This morning’s quake was measured as 2.9 on the Richter scale — topping the record 2.1 tremor set on Saturday night
LANCASHIRE has been hit by a third record-breaking earth tremor in less than a week as anger grows over Britain’s only active fracking site.
This morning’s tremor was recorded as 2.9 on the Richter scale — topping the quake recorded near the site late on Saturday night, which registered at 2.1.
The finger of blame is pointed firmly at fracking firm Cuadrilla, which runs a gas extraction site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool. Since work began there more than 90 tremors have been recorded that have breached the statutory limit for such drilling, which is set at 0.5 on the scale.
Operations at the site were compulsorily suspended after Saturday’s tremor pending an investigation by the government’s Oil & Gas Authority.
Today’s tremor, at 8.31am, registered on seismic equipment as far away as Scotland and Wales. Heather Goodwin, who lives at Lytham St Anne’s, near the Cuadrilla site, said: “The walls of my house shook. There was a really deep, guttural roar. For a moment, I really thought my house was going to fall down.
“It only lasted a few seconds but I felt the need to go all round the house and check for damage.
“We’ve been afraid of this happening. How long before there’s real damage done and people injured?”
Residents and environment campaigners have maintained a protest camp near the site for more than two years. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited it last month to show solidarity.
A series of smaller events occurred earlier while fracking was taking place.
A number of tremors have been detected at the Preston New Road site since fracking began on October 15, with work stopping whenever a quake of magnitude 0.5 or more is detected.
Friends of the Earth campaigner Tony Bosworth said: “It appears that they cannot frack without triggering tremors. And instead of acknowledging that fracking needs to end, Cuadrilla are instead urging for regulations around earthquakes to be relaxed.”
Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey said: “It is disturbing but not surprising that fracking in Lancashire appears to have triggered a 1.5 magnitude earthquake, reportedly felt at the surface, and on a par with tremors that shut down operations in 2011.
“The government cannot block their ears any longer to community voices and climate scientists. They must act in the public interest and follow Labour’s call to ban fracking immediately.”
Two moderate-sized earthquakes that struck the southern Sichuan Province of China last December and January were probably caused by nearby fracking operations, according to a new study published in Seismological Research Letters: here.
Fracking site suffers worst tremor since process began
A FRACKING site in Lancashire today suffered its worst earth tremor since the controversial process began 12 days ago, bringing gas production to a halt.
The tremor, at a 0.8 level on the scale used to measure earth tremors, breached the maximum 0.5 “red level” at which the process has to be immediately suspended.
Gas extraction by energy exploitation firm Cuadrilla has been halted at the site at Preston New Road, near Fylde, for 18 hours.
The tremor took place two kilometres underground and was the 16th in eight days at the site, since the government allowed fracking to proceed following a seven-year ban on the controversial gas extraction process.
Fracking operations were banned in 2011 following earthquakes at a site near Blackpool.
A Cuadrilla spokesman confirmed that shale layers were being shattered when the tremor was recorded by the independent British Geological Survey.
Claire Stephenson from Frack Free Lancashire said: “The fact that these earth tremors are increasing in intensity is most concerning.
“We’ve now had 16. As previously theorised by geologists, Cuadrilla seem not to know what they are working with, in relation to major and minor geographical faults.
“We once again find our community in the midst of this being forced upon them, having to live through Cuadrilla’s experimentation phase.
“This is where we see that the fracking industry virtually gets to mark their own homework, and the promised ‘gold-standard, robust regulations’ as regularly touted by ministers who have minimal understanding of the fracking process, actually turns out to be nothing more than a gold-plated sham.”
The government gave the go-ahead to fracking at the Lancashire site despite planning permission being refused by Lancashire County Council, and widespread public opposition to the process.
In addition to producing oil and gas [by fracking], the energy industry produces a lot of water, about 10 barrels of water per barrel of oil on average. New research has found that where the produced water is stored underground influences the risk of induced earthquakes: here.
Dippers are rare in the Netherlands. Since this summer two of them are wandering along the Geul in the south of Limburg province. Just across the border there are more dippers and they nest annually. The dippers benefit from the water in the river Geul becoming cleaner and ARK Natuurontwikkeling contributes to that.
