The Birmingham Brief

The Birmingham Brief - intelligent thought on policy issues.

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Thursday 12th September 2013

Fracking: Why the risks of earthquakes or drinking water contamination are minimal

Description
Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, reignited the row over fracking this week, when he insisted this method of extracting shale gas was no 'great evil' and could act as a bridge to a 'green future' in the UK so long as it was properly regulated. The UK is thought to have significant reserves of shale gas and the government is encouraging the industry to exploit these resources as our North Sea gas reserves are depleting.
Date:
Thursday 12th September 2013
Categories:
Life and Environmental Sciences
Thursday 24th March 2011

Is our atmosphere a commodity?

Description
This week is Climate Week but has anyone noticed? Events in Libya and Japan have quite rightly grabbed both the headlines and the inside pages of the media. Nevertheless, climate events have been running throughout the country to try and show that climate should still be high on the nation's agenda. 23 March, as well as being Budget Day in the UK, was also World Meteorological Day commemorating the founding of the World Meteorological Organisation in 1950. The theme this year is 'Climate for you'.
Date:
Thursday 24th March 2011
Categories:
Life and Environmental Sciences, Research
Friday 18th March 2011

What future for the nuclear industry?

What future for the nuclear industry?
Description
The tragic events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant constitute the worst nuclear disaster in more than two decades. Whilst the human cost is of paramount importance and rightly dominates the headlines there will also be significant implications for the future of the world wide nuclear industry, which suffered a 20 year decline after the partial core meltdown at Three Mile Island and the disaster at Chernobyl. Both events reinforced the negative public perception toward nuclear power that had emerged over the course of the 1970s.
Date:
Friday 18th March 2011
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sciences, Research
Tuesday 15th February 2011

Gambling: The debate we should be having

Description
Britain now has one of the largest and most diverse gambling markets in the world. Gross takings after paying out winnings are in the region of £10bn annually. I argue in my book, 'An Unsafe Bet?', that gambling has been allowed to expand without proper public consultation and debate. Constraints on commercial gambling provision were progressively eased in the 1980s and 90s, culminating in the liberalising Gambling Act of 2005. Intense lobbying for de-restriction on the part of gambling operators was an important element, but lack of consideration of the dangerous, addictive nature of gambling products also played a part.
Date:
Tuesday 15th February 2011
Categories:
Life and Environmental Sciences
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