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Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet Poll shows Fracking not in Favour!

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Lord MacGregor was saying recently that Fracking in Britain holds many benefits. Recently a report published by The Lords Economic Affairs Committee, whom one or more of the members on the committee is said to have  links to Pro-Fracking corporations, have given their views on drilling for Shale Gas, they have outlined in the report that they back the Government’s decision to go “all out for shale”, however they make a request to do far more to engage the public on the benefits of Fracking in the UK and say it will provide more jobs, and bring about energy security.

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The report published went on to say that “Developing a successful shale gas and oil industry in the UK must be an urgent national priority.”

Although the report may have taken a liking to Fracking in terms of short-term money and making a quick buck, there are many dangers to Fracking and instead of taking a cautious approach, the committee have asked to speed up the implementation for the plans to Frack. If so many people are opposed surely they should be heard and their concerns addressed. Realistically many would now say that Fracking should not happen, as there are too many dangers involved with the focus on the wrong type of energy (fossil) instead of on green and clean renewable energy.

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The Green Party Leader of Croydon Shasha Khan said upon being questioned by Raj News that “The Government should seize the opportunity to embrace energy reduction with renewables not Fracking.

Fracking is an extreme energy source” Shasha went on to speak of Cuadrilla an oil and gas exploration company in the UK who are pursuing Shale Gas in the UK by hydraulic fracturing in the ground, he said “Cuadrilla have already said that energy prices will not come down due to Fracking, so why risk polluting our water.”

The report mentioned the EU’s reliance on Russia for Gas and how Fracking would stop this reliance. They do not however mention the EU’s fine to the UK for not meeting its Air Quality/Pollution requirements, there is a pending case against the UK by the EU, which could see the UK picking up bills worth millions for not doing enough to reduce the pollution and cleaning up the air.

The UK could see these fines dropped if the Government acts now and can show there is an improvement, in air quality. With car traffic jams in areas and things like incinerators, unnecessarily burning waste when it could be recycled, where is the encouragement to the public on these issues.

The Green party have been doing their bit in Croydon, opposing an Incinerator in Beddington Lane by putting in a judicial review, against Mayor Boris Johnson’s plan to have an incinerator in Beddington Lane which would serve Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Kingston, although there is danger of toxic fumes carrying downwind, unfairly building up, to pollute areas, which do not want to be harmed, by these dangerous fumes.

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With all these prominent dangers at the forefront, the Government still want to dangerously fracture the earth in an effort to unlock Shale gas, the dangers of this are creating toxic drinking water as Shasha Khan mentions and instead of trying to promote renewable energy, the Government wants to continue focusing on fossil fuels at the cost of damaging the UK – Fracking has been linked to Earthquakes.

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When it comes to regulation of Fracking the Lord’s have said that regulation should be streamlined, such as in cases where a company may want to drill under people’s houses they can do so without needing a license.

The Lords’ report seems to promote fracking and Lord MacGregor said on a radio interview with the BBC that Fracking will provide the public with lower fuel bills, he also mentions the US taking up Fracking. The radio host points out that “in the USA there are vasts amounts of unpopulated land, whereas in the UK you’re looking to do Fracking in relatively populated areas.” Lord MacGregor says that they’ve looked at this problem and any effects to the environment, yet this is a cherry picked report  which gives us a selected amount of information that is Pro-Fracking.

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Chief scientist Dr Doug Parr of Green Peace UK says of the report: “On one page the Lords are saying public concerns should be taken seriously, on the other they urge the government to strip people of their right to say no to Fracking firms planning to drill under their homes – a move opposed by three-quarters of British people.” They also backed moves by the Government to change trespass laws so that shale companies could drill under people’s property without their permission to ensure development could go ahead “without undue delay or cost”.

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Caroline Lucas of the Green Party also featured in the interview, she made it clear that Fracking is not a solution to anything and pointed out surely the UK are not going to go ahead with this. She mentioned that there are far more jobs in renewable energy compared to that of Fossil fuels. She spoke of having a cap on fossil fuel emissions, and how drilling for shale gas can cause levels in methane to increase which is dangerous, especially as the numbers on methane gas is highly underestimated.