Dippers are dependent on fast-flowing streams and rivers. The brown and white birds look for food underwater. They have a special membrane in the eyes that works as a diving mask. It helps them to see underwater.
Last year, England’s hen harriers suffered their worst breeding season for decades, failing to produce a single chick anywhere in the whole country for the first time in several decades.
The RSPB in partnership with Natural England and United Utilities have monitored and protected hen harriers in Bowland for more than three decades. Both nests are being watched by dedicated staff and volunteers, as well as CCTV around the clock.
The RSPB’s hen harrier monitoring and protection work in Bowland forms part of Skydancer, a four-year RSPB project aimed at protecting and conserving nesting hen harriers in the English uplands. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (with a grant of £317,700) and United Utilities, with additional support from the Forestry Commission.
Jude Lane, the RSPB’s Bowland Project Officer, says: “After two years of bitter disappointment, I am delighted and relieved that hen harriers have returned to nest in Bowland. However, the species is still in serious trouble and at risk from extinction as a breeding bird in England.”
The plight of the English hen harrier stems from the fact that hen harriers sometimes eat red grouse, which brings them into conflict with the driven grouse shooting industry. This particular type of shooting requires large numbers of grouse, so some game managers feel they must illegally kill or disturb harriers to protect their stock.
A legal method that could reduce the number of grouse chicks lost to hen harriers is a management technique known as diversionary feeding. This involves providing hen harriers with an alternative food source during the period when the adults are feeding their chicks. The RSPB and the local shooting tenant are currently using the method in Bowland, under licence from Natural England.
Jude continues: “Diversionary feeding is a simple, inexpensive and effective technique. Previous trials have shown it can reduce the number of grouse eaten by hen harriers by up to 86 per cent.”
See here for a detailed article in Frontline journal posted on October 16th 2012 a week after the public meeting recorded in this video. The truth about the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 in which 96 football fans were crushed to death was first written about in the Militant newspaper back when the disaster first happened. But the mainstream newspapers and other media who were hand-in-glove with the police and the government did their best to not only cover up for those responsible for the deaths of the football fans, but waged a vicious slander campaign blaming the Liverpool fans including the dead who were the victims of profit-driven overcrowding.
The police, the mainstream media and the Tory government under Margaret Thatcher were complicit in the cover-up over the causes of the deaths 23 years ago on 15th April 1989 of the 96 football fans in the Hillsborough stadium in England. The deaths were due to bad policing, lack of proper stewarding and safety arrangements due to a policy of cramming in as many fans as possible in one small area to bring in as much profit as possible at the expense of the safety of the fans. The deaths were entirely preventable.
There was a near-disaster involving a crush with fortunately no deaths the previous year involving the same fixtures which should have been a warning signal to the police and football club stadium management about the dangerous levels of overcrowding which were quite obvious to anyone who was a football fan who could feel themselves swept off their feet anytime the crowd surged forward at peak moments of interest like goal scoring.
Working class fans were herded in with no concern for comfort or safety to milk them for as much profit as possible, much as cattle is often treated. The attitudes of the police, the government, the media and the profiteering classes towards the working class dehumanised them. They thought of them as animals and some even publicly referred to them as animals. This attitude was very much the case during the 1984-85 miners strike 4 years earlier “with Thatcher’s use of South Yorkshire and other police forces as a well-fed, well-paid, beefed-up government militia that treated working class people as scum, rampaging like uniformed thugs in the pit villages.”
Liverpudlians were also hated by Maggie Thatcher‘s Tory government because working class people there had made significant political gains with 50 to 60 thousand strong demonstrations and general strikes and militant action leading to £60 million in government funding for jobs, housing and services. Thatcher travelled to meet S. Yorkshire police chiefs the day after the disaster. A propaganda campaign smearing the victims of the disaster followed which was taken up by the mainstream press, particularly the Sun which Liverpudlians still boycott to this day.
