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The Gap Year Blog

Frontier Environment News of the Week 15/10/2018

15 Oct 2018 15:00 PM

Photo Credit: Flickr | Gavin Yeates

Edited with permission by Frontier

Snowstorm in Nepal kills nine people on mountain expedition

Nine people trekking up the Mount Gurja mountain of Nepal have been killed after a violent storm hit the Himalayan peak on October 7th. 

Named the worst climbing accident to hit Nepal in two years, the group which included five South Korean climbers and four Nepali guides were found scattered at their base camp in a scene described as it “looks like a bomb went off,” by Dan Richards of Global Rescue, an assistance group.

The pack of climbers had been on a 45-day expedition up the mountain peak set off in early September when ferocious winds hit the camp. Concerns were raised by expedition organisers when contact was lost with the group for over 24 hours on October 11.

Awaiting a window of good weather, the nine-person camp had been lost in the uncontrollable weather which took supporting organisations two days to recover the bodies.

All nine members of the trek have now been retrieved, including famous climber Kim Chang-ho, known for his experience with the summits of the world's 14 highest mountains.


Fracking company Cuadrilla restarts initiatives in Lancashire

Over the weekend, a high court rejected environmental campaigners’ efforts to block fracking leader Cuadrilla from their operations in Lancashire. The fracking initiative in Lancashire is now to go ahead with the company starting progess to drill from today. 

Seven years ago, Cuadrilla faced controversy after fracking initiatives prompted two miniature earthquakes around Blackpool in early 2011, and later lifted with controls to avoid possible tremours.

Since 2011, debates over fracking have caused rising concerns in the consequences of hydraulic fracturing in fear that it will cause water contamination as well as noise and traffic pollution. 

But fracking was given the go-ahead on Friday by a judge who rejected environmental campaigner’s bids and ruled that there was no reason that fracking could not go forward, allowing Cuadrilla to continue fracking efforts in Lancashire.

Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing includes pumping high pressure water and chemicals and drilling into unstable shale rock to release gas. 

Despite continuous activism and protests from environmental groups such as Reclaim the Power blockading sites and roads, Cuadrilla are enthusiastic about their plands. Chief Executive Francis Egan commented, "We are delighted to be starting our hydraulic fracturing operations as planned. 

“We are now commencing the final operational phase to evaluate the commercial potential for a new source of indigenous natural gas in Lancashire.”

Photo Credit: Manchester Evening News | EPA


New study suggests Western countries must reduce meat consumption by 90% to salvage climate change

Research from the journal Nature suggested that in order to keep up with drastic climate change, Western countries must cut their meat and dairy intake by 90% and replace this with five times as many beans and pulses. 

The statistics came following the UN report emphasising the need to squash global warming, insisting that we have 12 years to keep global warming below 1.5C which would worsen drought, floods and extreme heat. 

According to the report, the research said that “flexitarian diets” – those who are primarily vegetarian but occasionally eat meat – would need to be implemented globally to keep global warming below 2C. 

Western countries and those that are more affluent need the most impact where UK and US need to see the biggest change. Including meat being reduced by 90%, these countries must cut milk by 60% and encourage vegetarian diets focused around pulses. 

These changes hope to put a stop to environmental crises such as deforestation, water waste and excess pollution used to support carnivorous diets. 

Quick fire

By Caitlin Casey - Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservation, community, teaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!