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I would stress that this is a swipe by the Government to make some quick money, rather than educate the public on this issue and listen to the people who are, now, in a poll, overall against Fracking, in the UK.

Dr Parr criticised the report, warning Fracking was a “non-solution” that would not deliver for many years, if at all. Caroline Lucas points out that Fracking would lock us into the fossil fuel industry rather than working towards a positive renewable clean energy industry.

Dr Parr’s analysis of the report was a realistic one and he said, “The Lords spent seven months cherry-picking the wafer thin evidence that fits a foregone conclusion about the benefits of shale gas. This is just more taxpayer-funded cheerleading from unelected politicians who seem all too happy to ignore the country’s legitimate concerns about Fracking.”

The Dr and Caroline Lucas and Shasha Khan echoed each other when they spoke of the real urgent national priority, which is to push ahead with the renewable technology and efficiency measures.

Although the BBC did not mention in an article about Fracking that the Green Party (whom of late have not even had much media coverage by the BBC in the elections) whose Leader Natalie Bennet is a keen campaigner against Fracking alongside Caroline Lucas who was arrested for protesting against Fracking, after having real concerns about the UK issue of Fracking and alongside Green Peace, WWF, and Friends of the Earth’s concerns – who also did not get much coverage either.

The BBC did highlight the dangers of chemicals in Fracking they said:

“Hydraulic fracturing of shale to extract gas involves pumping water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure to allow the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

There is a worry that chemicals used in Fracking may escape and contaminate groundwater around the Fracking site.

Another environmental concern is that Fracking uses huge amounts of water that must be transported to the Fracking site, at significant environmental cost.”

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The campaigning group, Friends of the Earth, commented: “The report recognises that the regulations aren’t working – but calling for the Government to ‘simplify’ regulations and speed up the process will not reassure local communities and a public unconvinced by this risky technology.”

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The WWF- UK said:

Nick Molho, Head of Climate and Energy Policy at WWF-UK said: “The Lords seemed to have overlooked the many serious analysts who have said that shale gas in the UK is unlikely to have much impact on either gas prices or the UK’s rising exposure to gas imports.

“If we are genuinely going to reduce the UK’s vulnerability to future fossil fuel price shocks, the main priority must be to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels in the first place.

“Moving rapidly towards an energy system that’s more efficient, low-carbon and better integrated with those of our European partners should therefore remain the UK’s highest national priority when it comes to energy policy.”

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In conclusion:

There is a danger in going after shale gas, which is still unknown about in terms of quantity, quality and is most likely under the ground in different layers, making it difficult to access; whereas in the USA there is land which is flat and plenty in unpopulated areas, making the gas easier to extract, the same cannot be said for the UK with its populated areas and complex land structure and layers of the earth.

Fracking has added to the climate change debate, and Fracking will only damage the climate, which Fracking can have serious implications on, nevertheless it has become a part of the debate on climate change as it can cause a huge set back to the climate through air quality, natural disasters, water contamination and earthquakes; there should be a focus on renewable energy rather than using less dirtier fossil fuel (Shale gas compared to Coal), which looks set to harm the UK, residents, and environment just as much, if money was spent on Green renewable energy, this would pay off in the longterm.

There are so many alternatives yet Fracking is what the Government want to pursue. There are many out there protesting against Fracking to put a stop on it before it starts, make sure your concerns are heard write to the politicians and tell them to stop their plans as not many of the members of the public agree with Fracking and it is dangerous and also we cannot afford to miss the opportunity to work now on the future with renewable energy, which is clean, green, job making, and recyclable, renewable, and the future.

Himalayan Lake Bursting: Risk Very High!

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South Lhonak Glacier

A scientific study reveals that a lake may fall from the sky, well … from a very serious height … about 7,000 metres from the top of the Himalayan mountains, this lake poses a serious and dangerous threat.

The location of the Lake is The South Lhonak Glacier on the Himalaya’s, which drains east from Lhonak Peak into Sikkim from the Nepal-Sikkim border.

