I live in the city of Brighton and Hove in England and in Balcombe just over 20 miles away The Great Gas Gala has been going on since 7am this morning. Local people are protesting over Cuadrilla’s plans to start testing for shale gas there this weekend and have been blocking equipment from arriving at the site. If you want to follow their progress like Frack Free Sussex on Facebook.
I am not an expert on fracking and I don’t pretend to be, however if you want to read a bit about it click here. The things I find the most disturbing is the pollution it can cause to air, water and land. If you read the Frack Off website specifically about the Balcombe site, it sounds like it is just the beginning with the potential to turn the Sussex countryside into an industrialised oil and gas field. It just sounds awful!
Some of the articles in the mainstream media are not doing justice to the damage that can be done by fracking with recent articles in the Guardian entitled If you care about the environment, you should welcome natural gas fracking and Fracking: the monster we greens must embrace. The arguments for fracking are supposedly that it will lower fuel costs in this country and also that it is a more environmentally friendly fuel than coal. The idea is that it will help create a transition period between coal and renewables however James of Business Green and Carbon Brief blog paint a rather different picture of fracking and question the claims about shale gas being more environmentally friendly than coal. On top of that Cuadrilla admits that shale gas won’t have much of an impact on energy bills
Lord Browne, the chairman of Cuadrilla, a former chief of BP is pretty determined to forge ahead with fracking in this country. If we don’t want him to be successful in his aims we all need to recognise the part we as individuals have to play in his success or failure. The majority of us in this country are hugely reliant on fossil fuels and we are the ones who are buying them in large quantities. We are the ones with the power to stop it from happening, the ones who can boycott gas and coal, who can do everything in our power to fund and support renewable energy. It is up to us as individuals to say no to fracking and yes to renewables.
So what can we do?
- Join in with protests where possible
- Follow, like and subscribe to anti-fracking groups online
- Sign petitions
- Start petitions and protests
- Spend our money on renewable energy – either by buying renewable energy in from suppliers, installing wind turbines, solar panels and other relevant equipment on your own property or investing in Community Interest Groups like this one in Brighton.
- Comment upon planning applications relating to Cuadrillas operations
- Contact your local MP’s and voice your concerns as suggested by Friends of the Earth.
- Support businesses which are powered by renewable energy sources
Well by now you know what I think about fracking – I’m firmly against it. How about you – what do you think? Should we be shouting Frack off from the rooftops or are there better arguments out there for it that I I am not taking into account? Please feel free to comment on this below!