Monday, 5 August 2013

In the news....

Some interesting stories in the news at the moment to feed into planning for various units.

A major story relates to FRACKING.
This is the hydraulic fracturing of rock, to enable access to reserves of shale gas and oil which are hidden in the geology beneath certain parts of the country. This has the potential to release reserves of energy, but has also been blamed for various problems including earth tremors, and contamination of groundwater and drinking water.
There are plenty of campaign sites springing up, and various recent statements, such as that from Lord Howell who suggested it should be carried out in the 'desolate NE of England'....

Another possible environmental disaster has a larger scale than the UK....
METHANE is released when permafrost thaws.
Methane is a far more potent gas than carbon dioxide when it comes to enhancing the planet's natural greenhouse effect, and could accelerate global warming. There's been lots of debate, but when I first read about this fifteen or twenty years ago it seemed fairly likely.

The next story has a mention of Great Yarmouth: a town I've visited more than once.
It describes the cycle of poverty that affects some coastal towns, some of which developed originally as coastal resorts.
The Butler model is one which some students will be familiar with as it summarises the major changes which take place in a resort as it develops and, in many cases, declines. The fortunes of Great Yarmouth sit in contrast to places like Southwold, although it may be only a matter of time before the wheel of fortune turns for any place of course...
You can download the full report from the Centre for Social Justice website (it may be worth looking at the other reports that have been produced if this is an area that you'd like to explore further)

There are 5 seaside towns mentioned in the report: Rhyl, Margate, Clacton-on-Sea, Blackpool and Great Yarmouth. These could form the basis for group enquiries: either focus on one of these towns, or identify another town which might have similar issues - the Census data could be used for this, and perhaps a tool like Ollie O' Brien's 'This Place' which has been mentioned here several times before.

Finally, when it comes to the Geography of FOOD, today will see the arrival of a burger made from synthetic meat.
Could this be one solution to feeding the world....

Update
Some images from Channel 4 news

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