This lake will cause a lot of destruction if it bursts and flooding will be inevitable on the ground. The risk of this happening has been put at highly likely. The Lake has formed at the top of a mountain through melted water from the ice which is atop of the mountain in Sikkim. This is said to be evidence of global climate change and the rising temperatures around the world which is also happening in India causing ice to melt in the Himalaya’s at what is said to be an alarming rate.

“The rate of growth of the lake indicates possible developments of the hazard situation” the study report says and this may come as a surprise when places like Jammu and Kashmir have seen record levels of snowfall and India in places such as Delhi has become chilled and foggy at times; it would seem that the world is certainly bringing about some spectacular changes such as dust storms in Australia and frozen over landscapes in Europe due to rising temperatures, sea levels, and wind.

The study has been conducted by The National Remote Sensing Centre in Hyderabad and researchers say in a report published in the journal Current Science that the glacial lake is approximately 630 meters wide and 20 meters deep. It covers an area of 98.7 hectares and is filled with 19.7 billion liters of water. It is said that a sudden outburst “can create devastating floods downstream”.

Although the researchers have given warning of a highly likely outburst of water, further studies are to be conducted via the same method of using satellite technology. It has been discovered also that in the past century the glaciers on the North Side of Mount Everest have lost 100 metres of height due to the disappearance of the glaciers which have been melting (also said to be quickened by soot particles); where there used to be a lot of snow topped covered mountains in the Himalaya’s there is now rock and dirt.

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“Experts worry that climate change is at work here and could, eventually, reduce freshwater supplies for billions of people who use the Ganges, the Yangtze, the Indus and other rivers fed by the glaciers.” Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-sherpas-view-of-melting-himalayan-glaciers

It is feared by many that the Sacred Himalaya’s believed by Hindu’s to be a residence of Lord Shiva and by Buddhists to be the God of all females will soon be without snow all together. If the glaciers disappear there will inevitably be an effect on the eco-system and people who go to the rivers will not be able to have access to freshwater supplies as they do now. Based on the study the scientists according to estimates knew that the Lhonak glacier had receded 1.9 km between 1962 and 2008.

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Sikkim where this Lake waiting to burst is situated, was where an Earthquake (6.9 magnitude) took place in 2011 and affected India, Nepal and Tibet killing more than 90 people through landslides and huge boulders falling from the mountains. The Himalayas have over the past few years been subjected to earthquakes, however it was the latter one that caused most damage, it is believed that if more earthquakes are to occur they could cause lakes to burst and thus cause flooding, this is a situation which is being looked at closely by scientists, especially as the lake is only bound by loose soil and debris and is expanding all the time due to the glacier melt.

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Eye on the Tiger!

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WWF work towards Saving Tiger Numbers

in the Terai Arc with the

help of India and Nepal

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India has revered the Royal Bengal Tiger for a long time and the tiger is affectionately referred to as the Indian Tiger. The Royal Bengal Tiger’s scientific name is Panthera tigris tigris.

The conservation of Tigers in the wild has been a difficult fight and a constant struggle for Conservation groups like the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Indian government. The fight is not off as yet though, as India and Nepal backed by the WWF keep their eyes on the tiger! The trio are planning on a census to document the amount of Royal Bengal Tigers within India and Nepal through the use of planted trap cameras in both India and Nepal. The Royal Bengal tiger’s numbers have said to be dwindling and therefore they have been given the status of an endangered species since 2010 which was the year of the tiger in the Chinese horoscope, the next year of the tiger is 2022 and WWF’s gobal tiger campaign aims to have doubled the number of Tigers by then, the global campaign is being led by Hollywood actor Leonardo Di Caprio.

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The WWF, India and Nepal are all set to meet their objectives of putting a number on the tigers and also helping in a conservationist aspect through many objectives such as:

  • Protect, restore and manage corridors to ensure connectivity between tiger habitats while ensuring that human-tiger conflicts are reduced.
  • Reduce pressures on tiger habitats by promoting alternative livelihoods for local communities.
  • Create incentives for local communities as well as state and regional government and opinion-makers to support tiger conservation.
  • Enhance capacities of the Forest Department to control poaching of tigers and prey species.
  • Promote the political will as well as popular support within all sectors of society for tiger conservation.

