I’ve had a short conversation on the Greenpeace site about Fracking. Here is my latest comment which deserves a place of it’s own on this blog as its a full comprehensive rant and highlights my views about fracking and climate change. Its a reply so please visit the site and see the full conversation if you want to understand why I’ve listed the points below.
Pollution of water is irreversible. Drain, filter, the water. If the bad stuff is in the soil, remove the soil. Or stop the polluted water getting into the drinking system. All possible and already being done.
Millions of gallons. Yep, the same amount as used in a few leisure center pools. More is wasted in leaks every day than would be used by all the fracking wells in the country. Millions sounds scary, but a million gallons is the amount used not necessarily the actual amount of water. What do I mean by that? I mean that the water is recycled, it’s not pumped through and then drained away. A lot of the water does stay in the well, but you’re complaining about water in the UK? You do know how wet it gets!
Gas prices. Same thing will lower prices here in the UK. For the same reason. Gas is not easily transported. It can be compressed into LNG and shipped but that’s expensive compared to piping it. We have the pipeline infrastructure to pipe it around the country. And I thought Greenpeace was all about local energy. Our own gas will mean less shipping in of LNG into Milford Haven Port.
Tremors. I will say again, the tremors are very small. More damage to houses comes from trucks and heavy trains than from fracking every could. Sure, a few houses claim to have cracks from Cuadrilla’s drilling and there might be a case for some of them. But the amount of damage caused is infinitesimally small compared to damage from all other causes.
Industrialisation. Whilst a well is being drilled, there is a lot of activity but when finished and for the next few decades as the gas comes out of the fracked well there is little sign, just a small “christmas tree”. So the “industrialisation” that you complain about lasts a few months at most, then nothing for years. There is more industrialisation from industrial estates than from fracking wells. A classic case being that of the next site that you want to stop, that of Barton. I’ve been there, I know it well. It next to the motorway, next to the airport, next to a large industrial factory, near to huge amount of industrial factories. Noise, pollution, industrialisation arguments will just not work with that site. That’s why you pick on pretty sites like Balcombe.
I see any sensible human as recognising that we live in a modern world. Our world is built on energy. We got here because of our energy use. The more we have the better we live. We aren’t in the middle ages anymore – though that’s what you seem to want from the impression I get from your campaigns. I would love to see a more nuclear power stations and more efficient use of hydrocarbon energy, but no way will I want to live in a country powered only by wind and solar. Remember the 70s power cuts – that’s what a reliance on wind and solar would provide. Not unless you cut the population of the UK down by half or more – like David Attenborough’s wish.
As for climate change. Yes its happening. The climate changes all the time. How much is man made? I don’t know. It could be all, it could be a tiny amount. But how do we solve this problem. Do we throw our hands up in the air and start screaming for everyone to stop burning gas and oil and switch to solar and wind – at great cost both financially and in human terms. Or do we stop and think and look at what problems could be caused and work our way round them. We also stop and see if there are any benefits. In other words we do a proper cost benefit analysis. So rather than throwing money at NGOs like Greenpeace and just about any other organisation who seem to use it to hype up the scare stories even more I would prefer the money to actually be spent on stuff like removing housing from flood plains, building nuclear, designing products that make more efficient use of energy. Stuff like the iPhone is more efficient in power use than the first mobile phone. Stop sucking the money from taxpayers and paid out by governments and let people spend their own money. People are a lot better at looking after their own money than someone else’s which is what the staff in government do.
The image is of 11 fracking wells in Germany surrounded by the blight on the landscape of dozens of windturbines.