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Paul Mobbs &
Mobbs' Environmental Investigations:

Mobbsey's Musings

2014 Index

This page lists the posts to the 'Musings' blog for 2014

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inc image Mobbsey's Musings: 'Well, 2014! What happened? (Review of 2014)'

24/12/2014

This year I'm sending everyone I work with a selection of this year's photos from my sanity-inducing rambles (below). Unfortunately I've been so busy that I've been unable to produce no more than a handful of 'real' cards for hand delivery. And given I've this seemingly infinite electronic space to convey a few thoughts, I thought I'd share a little more with you about my year.

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62.2 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: ''Death by Landfill' – how weak politicians and brow-beaten regulators endanger present and future generations'

21/12/2014

I've been a professional 'environmental investigator' for over 22 years now. Over that time I've seen some awful offences against the environment; I've also witnessed some inspiring action from the individuals and communities affected. After seeing so many outrageous cases it's easy to become desensitised to the more everyday environmental offences – even if they are, of themselves, dire to those involved. Every now and again though you come across something that jerks you back to stark reality; something that touches a raw nerve.

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89 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: 'Will Wall Street kill-off the fracking industry before the protesters do? – as the shale gas Ponzi scheme teeters, will it cause a wider crash?'

16/12/2014

Brought about by the recent fall in oil prices, investors are beginning to review the economics of unconventional oil and gas. For the last few years there have been a number of damning reports about the economics of unconventional fossil fuels. Now it seems those long-ignored observations are being taken seriously by the money-lenders of Wall Street.

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93.4 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: 'Eco-sceptic politicians, not terrorists, are the greatest threat to the British public today – statistics versus polemic in 'The War Against Terrorism''

03/09/2014

Over the last few weeks, as the situation in Syria and Iraq has deteriorated, we've seen politicians in the West become more bellicose about the "threat" of terrorism to our way of life. What few in this debate seem to address is whether there is any objective data, compared to other non-terrorist "threats", to support that assertion. Rather like the "reds under the bed" scares of the Cold War, the threat of 'Islamism' is held up as an existential threat to the British public innocently going about their daily lives. However, if we look at the statistics we can't demonstrate that claim.

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57.5 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: '"And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself": Tolstoy, Paine and debating the ecological impacts of social media'

09/08/2014

If you've seen my recent "musings", you'll note that the picture icons are mostly taken from old black and white films. That's not so much deliberate as reflective of the time when I've been subconsciously writing these posts. I've been really busy over recent months, and unlike newer films, with their complex plots and special effects, I find older films far more relaxing. There's something engaging about stripping out the trappings of the latest cinematic technology; focussing instead, almost like workshop theatre, on the simplicity of direct communication.

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62.5 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: 'Journey's end, and new beginnings – Musing on the road travelled and the path ahead'

17/07/2014

I'm sitting in the café at St. Mary's Church, Putney. When travelling to London there are a few non-corporate cafés I frequent. Normally Friends House, or few places on the edge of central London. On my recent travels through London I've been trying to get here as it's a nice place to sit and ponder – with its own unique and prophetic story to tell.

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101.9 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: 'Misdirecting the public's attention from fracking's radioactive footprint'

26/06/2014

As the facts about unconventional gas emerge around the globe the UK Government and the on-shore oil and gas industry have been pulling-down the shutters on their grand project. Increasingly reports are "being seen to be written rather than written to be seen". For example, last week Public Health England launched the final version of their report on shale gas and health – on the same day that the Jimmy Saville inquiry results were reported. That pretty much ensured there would be no room in the schedules for any critical analysis of it.

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58.7 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: '"Fracking" – The fact is, you are not important'

24/06/2014

You are not important! I'm sorry if that's an unwelcome reality, but if we look at some recent developments in the battle over fracking in Britain (and/or the USA, Canada, Poland, South Africa, Australia, etc.) we can conclude little else.

