Loyal readers of this blog may remember that last July I warned of readers about a dangerous new type of gas extraction called Shale Gas better known as fracking.
For new comers to this subject, last year, Sebastian Doggart summed up Fracking in an article for the Telegraph as, “Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves blasting huge amounts of water, mixed with sand and often toxic chemicals, to break up shale formations thousands of feet under the earth, to release natural gas”.
On Tuesday the 17th April a second report,commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was released into the earthquakes caused by the first attempts at fracking in Blackpool last year. The report gave no assurances that no further earthquakes will be experienced.
The reports focus on seismic activity, although pretty damming, draws attention away from some of the more dangerous side effects on fracking. These include widespread contamination of drinking water, as has been experienced in the US and increased levels of air pollution, which is something we can ill afford, with air pollution levels in London responsible for 4000 deaths a year. And most crucially fracking is a carbon intensive method of energy creation and will accelerate the pathway towards climate change.
Elsie Walker, a Frack Off activist, today said; “The scale of development proposed is being completely ignored. Cuadrilla want to drill 800 wells in Lancashire alone. They are one company going after one type of gas. There are several companies going after several types of unconventional gas in the UK and all potentially on a similar scale to Cuadrilla. If we allow this to happen, we will witness the total industrialisation of the British countryside and the destruction of the ecosystems we rely on for our survival. We cannot allow this to happen”.
Green groups including Friends of the Earth, WWF and the Green Party have been quick to condem the resumption of fracking activities. And rightly so. In my opinion we are blessed with great natural assets of wind and the sea and we should be investing heavily in hydro and wind power. Not pumping a multitude of chemicals into the ground, deregulating environmental laws and hoping for the best.
In the below extract Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas perfectly summed up the danger posed by fracking; “If carbon capture and storage technology is not in place, burning just 20% of the gas which Cuadrilla claims to have found in its licence area in Lancashire would generate 15% of UK’s total CO2 budget to 2050”.
As I write this we are experiencing the worst drought in the UK since 1976. Climate change is real and is happening in the UK. Energy suppliers and the government need to focus on investment in renewables not hard to reach fossil fuels with a dangerous reputation. It’s late in the day in the battle to tackle climate change and we cannot afford any more mistakes.
For more information read this press release issued by activist group Frack Off.