a Democratic representative in the Pennsylvania legislature, ranted in a Facebook Live video that went viral about the hypocrisy of Republican lawmakers who are pushing to reopen the state even though one of their members had a positive COVID-19 test.
- Partisan Differences in Social Distancing during the Coronavirus ... ›
- COVID-19 Is Turning Into a Partisan Battle, Too: The Politics Daily ... ›
- Coronavirus in US: Partisanship is the strongest predictor of public ... ›
- Pennsylvania Republicans Want Prosecutors To Investigate State ... ›
- Philly Democrat Brian Sims sparks firestorm after posting videos of ... ›
In another reversal of Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is having the National Park Service rescind a 2015 order that protected bears and wolves within protected lands.
- Wildlife Advocates Celebrate: Romania Bans Trophy Hunting ... ›
- Father and Son Charged With Killing Mother Bear and 'Shrieking ... ›
- Trump Admin. Wants to Reinstate 'Cruel' Hunting Tactics in Alaska ... ›
By Linda Lacina
World Health Organization officials today announced the launch of the WHO Foundation, a legally separate body that will help expand the agency's donor base and allow it to take donations from the general public.
<iframe width="100%" height="150" scrolling="no" class="rm-shortcode twitter-embed-1265660879669886976" id="twitter-embed-1265660879669886976" lazy-loadable="true" src="/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1265660879669886976&created_ts=1590592043.0&screen_name=WHO&text=Media+briefing+on+%23COVID19+with+%40DrTedros+https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2Fj5ZoeBdBvO&id=1265660879669886976&name=World+Health+Organization+%28WHO%29" frameborder="0" data-rm-shortcode-id="16f209220db97fa1572877a1700956f5"></iframe>
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
By Nicholas Joyce
The coronavirus has resulted in stress, anxiety and fear – symptoms that might motivate a person to see a therapist. Because of social distancing, however, in-person sessions are less possible. For many, this has raised the prospect of online therapy. For clients in need of warmth and reassurance, could this work? Studies and my experience suggests it does.
Telehealth Versus Traditional Therapy<p><a href="https://www.cigna.com/hcpemails/telehealth/telehealth-flyer.pdf" target="_blank">Private insurance companies</a> like Cigna and Aetna, have come around; they now provide coverage for what they see as a "legitimate" service. And <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-wells-2019-consumer-survey-finds-majority-of-consumers-open-to-telehealth-adoption-continues-to-grow-300906438.html" target="_blank">surveys show</a> consumers are receptive to telehealth counseling: no driving to an appointment, no searching for a parking space, no worries about childcare while they're away, no need to switch providers if they move, and no problem if the specialist happens to be far away.</p><p>Online therapy opens doors for clients who wouldn't otherwise seek help, <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/empirical-examination-of-the-influence-of-personality-gender-role-conflict-and-self-stigma-on-attitudes-and-intentions-to-seek-online-counseling-in-college-students/oclc/941976505" target="_blank">particularly patients</a> who feel stigmatized by therapy or intimidated by a stranger sitting across the room from them. Often, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1089/1094931041291295" target="_blank">people open up</a> more easily in telehealth sessions. Firsthand accounts have detailed <a href="https://www.romper.com/p/i-tried-online-therapy-for-a-month-this-is-what-happened-13630" target="_blank">positive experiences from consumers</a>.</p>
Overcoming Prejudices About Online Counseling<p>Now COVID-19 is forcing most traditional psychotherapists to adapt their practice to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/expressive-trauma-integration/202003/covid-19-etherapy-in-times-isolation" target="_blank">online counseling</a>. After experiencing the medium, they are <a href="https://www.wecounsel.com/blog/why-every-therapist-in-private-practice-needs-a-telehealth-option/" target="_blank">overcoming their prejudices</a>. Many will convert some or all of their caseloads to telehealth after the pandemic ends. Most of our clients seem to be good with it: responding to a satisfaction survey, 85% of USF students strongly or somewhat agreed their telehealth experience was comparable to an in-person visit.</p><p>All this allows a continuity of care for clients that before was impossible; there is, however, a caveat. Because of the coronavirus, some of my clients at USF who live out-of-state have moved back home. That means, legally, I can no longer serve them. Even though they are still USF students, my license is valid only in Florida.</p><p>For telehealth to work effectively, our national system of licensing and regulation law needs to adapt. Although the federal government temporarily halted HIPAA regulations to promote telehealth during this time, not all states are allowing out-of-state practice. The coronavirus may not be here forever, but spring break and Christmas holidays always will. We need seamless telehealth across state lines.</p>
- How to Deal With Cabin Fever - EcoWatch ›
- 75,000 American Deaths Predicted From Overdose and Suicide ... ›
As many parts of the planet continue to open their doors after pandemic closures, a new pest is expected to make its way into the world. After spending more than a decade underground, millions of cicadas are expected to emerge in regions of the southeastern U.S.
Kevin Frayer / Stringer / Getty Images
By Jessica Corbett
Even after the world's largest economies adopted the landmark Paris agreement to tackle the climate crisis in late 2015, governments continued to pour $77 billion a year in public finance into propping up the fossil fuel industry, according to a report released Wednesday.
<iframe width="100%" height="150" scrolling="no" class="rm-shortcode twitter-embed-1265623289118015492" id="twitter-embed-1265623289118015492" lazy-loadable="true" src="/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1265623289118015492&created_ts=1590583080.0&screen_name=envirodefence&text=New+research+from+%40PriceofOil+%26amp%3B+%40foe_us+shows+Canada+has+the+2nd+highest+public+finance+for+fossil+fuels+in+the+G20%E2%80%A6+https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FCC21WVmLhZ&id=1265623289118015492&name=EnvironmentalDefence" frameborder="0" data-rm-shortcode-id="3a8dab253abb0ab96502809508dffa35"></iframe>
<iframe width="100%" height="150" scrolling="no" class="rm-shortcode twitter-embed-1265668484349992961" id="twitter-embed-1265668484349992961" lazy-loadable="true" src="/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1265668484349992961&created_ts=1590593856.0&screen_name=PriceofOil&text=%F0%9F%93%96New+Report%F0%9F%93%96%3A+As+%23G20+governments+spend+historic+levels+of+public+finance+on+%23COVID19+stimulus%2C+our+new+report+w%2F%E2%80%A6+https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2Fbw8awZru86&id=1265668484349992961&name=Oil+Change+International" frameborder="0" data-rm-shortcode-id="4c26ee7a9cd92203449579ca4aa553e7"></iframe>
- Fossil Fuel Firms With Ties to Trump Administration Get Small ... ›
- Taxpayers Charged $7 Billion a Year to Subsidize Fossil Fuels on ... ›
- Government Subsidizes Fossil Fuel Industry With $20+ Billion in ... ›
Twenty-three states and Washington, DC launched a suit Wednesday to stop the Trump administration rollback of Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks.
- Trump Dismantles Environmental Protections Under Cover of ... ›
- Trump Admin Goes After States for Protecting the Environment ... ›
- Justice Department Drops Investigation Against Four Automakers ... ›
- Trump Expected to Announce Weakened Fuel Efficiency Rules ... ›