News Space

Eco-news in brief 12-4

By CG News Editor April Jaynes

New committee proposes ban on fracking in Athens County to City Council 

Last week, Athens City Council heard from a new group of citizens opposed to oil-and-gas extraction. Specifically, the group proposed a 20-mile fracking ban be adopted by the city as part of a “bill of rights.” The new group is called the Bill of Rights Committee (BORC) and its members include Second Ward Council member Jeff Risner and Athens residents Christine Hughes, Beverly Flanigan, Ed Newman, Milenna Miller, John Howell, Richard Hogan and Dick McGinn. The committee recently formed and held its first meeting just before their first council appearance last week.  Members of the committee cited sections of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) and spoke about the “dangers that fracking and associated activities pose to the health, safety, happiness and even economic stability” in the Athens area. If the ban goes into effect, the fracking ban would cover all of Athens County, and almost extend to Pomeroy, Belpre, Wellston and Logan.

Read the full article 

Ohio University professor leads scientific study; furthers dark space matter discovery

A new observation of a merging galaxy cluster, called Abell 520, from a team of astronomers using a different Hubble camera than previous teams used, found that the core of the cluster does not appear to be over-dense in dark matter as a study earlier this year concluded . Because the cluster is detected by its gravity and not its light, scientists use the term “dark matter.”  The study was led by Douglas Clowe, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Ohio University, and the findings were published in The Astrophysical Journal. Clowe’s team used Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) to measure the amount of dark matter in the cluster, which allowed the team to make a more accurate map of the cluster’s dark matter. His team measured less shear in the cluster’s core than was previously found, which is what astronomers initially expected.

Read the full article

Global carbon dioxide emissions at record high; expected to increase

Scientists reported Sunday that annual global emissions of carbon dioxide are likely to increase in numbers by the end of 2012 after the record high in 2011. Efforts to limit emissions do not appear to be successful. Researchers from the Global Carbon Project said that an international goal of limiting the ultimate warming of the planet to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit that was established three years ago is on the verge of becoming unattainable. Specifically, the new figures show that emissions are falling slowly  in some of the most advanced countries, including the United States, but the decline of emissions in the developed countries is more than matched by continued growth in developing countries such as China and India. Over all, global emissions increased by 3 percent in 2011 and are expected to increase by 2.6 percent in 2012.

Read the full article