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Source : WWF

WWF began in 1960 and in 2010 they had been around for 50 years, they are a prestigious organisation and global in their efforts being present in 100 countries where they have offices working at a local level to ensure conservation for the countries’ species.

India’s Project Tiger was launched in 1972 by WWF, and saw a six-year national tiger conservation plan and 15 new tiger reserves. The county’s tiger population increased by 30% in just seven years.

Although due to poaching and encroachment upon the tigers habitat by man, tiger conservation is important as ever as numbers are said to be low and the Indian Tiger an endangered species. The following video is WWF’s Indian Save the Tiger campaign video:

WWF’s mission statement on the joint partnership between India and Nepal for Tigers is:

“WWF-India’s goal is to restore and maintain tiger habitats, protect the tiger and its prey base in important tiger landscapes in India.”

WWF have been working to conserve the tiger since on a large scale since 1972 and throughout their campaigns they have always sought to raise awareness of the danger of the Royal Bengal tiger becoming an extinct species. The following is a poster by WWF highlighting the danger of extinction to the tiger in the countries listed below (where they can be found), extinction is a possibility that is very real if tigers do not stop being hunted and their habitat being continually destroyed by Humankind:

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The announcement for the joint tiger survey was made on the 8th January at the 6th Indo-Nepal consultative meeting organized between the two governments, India started work on the project in November 2012 and Nepal are working on the project between January 2013 to March 2013. The project will cover 15 areas within the Terai Arc located between the two countries and at the bottom of the Himalaya’s.

The names of the Protected Areas in India in the Terai Arc are as follows:

Sonanadi Wild Life Sanctuary, Corbett National Park, Kishanpur WLS, Dudhwa National Park, Katarniaghat WLS, Sohagibarwa WLS, Valmiki National Park and Valmiki Sanctuary, those are a few of the main tiger territories. The Survey will also look at the availability of prey for the tigers, which will also be captured by motion sensitive camera’s of which there will be many hundreds in both India and Nepal. There will be a more accurate census for the tigers as the teams working alongside WWF will ensure that no tiger is counted twice as this will be confirmed by photographs on both sides. India is said to have the most densest of Royal Bengal Tigers with the number at around 500.

The names of the Protected Areas in Nepal in the Terai Arc are:

Three national parks (Chitwan, Bardiya, Banke) and two wild life reserves (Shuklaphanta and Parsa).

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Source: Report by : The Terai Arc Landscape in India:  Rajeev L. Semwal

In India the Terai Arc Landscape is an 810-km stretch that extends from the river Bhagmati in the east in the state of Bihar to river Yamuna in the west near India’s Capital Delhi.

After the consultation meeting between India and Nepal took place Dr S. P. Yadav, Deputy Inspector General of the Government of India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority said of the strengthening partnership to save the tiger that the – “bilateral meetings between India and Nepal have resulted in positive outcomes for wildlife conservation. Our governments need to continue strengthening trans-boundary ties for protecting tigers and enabling their free movement between India and Nepal.”

The number of Royal Bengal Tigers in the wild has been put at approximately a minimum of 1,576 to a maximum of 1,875, this number comes from The National Tiger Authority and included numbers of tigers within 17 states within India from 41 tiger reserves. India has the largest population of the Indian Tiger and as for the estimated remaining population within the World that number is at a meagre 3,000, when 100 years ago there were 100,000 tigers in the wild.

The problems that have caused tiger numbers to decline are due to many reasons and those that have mainly been responsible are those who have in the past culled tigers, and consumers of tiger products, there is also the problem of poachers/criminal networks who deal in selling tiger products to places like China where tiger parts are highly prized. Another few key responsible parties are tiger farm operators who breed tigers and sell their parts, which leads to a higher demand for tiger products, also Governments that are not working hard enough to protect tigers from poachers and their habitat and they’re not upholding the laws against illegal trafficking. Even the everyday person is responsible as people who waste paper are often responsible for the loss of the tigers forest habitat where trees are cut down for the demand of paper, of course this responsibility also lies with large corporations who are not considerate of the tigers habitat and cause deforestation on a mass scale.

