Carolyn Roberts--Environment - Britain in Troubled Waters (2015-16)

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source: GreshamCollege     2015年10月30日
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lectures are available from the Gresham College website: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and...
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 A Body in the River  
Professor Roberts describes her work with UK police forces: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and...
The bodies of murder victims, whole or in pieces, often end up in rivers or canals. Carolyn Roberts' work as an Expert Witness with UK police forces has applied the principles of hydrology to murder investigations.
In these tragic and gruesome settings, environmental science can help to identify where bodies have come from or gone to. Drawing on macabre and fascinating case studies, the lecture will range from particular cases to general principles of tracing bodies, and the application of science in supporting the law.
Probably not for those of a nervous disposition, but of guaranteed interest to the curious.
 The Next Big UK Flood: Britain Under Water 
Serious flooding and the water security of the nation’s water are Professor Roberts’ topics in this lecture: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and...
What are the odds that events will conspire to put London under water during the next few years? Are the catastrophic Summer 2007 floods in the English Midlands and the recent events of southeast England harbingers of worse to come, particularly as the climate shifts?
Serious flooding poses major challenges to the UK's security, despite changes in the way we try to manage both water and damage.
The lecture will review the UK's recent experiences and explore how management and infrastructural improvements are being attempted. Can science, technology and collaboration reduce our vulnerability to floods?
55:22 The Creeping Paralysis of Drought  
Drought threatens the globe and water security becomes a top priority for nations. Professor Roberts explains: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and...
Water shortage is an increasingly common challenge to development in southern England, as water is progressively diverted away from supporting ecosystems, and into agri-business, industry and homes. Climate change and population growth appear to be drawing us closer to the edge of an abyss. Drawing on research in the developed world (particularly in Spain and the UK), the lecture will explore the anatomy of severe droughts, and their consequences.
Can technology innovation offer realistic solutions to this problem, or will the competing interests of many different stakeholders prevent us from agreeing what needs to be done?
58:35 Oil on Troubled Water: The Industrial Legacy and Britain's Groundwater 
Britain’s Groundwater is amongst its most precious and most threatened resources. Professor Roberts explains: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and...
Groundwater is an important source of drinking water in London and elsewhere, but the legacy of the UK's industrial revolution includes contamination at an extreme and increasingly widely-realised scale.
Drawing on research in the English Midlands, the lecture will explore how mining, metal-based manufacturing, and the oil industry have produced an environmental conundrum that is very complex to solve. How can sites that are part of our industrial heritage be prevented from polluting rivers, and poisoning local residents? Who is responsible, and how can the 'clean-up' be tackled?
56:46 Britain’s Damaged Rivers 
Extensive overview of Britain’s rivers and the reasons for their destruction http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and...
From the nineteenth century onwards, growth in the UK's towns and cities damaged rivers environments. In addition to shifting patterns of erosion and deposition, and pollution, engineers created straight, concrete-lined watercourses, largely devoid of life and visual interest. The scale of change, and the impacts on the water environment, began to be understood only in the 1970s, since when specialists have attempted to manage rivers in ways that maintain channel and floodplain biodiversity.
Local communities have been vital in supporting those few areas, including a couple in London, where genuine improvements have been secured. Can we restore our rivers, and how might application of the science of geomorphology maximise the chances of success?
1:01:38 Development, Developers and the Water Environment
An overview of the impact of development and developers on the water environment by Professor Carolyn Roberts http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and...
Would you want a quarry near your house? Driven by EU law, environmental impact assessment is now a requirement for developers planning mineral extraction, waste disposal sites and major housing schemes. Initially, the emphasis lay on the prevention of environmental damage, but very rapidly this shifted into the language of 'sustainability', and what might be gained from development.
In theory, beautiful and inspirational new landscapes can be created, that encourage outdoor recreation and biodiversity. But there is still some reluctance from industry, and local residents inevitably oppose development.

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