Sunday, 18 January 2015

Mon 2 Feb: University of Nottingham: "Shale Gas and Fracking: the Politics and Science"

"Hear from all sides of the fracking debate with this free online course. Understand what shale gas is and why it divides opinion"

"Shale gas is seen by many as a cheap, clean and plentiful source of energy; a low-carbon ‘game changer’ helping us meet the world’s rapidly growing demands for energy and offering greater energy security. Its rapid rise has not been without controversy, however. Earth tremors, surface and groundwater contamination, and the effects of fracking on human and animal health are all high profile concerns.

"During this four-week course, we’ll study the politics, economics, and science of shale gas. We’ll examine how shale gas was formed, and how we extract it through hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’. We will look at the impact of shale gas on energy markets and energy security."

Sunday, 4 January 2015

The Guardian: "London transport enters year of big unknowns"

"With uncertainty over funding, rising traffic levels and a mayor whose attention might be wandering, 2015 could be a tricky year for transport in the capital"

Link to web site

"The London New Year has brought the annual delight of an increase in public transport fares. These include the price of single bus journeys being hiked to the symbolic height of £1.50. Ten years ago, using Oyster, these cost just £1. Yet 2015’s increase is one of the gentler adjustments of recent times. The average rise is 2.5% compared with the inflation-plus new tariffs Boris Johnson has previously introduced.

"Daily caps on pay-as-you-go fares have been lowered to help some of those many Londoners with part-time jobs or unpredictable work patterns. Such blessings may seem small in the greater scheme of things. But maybe we should enjoy them while they last.

"The next twelve months will be a journey into uncertainty for the capital’s transport chiefs. The biggest doubt will be about the Treasury’s money stream. By autumn the next public spending review will be underway, including decisions about funding for Transport for London (TfL) until (probably) 2020. What species of government will be in charge? How long will it last for? And how will the mayor be passing his time by then?"

Thursday, 1 January 2015

BBC: "New EU energy rules for TVs and other household gadgets"

Link to web site

"European Union rules will oblige new networked devices such as modems and internet-connected televisions to switch themselves off when not in use.

"Many gadgets are connected to the internet 24/7, using 25-100 watts while their owners sleep.

"But new devices sold from Thursday will fall to sleep, using a trickle of power when they are not in use.

"The European Commission said the move would save an average household about £32 a year.

"The change is part of the EU's Ecodesign initiative, which aims to cut costs, improve competitiveness and reduce carbon emissions."