The ones that are responsible are up against the non-stop global scale tiger campaign to preserve the tiger with the help of pro-active governments and organisations such as WWF who are working to bring about solutions to the problems posed (mentioned above).

The solutions to these problems are simple although require action to solve the problem there needs to be an end to the tiger killing for their skins and other parts and countries like China are where these products are often in high demand for traditional believed to be healing medicinal reasons and as status symbols of power, these are some reasons as to why some tigers have been driven to extinction and numbers have fell. Poaching is a major part of the problem which needs to be met head on and stopped governments like India and China are looking at ways to stop this with options such as armed tiger personnel, tigers should be monitored more closely and effectively in the wild and in captivity. There needs to be a continuity in maintaining tiger reserves and new ones should be established to ensure successful flourishing of tiger numbers. Sustainable living is another solution which will save the trees and thus the tiger habitats and it is not just individuals who need to do this but also corporations. Educating people about tigers and their dire situation is an essential part to the tigers success, an increase in political campaigning and will and funding is as always ever needed.

A good reason to protect the tigers is that their environment is just as essential to us as it is to them and if there were no tigers that would it is suggested more than likely lead to deforestation and the loss of the important features of the forest such as cleaner air and countering climate change and fresh clean water. Tiger tourism can benefit poor communities by providing a source of income through local tourism consumerism.

SOURCE:  http://www.savetigersnow.org/problem

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The following is a map of where the tigers can be found roaming, it has been produced by the Wildlife Protection Society of India:

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The compilation of the results is said to take up to about 4 months and then an accurate census on tiger numbers should be available. WWF India says:

“The shared monitoring results between India and Nepal will enable the development of a comprehensive management approach for tigers across the TAL for the first time.”

As for both governments this initiative for the tiger will continue to be focused on the aim to double tiger numbers by 2022. Mr. Bishwo Nath Oli, head of the Nepal delegation and Joint Secretary of the Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation said “The survey results will play an important role in shaping strategies to get us to our ultimate goal of Tx2, doubling the number of wild tigers, which was set during the historic Tiger summit in 2010.”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

India spends about US$75 million a year to provide protection for its tigers.

The Bengal can live as long as 15 years in the wild.

The five surviving subspecies are:
1. Bengal Tiger – Panthera tigris tigris
2. Siberian (Amurian) Tiger – Panthera tigris altaica
3. Sumatran Tiger – Panthera tigris sumatrae
4. Indo-Chinese Tiger – Panthera tigris corbetti
5. South China Tiger – Panthera tigris amoyensis

The three extinct subspecies are:
1. Javan Tiger – Panthera tigris sondaica – extinct since early 1980’s
2. Bali Tiger – Panthera tigris balica – extinct since the 1940’s
3. Caspian Tiger – Panthera tigris virgata – extinct since the early 1970’s

Source: http://www.wpsi-india.org/tiger/tiger_facts.php

Earth: In the Dark on Matter

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darkmatter

Dark Matter is a term used to describe matter that can be inferred to exist from its gravitational effects, but does not emit or absorb detectable amounts of light, is not a planet, star, gas, dust or protons or neutrons, . It is mainly an invisible force which is under scientific investigation and is said to have formed in a fraction of a second from the beginning of the big bang.

It has been reported that there is a possibility that Dark Matter walls may exist within the Universe and that at some point Earth may drift through these gigantic walls or may have been doing so already.

Scientists are looking forward to detecting these walls made of the infamous Dark Matter which are said to make up about 86% of all matter within the Universe.

The New Scientist generated an article entitled “Is Earth Bashing through walls of Dark Matter?” and sets out in the article the possibility that Earth may be subjected to exotic force fields made up of Dark Matter which the Earth is bashed by.

