How the Romans used Hydraulic Fracturing

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Las Médulas, Spain, location of one enormous fracking head. The Romans devised a method of extracting minerals by diverting rivers into escarpments. The force of the water eroded away the base of the escarpment until large sections crashed down. In the case of Las Médulas, the whole mountain was removed leaving a collection of small hills in its place. Many of the hills have spectacular tunnels. Las Médulas was Eldorado, the gold was extracted and the Romans moved on to Segovia.

lasmedulas 1

Segovia ‘lapis specularis’

The Romans had an insatiable appetite for gold and silver but another mineral ‘lapis specularis’ was also in demand and they mined it using the same hydraulic fracturing techniques they had used in Las Médulas. Lapis specularis is a crystal that they used to create small window panes, not sheet glass but a composite of crystals glued together. These were a boon to Roman baths and were used to make overhead skylights that helped heat the interior. The Roman fracking head is just outside present day Segovia.

lapis specularis

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Cook’s consensus – you are all missing the point

The sample data is skewed by filtering.

If I were to extract data from football reports for ‘broken windows’ I might find there was some trouble after the local derby, that Police made some arrests after one or two windows were broken. I might also find that the Chelsea team bus suffered ‘broken windows’ as it arrived in Manchester.

What I wouldn’t find reported is ‘There was some trouble after the local derby but no windows were broken’ and similarly, ‘The Chelsea team bus arrived in Manchester and there were no broken windows’.

It follows that with Cook’s method (filtering key words) the result would indicate that broken windows accompany every football match. Continue reading

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Blooming Heck

v2

What is Political Correctness?

Political correctness is the removal of your right to an opinion. They want you shut up.

No matter what you said, they know what you were thinking. A thought crime. No matter how tangential the connotation, if you skirted the forbidden zone you are now a political enemy and you are done for. They’ll even go looking for that geographically vague, mythical land to find a hypothetical victim of your evil reference. And if the hypothetical victim is not too offended, they’ll persuade another to feel his pain. Continue reading

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The wacky world of AGW promotion

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In the wacky world of AGW promotion we often come face to face with the template. The template is a preformatted piece of propaganda, you only need insert three or four words to complete the trick.

All the best MSM alarmists make frequent use of the same template but never acknowledge the originator, not a nod of gratitude, hat-tip or reference to the copyright holder.

This is the template

A new paper published in _____________ suggests that ______________ might/could _____________ and result in costly problem / Armageddon / apocalypse / certain death by 2015 / 2020 / 2030 / 2050

Scientists say ____________ the size of Manhattan / 4 Hiroshima bombs / time bomb

[insert image] e.g. iceberg / polar bear / dark steam / chimney / melting ice

The template makes sense, especially in businesses with branches far and wide, it gives an impression of unity and harmony to what would otherwise appear a disorganized collective – and at the same time gives a benign impression to all involved.

But there is a deeper and more sinister aspect to this.

The masters of the template obviously don’t trust their minions with ‘freestyle’ propaganda, which is a bit of an insult if you’re editor of the environment section of a major newsgroup. Because what the masters are saying to the journalist or editor is, ‘you are a useful idiot’ and I can’t imagine those journalists protesting that the word ‘useful’ is superfluous despite all the evidence indicating that ‘useful idiots’ have relatively short careers.

Evidently, the journalist is indeed a useful idiot for a cause he may or may not believe in, but while he or she can continue to overdose the storyline with if, might, may, could and likely, every second sentence, the pay cheque is in the post.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jul/24/arctic-thawing-permafrost-climate-change

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Nothing changes – except maybe the climate

gallery end of world

Nothing much changes. Sure, the wheel was rather a grand invention, the transistor revolutionised electronics and the microprocessor of course – but at the end of the day the human condition still exists and snake oil continues to outperform alternative investment portfolios, just ask Al Gore. Human stupidity, is there no end to it?

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The propaganda juggernaut – part dos

Way back in 2007 when Southern Spain was a bit drier than usual, Greenpeace came up with this imaginative artist’s impression of the desertification of southern and eastern Spain. It shows the river Ebro on its course through Zaragoza.

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The images were part of documents that would land on the IPCC tables at the 2007 Bali conference and like many similar documents (that get incorporated into IPCC reports as scientific evidence) they envisioned devastating consequences should CO2 emissions not be reduced drastically.

The course of the river would dry up, as would 80% of the rivers of southern Europe, they claimed that the Pyrenees had lost 85% of its glaciers in the previous 30 years.

But they never mentioned that the Ebro has a history of sporadic droughts as photographic evidence shows … Continue reading

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Sea Levels – it’s getting serious

Now it’s getting serious and it’s worse than I thought. Recent developments reveal a superabundance of unforseen circumstances that are likely to result from climate change.

Having an extensive property portfolio which includes a beachfront ‘mansion’, I have two nagging concerns. First is how to swing a cat round in the beach house and the second is rising sea levels.

Every February or March the Atlantic rollers get angry and scrape away the beach sand leaving just pebbles and grit. This is the result.

beach and rock

But not to worry, in May the sand is magically returned to the beach by a dredger. Once the sand has been pumped onto the beach and has dried out, the beach bar is constructed.

beach and boat

Continue reading

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