Friday, October 23, 2009

Knowle man's Antarctic adventure

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Just had to include a link to this story* 'Plumber lands job in Antarctic' from today's Daily Mirror. Ok the link to things green/climate change is obvious but this time its the personal and local connection that is behind my interest. I went to Merrywood Boys' School in Knowle with Mark (pictured) and we hung around a lot together for yrs. We currently go climbing together and Mark's son Jake and my daughter are boyfriend/girlfriend!

*Mark Green is on top of theworld at landing his dream job - at the very bottom of the globe. The 47-year-old plumber was chosen from 2,000 applia cants to join the British Antarctic Survey on the Bunt Ice Shelf and maintain their heating, water and loos 800 miles from the South Pole.

Now he'll leave wife Anna, 42, and son Jake, 18, out in the cold back in Bristol when he flies to the remote Halley research station for 15 months on November 10.

But he has his family's full support for his "opportunity of a lifetime" and, despite expecting -50C temperatures, Mark said yesterday: "I just can't wait.

"The farthest I've been before is Spain. But when I heard of this job on the radio I knew I'd always regret it if I didn't have a go."

Apart from 10 scientists and 42 other support staff - picked from record number of credit crunch work-seekers - his closest neighbours will emperor penguins as he works on pipes in shafts up to 65ft below the two-metre snow.

But after learning survival techniques for the harsh conditions, the prospect holds no fears at all.

Well, he's even packing his saxophone. Really cool, Mark.

Cold facts of life

For more than 60 years the British Antarctic Survey has been researching the icy continent. With 400 staff and three stations there, as well as two on South Georgia, strengthened ships and an adapted aircraft are the £47.1million operation's lifeline.

Objection to Tesco on Ashton Gate

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Sent in the following objection to plans for a Tesco superstore on Ashton Gate today: I ask you to reject this application (09/03208/P). A Tesco store is not needed and would impact negatively on existing businesses, the environment and local community life. Sustainable access ie on foot, by bicycle or bus is poor. Little or no evidence is offered for appropriate economic, social or environmental regeneration. Bristol is supposed to be signed up to sustainable development – and this is not it!!

Those financing and running BCFC claim that a superstore on Ashton Gate is essential to plans for building a new stadium. If, as they say, a new stadium is vital they must have alternative plans for funding it or for redeveloping Ashton Gate – they cannot be considered competent otherwise. Don’t buy the BCFC spin.

Those who would benefit significantly from a new BCFC stadium are a very small number of private business people. Those who stand to lose significantly are a large number local people, whose small businesses, community and environment will be badly impacted. It would be unjust to decide in favour of a small number of already very wealthy people.

The site for the proposed new BCFC stadium is in the green belt. Along with the stadium would go houses, a hotel and fast food outlets – and of course a further stimulus to all kinds of possible developments to take up yet more of our green belt.