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Not much is known about Dark Matter although it has certainly become the subject of much attention amongst Physicists and Science fanatics. The Dark Matter is believed to be made up of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, this is the leading and most prominent theory about, on Dark Matter, however, there has been no detection of these WIMPs to date. “We’ve looked for WIMP Dark Matter in so many ways, at some point you have to ask, are we totally on the wrong track?”

So Scientists have been open to this new theory (exotic fields/walls of Dark Matter) that would be a breakthrough if detected and discovered. So how do Scientists intend to go about detecting these exotic walls? The theory suggests that the Earth passes through these walls every few years as it drifts through space, as yet it has not been detected, but this all looks to change with a focus on using magnetometer technology, to try and discover when the Earth has passed through one of these walls.

This is an open-minded theory and not everyone is sure about the existence of these walls, which are said to be rich in energy.

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In the New Scientist magazine, a quote from Scientist Maxim Pospelov of the University of Victoria – Canada says “I feel like it’s time to broaden the scope of our search”, they report further on Mr Pospelov saying “He is focusing on the idea that some dark matter may be tied up in domain walls – structures separating areas of the universe where an exotic force field in the early cosmos settled down with different values.” It is these values that are said to be distinct and in order for them to remain special they must be rich in energy, which is a fascinating prospect for the future of science discovery.

“Earth may pass through a domain wall every few years as it drifts through space. We wouldn’t feel it”, says Pospelov.  The New Scientist features a piece from the ‘Physical Review Letters’ : “but if a worldwide network of magnetometers simultaneously saw an unusual signal, it could signify that Earth has pierced a dark matter wall.”

Evidence for Dark Matter is:

“Observations of the rotational speed of spiral galaxies, the confinement of hot gas in galaxies and clusters of galaxies, the random motions of galaxies in clusters, the gravitational lensing of background objects, and the observed fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background radiation require the presence of additional gravity, which can be explained by the existence of dark matter.” Source: Chandra/NASA

NASA provides one take on the Universe Dark Matter and Dark Energy it says:

By fitting a theoretical model of the composition of the Universe to the combined set of cosmological observations, scientists have come up with the composition that ~70% is dark energy, ~25% is dark matter, and ~5% is normal matter.”

NASA’s understanding of Dark Energy is also a wonderful one, they explain that Dark Energy is the force that is accelerating the universe to expansion and this is depicted in the following diagram by NASA:darkmatterdiagram

Dark Energy is again a hot topic of discussion and like Dark Matter there is no definitive explanation about how they work, here, however is NASA’s take on Dark Energy:

“In the early 1990’s, one thing was fairly certain about the expansion of the Universe. It might have enough energy density to stop its expansion and recollapse, it might have so little energy density that it would never stop expanding, but gravity was certain to slow the expansion as time went on. Granted, the slowing had not been observed, but, theoretically, the Universe had to slow. The Universe is full of matter and the attractive force of gravity pulls all matter together. Then came 1998 and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of very distant supernovae that showed that, a long time ago, the Universe was actually expanding more slowly than it is today. So the expansion of the Universe has not been slowing due to gravity, as everyone thought, it has been accelerating. No one expected this, no one knew how to explain it. But something was causing it.

Eventually theorists came up with three sorts of explanations. Maybe it was a result of a long-discarded version of Einstein’s theory of gravity, one that contained what was called a “cosmological constant.” Maybe there was some strange kind of energy-fluid that filled space. Maybe there is something wrong with Einstein’s theory of gravity and a new theory could include some kind of field that creates this cosmic acceleration. Theorists still don’t know what the correct explanation is, but they have given the solution a name. It is called dark energy.”

darkenergywhatispiechart(Most of the universe seems to consist of nothing we can see. Dark energy and dark matter, detectable only because of their effect on the visible matter around them, make up most of the universe.) SOURCE NASA

Here’s NASA’s take on Dark Matter:

“We are much more certain what dark matter is not than we are what it is. First, it is dark, meaning that it is not in the form of stars and planets that we see. Observations show that there is far too little visible matter in the Universe to make up the 25% required by the observations. Second, it is not in the form of dark clouds of normal matter, matter made up of particles called baryons. We know this because we would be able to detect baryonic clouds by their absorption of radiation passing through them. Third, dark matter is not antimatter, because we do not see the unique gamma rays that are produced when antimatter annihilates with matter. Finally, we can rule out large galaxy-sized black holes on the basis of how many gravitational lenses we see. High concentrations of matter bend light passing near them from objects further away, but we do not see enough lensing events to suggest that such objects to make up the required 25% dark matter contribution.

