Monday, 20 January 2014

Thursday 16 January

This looks like another wet day in the offing. I notice it has warmed up in the States, if you want to call -8C warm. Watching the birds round the feeders. In the evening, I had choir practice, but by that time, the cloud had lifted and the full moon was shining very brightly.

Over the past 55 years, a large reserve of natural gas has given the Netherlands unimagined riches. The reservoir, in the northeast of the country, is now 2/3 empty, and beginning to collapse underground. This is giving rise to earthquakes, presently measuring 3 on the Richter scale, but projected to augment to 5. That is a magnitude which could lead to destruction of property, as well as injuries or death. The residents of the province of Groningen are up in arms, and demanding a reduction in the rate of gas extraction. If not, they are threatening with protests and disruption. The more extreme elements threaten sabotage. The damage to properties, such as cracks in walls, is mounting up and compensation said to be derisory. The government minister in charge will visit the region tomorrow. An insufficient offer, for reduction of output and increase in compensation, will cause real discontent, in an area already blighted by high unemployment and unsaleable homes, the latter due to earthquake damage.

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