The message is clear: fracking is bad. The general public in the UK seems to think so, yet the government isn’t listening.
In blockbuster films, it’s always clear who is the baddie, in real life it doesn’t tend to be so black and white. Unless we’re talking about fracking. Fracking is bad, there is no debate.
Here is why: Fracking is a way of extracting oil or gas from tiny fissures in shale rock underground. It involves drilling deep down and then pumping water, sand and chemicals down at high pressure to push apart the tiny fractures in the rock and release the gas. This is bad news for two main reasons: first of all the process of fracking is dangerous, it can cause seismic activity, contaminate water and is a potential health threat. And secondly we need to move away from a fossil fuel economy, not find new ways to extract it. I’m sure there is still plenty of oil and gas to be found around the world, but if we want to meet climate change targets it is vital that we leave it where it is.
Instead of spending fortunes developing technology for new techniques like fracking, we need to be spending it on developing renewable energies, reducing energy consumption and the storage of energy. Politicians are quick to defend fracking by saying it will boost the economy, yet we can also boost it by investing in green energy and creating green jobs.
So what can we do? We need to be constantly pushing back, letting the government know we don’t want fracking to happen, ever, anywhere. Any petition you can sign, sign it, and if it’s happening near you, look out for groups you can join. You can switch your electricity and gas providers to a 100% renewable energy one (see previous article). If there is no demand for oil and gas they will stop looking for it! And you can spread the word. The more people that know about fracking and understand why it’s bad, the more pressure the government will be under to ban it once and for all.