However, at this point, there are still a few dark matter possibilities that are viable. Baryonic matter could still make up the dark matter if it were all tied up in brown dwarfs or in small, dense chunks of heavy elements. These possibilities are known as massive compact halo objects, or “MACHO’s”. But the most common view is that dark matter is not baryonic at all, but that it is made up of other, more exotic particles like axions or WIMPS – Weakly Interacting Massive Particles.”

Dark Matter will be like something that has never been seen before and it may assist in further understand time, space, and matter.

The latest in Dark Matter investigations is looking at exploding gamma rays, which are apparently caused by two concentrated clouds of dark matter colliding. Nothing as yet is conclusive on this subject and further Science investigations will have to take place before some light is shed on Dark Matter and Dark Matter walls!

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Additional Links:

Did Albert Einstein predict Dark Energy?

http://hubblesite.org/hubble_discoveries/dark_energy/de-did_einstein_predict.php

BBC Documentaries Funded by China & Sir Attenborough refers to Humans as a Plague…

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BBC Worldwide

It may come as a surprise but China has been funding BBC Factual Documentaries since 2008 and as a result has full rights over the footage and this material can be further used to be broadcast by the Chinese state run Broadcaster China Central Television9 (CCTV9), which is exactly what is scheduled for this year in China.

The relationship between the BBC and CCTV9 began in 2008 in the run up to the Beijing Olympics, which was being broadcast by the BBC, in the UK, also airing in the UK was a documentary on China, which you may recall was called ‘Wild China’.

There have been approximately four projects which have been invested in by CCTV9 for the commissioned BBC programmes such as ‘Africa’ which have seen the world renowned Sir David Attenborough front as presenter and narrator.

The Africa series will be sold to channels Chinese and non for rights to television airing and for any broadcast on a mobile devices and to video-on-demand services. The Independent newspaper reports some figures: “BBC executives expect it will be sold to more than 200 countries and are hopeful that it will exceed the popularity of Attenborough’s Planet Earth which was bought in 245 territories, a BBC record.”

Africa

The Chinese will be certain to purchase these rights too and the BBC has kept a permanent representative in Beijing (China) as the business partnership continues to grow with CCTV9 and future projects come to light. This does not however mean that the BBC has stopped working with other partners, in fact Sir Attenborough is heading to China for the BBC’s latest documentary series in 3D called the Rise of Animals (the title is still provisional and subject to a change), Atlantic Productions another partner of the BBC is producing the series. Other major investors include their long term partners of DISCOVERY and The National Geographic.

A good quote to put matters into perspective is from a BBC Spokesman who spoke of the relationship with other investors aside from CCTV9, “Co-production funding on big natural history, science and drama programmes is the way TV is made now. The BBC has a global sales team in all different markets and if you relate it (the partnership with China) with the work we do with other broadcasters around the world the amount is not that great.”

The names of the other three programmes that CCTV9 have invested in are ‘Wild China’ (presented by Bernard Hill), ‘Generation Earth’ (which shows how life has been transformed on the planet by humans) presented by Dallas Campbell (from Bang goes the Theory) and The Wonders of Life’ presented by Brian Cox which looks at the relationship between life and physics. The Chinese State-run broadcaster also invested in BBC1 science series ‘Supersized Earth’, presented again by Dallas Campbell, and aired in November 2012 looking at humans and the making of the modern world.