Fans were taken for granted by the owners of the stadium. Less tickets were available for them than the other teams. Less turnstiles were open at the Liverpool end despite the fact that there were more Liverpool fans than the other team. Instead of opening up more turnstiles and letting fans go into the side terraces the fans were habitually crammed into one end of the stadium. When the kick-off time neared on the day of the 15th April 1989 there were still many Liverpool fans coming in and there was obvious overcrowding but stewards and police did not open up the side terraces nor did they delay the kick off but to hurry things up the police opened a gate which led fans down a steep tunnel and back up to the extremely overcrowded middle terraces. Once the crush started police failed to take adequate emergency measures to save lives. Fans trying to tear down fencing to escape the crush (a sensible measure in an emergency) were prevented from doing so by police who had this prejudiced mentality that the fans were vandalous thugs trying to let people in when in fact they were trying to get out. (In other football stadiums police have done the sensible thing and actually torn down fencing to prevent a crush. Not so at Hillsborough where S Yorkshire police were poisoned by their training into thinking that fans were thugs or animals to be controlled rather than people to be protected from danger.)
When fans ran onto the pitch to escape the crush in the terraces they were batoned by police. Police caused the delaying of emergency medical treatment of fans when they tried to deter ambulances from going onto the pitches by telling ambulance staff that the fans were rioting at a moment when immediate treatment was vital. 41 people died due to being denied medical treatment in time. This does not even include the figures of people whose lives were shortened by their injuries or trauma and those with permanent physical or mental damage.
Successive inquiries themselves amounted to cover-ups with important evidence ruled inadmissable. Jack Straw of the New Labour Blair government also buried the inquiry.
Ed Miliband apologises for endorsing the Sun‘s World Cup issue. Labour party says leader ‘understands the anger that the people of Merseyside feel’ after criticism from councillors and MPs: here.
Labour leader Ed Miliband was forced to apologise yesterday after posing with a copy of the Sun newspaper in the year of the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster: here.
Ed Miliband’s apology to “those who feel offended” by his decision to pose with Rupert Murdoch’s poisonous rag The Sun cannot disguise the stupidity of the stunt: here.
The history of soccer is a sad voyage from beauty to duty. When the sport became an industry, the beauty that blossoms from the joy of play got torn out by its very roots. In this fin-de-siècle world, professional soccer condemns all that is useless, and useless means not profitable. Nobody earns a thing from that crazy feeling that for a moment turns a man into a child playing with a balloon, like a cat with a ball of yarn; a ballet dancer who romps with a ball as light as a balloon or a ball of yarn, playing without even knowing he’s playing, with no purpose or clock or referee: here.
Set in the idyllic summer of 1914 rural Lancashire, everyone in the community is excited about Wakes week; a rest from field and mill and a celebration of the Rushbearing Festival with singing, courting, drinking and dancing. The looming war barely registers … but it will.
It’s unlikely that Michael Gove will approve of An August Bank Holiday Lark.
Commissioned to commemorate the centenary of WWI, Northern Broadside’s latest play certainly doesn’t celebrate it as a “just war.”
Rather, Deborah McAndrew’s gentle tale depicts the kind of village life creaking under the weight of holidays to Blackpool and votes for women even before the arrival of Kitchener‘s recruitment drive.
In the Pennine mill village where the play is set in 1914, the greatest worry is finding eight Morris men for the annual rush-cart festival and securing trim for the squire’s hat after an incident involving the neighbour’s chickens.
The war seems a distant threat yet it is an opportunity for top clog dancer Frank (Darren Kuppan) to prove his worthiness to wed the squire’s daughter Mary (Emily Butterfield) and a chance for young men to make a stand for “ideas.”
The poignancy of this vanishing community is beautifully captured during one of the key scenes when a rush-cart – a towering wagon piled with cut reeds and flowers – is constructed before the audience.
Accompanied by Conrad Nelson’s joyous music and exhilarating clog-dancing choreography, the festive spirit is such that when the cart is paraded around the stage with hapless jockey Herbert (Mark Thomas) waving from the top, the audience waves back.
Fast-forward a year and the community has been torn apart, with the lives of young millworkers lost in the Dardanelles and the women left behind contemplating a life without a sweetheart.
This shift in mood is powerfully signalled by Barrie Rutter as the squire. Having spent the first act being a parody of his larger than life persona, now he is a broken man symbolising the loss of life, community and tradition.
This sombre note contrasts sharply with the bantering humour earlier and, while the plot may occasionally be spread thinner than dripping, the play is superbly evocative and poignantly acted throughout.