First photo of UK fracking site via Mail Online surely justifies wider protest?

This aerial photo of the UK’s first fracking site with the adjacent protest camp, published by the mail, says it all. This is a MUST VIEW photo in my opinion. Check it out!

Home | Mail Online.

In my mind, this is an environmental disaster. Beautiful English countryside which has largely been the same for centuries has been destroyed.

As I look at this photo in disgust, the following open questions come to mind:

  1. What ever happened to David Cameron‘s environmental credentials?
  2. Why wasn’t there greater consultation from the Government?
  3. Why don’t the Government publish the economic benefit case?
  4. Why don’t the Government publish the risk assessment?
  5. What do individual MPs think about fracking and environmental risk?
  6. Should these or similar questions be sent to MPs to ask the Government to clarify policy?
English: David Cameron Deutsch: David Cameron

English: David Cameron Deutsch: David Cameron (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any thoughts?

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13 responses

  1. Pingback: Police cave in to mob rule over fracking in UK| Mail Online « Dr Alf's Blog

  2. Pingback: Cameron has not made case for fracking, say grassroots activists – Telegraph « Dr Alf's Blog

  3. John, Pit and Rodney,

    Many thanks for sharing your views here.

    I too have sympathy for the general direction of John’s argument but would caution that the environmental risks are real.

    I think it is premature to reach conclusions until we get more answers from the Government – hence my six open questions and John’s detailed responses which I have re-blogged entitled:

    “David Cameron and the Politics of Fracking – John Gelmini”. Here’s the link:

    http://wp.me/p1m0kg-4k8

    Thanks

    Alf

    • Hi all,
      I was wondering if you had seen this [http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/05/children-ban-talking-about-fracking]? Makes me really doubt the legal system here in the US! And also the sincerety of the fracking companies.
      Best regards from southernh Texas,
      Pit

      • Hi Pit,

        Thanks for sharing this article. I intend to reblog it with a few observations.

        Turning to the US legal system, I think that post 2008 austerity ravaged Western society has highlighted that legal protection is really there for the privileged 1% and is not the masses or as John Gelmini might say “the great unwashed”.

        Meanwhile, in the US at least lawyers will frequently work on a contingency basis (no-win-no-fee). In the UK, contingency fee lawyers are becoming more common in areas like accidents etc.

        The real problem which I shall blog about is the stakeholder analysis where Government increasing supports Big Business, especially in industries like fracking.

        Thanks

        Alf

  4. Pingback: David Cameron and the Politics of Fracking – John Gelmini « Dr Alf's Blog

  5. A few more personal remarks from “fracking country”:

    Fracking just one well needs, as far as I know, 800,000 to 1,000,000 gallons [US] of water. That is – at least here – quite frequently tranported by tanker trucks. Those trucks, plus those carrying the chemicals and the sand, and later, if there’s no pipeline, the tanker trucks carrying off the oil have made for an increase of deadly traffic accidents here in Karnes county of over 1000% within the last three years. Plus they have done and are still doing extreme damage to the roads. Drawing water from the aquifer(s) here has some city water suppliers gone dry, with the effect that the population in some cities has to get their water from tanker trucks.

    If there’s no pipeline, the gas that comes out with the oil had to be flared off. At night we can see about 10 or more of those flares from our house with the naked eye.

    As to spoiling the countryside: maybe that is less of a problem here in wide open southern Texas than it is in densely populated Britain. I must admit, I’d hate to see a fracking-well next to one of the gorgeously beautiful British villages. Contrary to what John Gelmini says, I don’t believe – based on what I see here – that there is any way to effectively hiding these eyesores.

    But in spite of all this I agree with the general idea expressed by John Gelmini and Rodney Willett that we need the oil and gas produced by fracking. And let me expressedly state that this personal belief is not biassed because we down here get the royalties from the oil and gas produced and from the leases.
    Best regards from fracking country,

    Pit

    • The anti fracking protesters at Balcombe, in West Sussex, are it seems being backed by the Co-operative Supermarket and the Co-operative Bank and have received assistance from Lush the cosmetics chain.(Source:Daily Telegraph).

      The Co-op financially supported the release of the documentary GASLAND a film which was made 2 years ago,saying that the film about America’s dash for shale gas showed how the technology “risks” local ecological disaster”.

      The Co-op has called for a moratorium on fracking and has asked its customers to put pressure on their local MPs to oppose test drilling.

      In addition to this, the Co-op has organised meetings in areas where fracking may be about to take place to screen GASLAND and discuss references to a report on fracking commissioned by the Tyndall Centre For Climate Change Research.

      They are enthusiastic supporters of renewable energy and of left wing causes and could not say how much they have spent on their anti fracking campaign.

      They are the biggest financiers of offshore wind farms which only generate electricity 14% of the time and are heavily subsidised by the taxpayer.

      Thus the people of Balcombe and elsewhere are being stirred up into a frenzy of indignation by the Co-op Bank, Lush and others through a combination of anti-fracking films and messages without knowledge of the full facts of our dire energy supply situation or what will happen if we have a harsh winter, namely blackouts and potential economic chaos.

      The Daily Telegraph should go further and research the Balcombe protesters to ascertain whether links exist between them and the Co-op in terms of investing in wind farms.From that, we would discover whether they really are as they portray themselves–Concerned apolitical Middle Englanders on the march to protect the environment and the tranquility of their rural idyll.

