Archive for January 27th, 2008

Too much to read… only just got around to my January issue of National Geographic this weekend and the February issue has already landed on the mat. Whilst a little ‘US centric’ at times (understandable considering that’s their core commercial target market) this wonderfully informative magazine never ceases to amaze me by bringing real global issues to public attention.

I recall hearing in 2006 about a gas drilling expedition in East Java which had gone horribly wrong. They seem to have screwed up by drilling directly into a mudstone strata without a steel casing. They then hit an underground aquifer which allowed high pressure hot water to fracture the unprotected rock. I’m no geologist, but the essentials are easy to find online and surprise surprise, the drilling company is blaming a natural earthquake for causing the devastation. “The politics surrounding the disaster are as muddy as the landscape”.

Until I saw the pictures in NG of the quantity of mud this hole in the earth continues to pour out (600,000 barrels every day) – shown with a graphical aerial photo comparison between 2005 and 2007, I had no idea this old ‘news story’ hadn’t gone away. “So far, the mud has engulfed 12 villages and displaced 10,000 families – it’s still surging today and engineers can’t seem to stem the flow”.

Here’s a link I found online to some satelite images for those who haven’t seen the NG article. The scale of the devastation we impose on this beautiful planet – mostly through sheer greed – is genuinely scary and I sometimes feel very small when pondering how to make a difference.

That doesn’t stop me trying though and it shouldn’t stop you either…


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