These have all been large projects and are on the schedule to be broadcast in the UK and China, under the category of Factual/Documentary programming. The Director of the Factual department at BBC Worldwide, Mark Reynolds said of the partnership between the BBC and CCTV9 that they are “really quite an important partner in terms of factual programming”. Mark Reynolds also commented on future investment for the BBC from China, “We are going to talk to them about other projects coming up in the future because with the cost of these big productions we are always looking to bring in new partners where it’s the right editorial fit for them.”

CCTV-9 channel director Liu Wen said: “The BBC is world-renowned for its factual programming, and we’ve had great success (showing) titles such as Human Planet and Frozen Planet, so we’re very pleased to be partnering with them.” Recently CCTV (which has a 22 channel network including CCTV9) opened 60 new bureaus worldwide, in a race to be an influential presence in the world and are competing with the BBC to do this as well as Arabic, and Russian broadcasters.

Chinese cable channels Chunghwa and Wasu have signed digital deals with BBC Worldwide to air their shows, and BBC Worldwide have Chinese video-on-demand sites Qiyi and BesTV  also airing their shows.

africamap

China’s economy is currently slowing and they have been viewed as a country built on steel (as they are number one in the world for producing steel), the problem now is they are producing so much of it that they do not know what to do with it and also do not have enough to pay workers, yet cannot let them go, due to China’s governmental laws. Africa is a developing Country and China is playing a massive role there in working to build up development in all areas, they are investing a lot of money there since the past 10 years; Africa has 54 countries and is one of the places where nature flourishes so openly and freely in good numbers.

China is being opportunistic and resourceful in how it continues to keep the country together whether it be through steel or broadcasting. China have often come under criticism for the way that they invest in Africa (providing loans to Countries within the Continent and then with this money outsourcing work to Chinese companies to help with the building of infrastructure within Africa).

Jo Sermon is also a Director of the Factual department at BBC Worldwide who commented on CCTV9’s approach to airing many documentary programmes on their channel; “They are pitching for the best of the world’s factual they really are astute what they take. They regularly get audiences of 90 million.”

Chinese influence in BBC’s Africa documentary is not looked at, it is solely focused on the Natural aspects of Africa and aims to be groundbreaking in showing Nature in Africa, Sir David Attenborough’s passion for Nature really shines through as usual, in this Documentary. 

So the question that may be raised now: Is China being opportunistic in investing in world conservation Nature programmes, in particular BBC’s Africa for their own money making plans or are they showing a responsible approach to conserving the world through Documentary projects aiming to raise awareness? Whatever the answer, China is certainly being a competitor amongst competition and raising its profile globally through its bureaus.

DavidAttenborough

Moving swiftly on to another partner of the BBC, Sir David Attenborough aged 86, has been in the news recently for referring to Humans as a Plague. Sir David Attenborough was speaking to the Radio Times (RT) Magazine and put the matter seriously to the RT, and his exact words were ““we are a plague on the Earth” he went on to say, “We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia – that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves – and it’s not an inhuman thing to say. It’s the case.”

Sir David Attenborough stressed in the interview the importance of the environment, population numbers, and climate change. This of course is not something new, as Sir David has always promoted the need for preservation of the Earth and preventing Climate Change especially the issue of polar bears and ice-melt. He said of these issues “It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so.” He is also a patron of The Optimum Population Trust which is an organisation promoting its agenda of limiting population numbers and one of their campaigns is “stop at two” pleading to people to only have a maximum of two children.  

Sir Attenborough got specific in explaining the problem that is posed by humans in their mass numbers, talking about the need for space and implied that there will not be enough space to grow food for humans, whom he referred to as being an “enormous horde”.  Sir David offered a solution saying “Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.” His final point on the subject was a daunting yet serious one, “Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a co-ordinated view about the planet, it’s going to get worse and worse.”

The presenter hailed as a super star worldwide went on to comment on the future of his presenting style which involves being in shot with his animal subjects behind him and presenting to the camera, he said it is soon to be extinct. “I’m not sure there’s any need for a new Attenborough. The more you go on, the less you need people standing between you and the animal and the camera waving their arms about.”

Although this may be the case the style of his will always be remembered and he for one will not be forgotten by his fans of whom I am one and I would hope that the style is used from time to time too!

Sir David Attenborough

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