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44.4 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: 'Exposing the British Government's "dodgy dossier" on the climate impacts of fracking'

30/05/2014

As Charlie Chaplin said, "Wars, conflict, it's all business... Numbers sanctify." That was certainly the case with the UK Government's approach to shale gas. They hoped that they could whitewash the climate effects of fracking with some fancy formulas. Instead what they produced was another "dodgy dossier" – a straightforward denial of the uncertainties and the likely effects of what unconventional gas will do to the climate.

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69.3 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: 'SLAPPing campaigners for telling the truth – the underground coal gasification lobby turns even nastier'

18/05/2014

SLAPP – a "strategic lawsuit against public participation". SLAPPing is a tactic often used in the USA, where companies intent on environmental destruction pre-emptively sue leading local campaigners in order to quash the local opposition. That tactic raised its head in Britain last week in relation to a technology that makes "fracking" look reasonable.

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54 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: '"2 + 2 = 0" – How Public Health England whitewashed the potential health effects of shale gas on public health'

06/05/2014

Last October, Public Health England (PHE) released their "draft" report on the health impacts of shale gas[1]. They looked at all the evidence on the likely effects of shale gas extraction on public health – evidence of hazardous environmental impacts[2], gender-bending chemicals disrupting our metabolism[3], and of toxic and radioactive contamination of the air, soil and water[4] – and concluded that – "Public Health England anticipates a low risk to public health from direct releases of chemicals and radioactive material if shale gas extraction is properly operated and regulated."

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49.2 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: 'The ignored story of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – Our seas are awash with human trash and it's killing the oceanic ecosystem'

03/04/2014

Over recent weeks the news has been dominated by the story of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The plane, with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, lost contact with ground radar on the 8th March – and no trace of it has been found since. A few days later, I was asked to write an article on how a plane could simply "disappear". As the article outlined, it's not that difficult to lose a plane at sea. However, in the few weeks since my attention has been drawn to a far more significant aspect of the story; one which has not been headline news.

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93 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: 'Speed may shrink the time, but we still live in a very big world – the physical realities of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370'

03/04/2014

Today we move so quickly, relying on so many systems and mechanisms, perhaps we have collectively lost our sense of how small we are in this very great world. As we move faster, and demand greater comfort and safety, so our modes of transport become more complex – and thus prone to unexpected failure. From plane crashes to train wrecks, being reminded that things can, and sometimes do go wrong unsettles our consensual illusion of safety.

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83.7 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: 'The Quiet Militarisation of West Wales' Skies'

18/03/2014

In rural West Wales, the Ministry of Defence and its private sector partner QinetiQ are about to launch a new era in Britain's engagement with drone technology. Paul Mobbs outlines how the skies of West Wales are being forced into the debate on the legality and democratic accountability of drones and mass state surveillance.

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179.2 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: 'Three years on, the Fukushima meltdown continues around the world'

12/03/2014

Three years ago today we first learned of the on-going meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. TV screens showed long lens shots of concrete buildings exploding in showers of dust, yet worsening the burdens of one of Japan's worst natural disasters in recent times.

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37.7 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: '"A fistful of train tickets" – Eight months travelling for an explanation of the rush to develop unconventional gas'

12/02/2014

For five years Paul Mobbs has been working on 'unconventional gas' (aka. 'fracking') in Britain. Over recent months that work has taken him to communities across England and Wales. What he has discovered along the way is that the political support for unconventional gas is not just about energy; it reflects the greater ecological crisis at the root of our current economic woes.

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68 kilobytes



inc image Mobbsey's Musings: 'The coming military/industrial drone 'investment agenda''

04/02/2014

It's noticeable – after following the tech & policy journals for almost two years now – that in the US the drones issue has shifted from being a "military/defence" agenda to an "industrial investment" agenda. That in turn is bringing with it a more aggressive posturing in policy circles due to the "benefits" (jobs, "growth", etc.) that it is perceived to bring.

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37.7 kilobytes