      • As to the “documentary” GASLAND: of course this film shows a combustible mix of methane and water coming out of a faucet, but it is, to the best of my knowledge, one single incident and I am not sure if that’s related to fracking or to maybe a natural occurrence. This film to my mind is scaremongering as it suggests that something like this will happen wherever fracking occurs.

        There are contradicting studies as to the dangers of fracking, depending on who pays for the studies. But I must admit, that even in an oil-friendly state as Texas the authorities are being aware of possible dangers.

        As to the situation in America: there are a lot of differences in the various fracking areas and North Dakota may well be a negative example. One the one hand it was, as far as I know, one of the early fields and the technology has since been improved, and on the other hand, again to the best of my knowledge, the geological circumstances up there are not as szuitable to fracking as they are, e.g., down here in southern Texas.

  6. Throughout history, man has taken risks to obtain energy. Without these risks we would not now have the things that few of us are prepared to give up – including, of course, the internet which enables us to be having this debate at this time.

    In part I agree with John that this situation arises because governments have failed to address the energy problem: the fact that we in this country consume more energy than we make at home (and I do know that energy cannot be created etc. but I am assuming that readers will know what I mean).

    In an ideal world we would have researched ways and means of using nuclear power so that the waste products ceased to be a problem. In the end the only “eternal” power source will be fission or fusion – everything else is papering over the cracks. Renewables don’t provide the answers.

    Wind? Not always there. Solar power? Better but not much good at night. Hydro-electricity? Best so far but even here there are limits: overdo it and there can be problems with rivers silting up as energy it taken from them. “Clean” tidal power? Well, we thought we knew what we were doing when we took ballast from the sea bed to build coastal defenses and breakwaters. For some, there were no problems. For others it was homes dropping into the sea.

    Therein lies the real problem: we all need energy and some of us are going to suffer as we generate the energy we need. Fracking? Better and no worse than many other schemes, as far as I can determine. What it will do is to make those of us who believe we are special and should not suffer to accept some of the grief – but think of the grief the miners of Wales suffered for the sake of the rest of the population. And, incidentally, the miners in Kent.

    Today is today: today we need energy or the lights will go out. Today we are vulnerable because we import most of our energy – oil, gas and electricity – and we should and could be generating all we require. Is there a better answer to our immediate problems than fracking? If there is, what is it?

  7. To answer Dr Alf’s 6 questions in order:

    1) David Cameron never had any environmental credentials because even when he claimed to be cycling to work the limousine following him at a discreet distance carried his bodyguards and his red boxes

    2) There was no greater consultation from the Government on fracking because we, thanks to the neglect of this and previous Governments, are facing blackouts because populations have risen, existing generating capacity is coming to the end of its useful life and has not been replaced.

    Nuclear power stations have not been built and the money to do so has not been found but has been wasted on overseas aid, the Barnett Formula, poor purchasing, badly managed projects at the MOD and payments to unnecessarily large numbers of councils, quangos, constabularies and civil servants.

    The Government and the BBC have both been telling the British people that Global Warming /Climate Change exists even though for the past 8 years all their reports have been showing that the opposite is the case. As a result they could not be seen to be building extra energy capacity because, according to them, that extra capacity would not be needed.
    T
    he Russian Academy of Sciences, the Chinese and Indian Governments, Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT, Lord Lawson and Lord Christopher Monckton have all determined that Climate Change is a fiction and now the UK Government has been caught out but cannot admit it because then people would realize that the whole Climate Change scenario is a device to raise carbon taxes.

    Nuclear power stations take 15 to 20 years to build so the only thing that can credibly close the generation gap in time is fracking.

    3) Because they never planned to frack but through their own neglect are being forced to do so for the reasons stated in 2 above.

    4) Because if they did so and damage ensued from fracking they would be faced with an admission of culpability at inception.

    Waiting, they reason, will avoid this, although in my view their neglect and culpability will be exposed in any case.

    By not doing the risk assessment, and relying on the American experience, they think that they can avoid blackouts and create good news stories about employment growth, freedom from OPEC and Mr Putin’s on/off gas supplies.

    5) Most of them think about their salaries and expenses and their over long summer recess.

    A few like Julian Huppert MP, an affable Liberal Democrat, think about the environment a lot.

    In the end, it does not matter what they think because fracking will have to happen if the lights are to stay on.

    6) We are supposedly in a democracy and yes,they should be.

    However, the die has already been cast and matters are too far gone for it to matter.

    The Daily Mail photograph is as Dr Alf implies, disgusting, but so are the scenes around coal mines, oil drilling wells in rural Lincolnshire and off Poole in Dorset about which we hear very little.

    We have to frack and frack now but the sites need to be better landscaped and screened so that negative impacts are lessened.

    As for the right to protest, people need to understand the position the country is in and the truth versus what they are being told because otherwise they will be protesting about the wrong things.
    Similarly, the risks and costs of not fracking need to be on the table as well as the risks of doing so before objective decisions about what to base protests on are made.

    Since the cart has preceded the horse, in this instance, much of the present protest will be in vain.
    In the event that fracking is stopped, then the alternative to blackouts is going to be buying more nuclear power from France, remaining in thrall to Russia and OPEC and periodic brownouts.

    Power bills will rise inexorably, fuel poverty will skyrocket, the Government will benefit from higher tax take via VAT on fuel bills and food prices will rise making the bulk of people poorer.

    All this is very sad but those really responsible in the Club of Rome are going to profit either way.

  8. Pingback: A Trans Atlantic Perspective in Support of UK Fracking « Dr Alf's Blog

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