10 reasons to say no to fracking
Here are 10 reasons why you should say no to fracking.
- Climate change. The only way to stop it is to stop burning fossil fuels, not dig up more. Especially when we know only one fifth of the fossil fuels already discovered and owned can be burnt without causing runaway temperature rises and extreme weather.
As former special envoy on climate change John Ashton has said: “You can be in favour of fracking, and you can be in favour of tackling climate change, but you can't be in favour of both.”
- Fracking is bad for your health. New York State banned fracking after the Public Health Commissioner found “serious health risks”.
Breast Cancer UK has concerns about the potentially adverse health effects of increased exposure to harmful chemicals that may occur as a result of fracking. Unfortunately, no one in Government seems to think this is a big deal.
- Everyone else is stopping it. Ok, so not usually a good reason. But when Denton, Texas, known as the "birthplace of fracking" bans it following a town referendum you need to sit up and listen.
Denton joins a long list of places with bans and moratoriums including Germany, France, the Netherlands, and large parts of Canada and the US.
- Nobody likes it. 43% of the country oppose fracking. But where fracking is proposed nearby, it's even more unpopular.
3 times as many people would prefer to live next to a wind farm than a fracking site and 300 local anti-fracking groups have been set up across the country, mainly by people who have never taken such action before.
- A little thing called democracy. Over a quarter of million people (267,933) signed a petition to then Prime Minister David Cameron to ask him to stop fracking.
Even more have signed a petition to MPs to scrap plans to frack under people’s homes without their permission. We are awaiting their response.
- We can use the great British weather as an alternative. Balcombe is a little village in West Sussex that Cuadrilla tried to frack last year. Not only did a coalition of local groups (including Conservatives against fracking) send them packing, but now they have set up their own solar power cooperative to power the village by solar instead.
- Scotland says no. It might just be because I am one, but I've always thought the Scots were a wise bunch. If they don't have to have fracking, why should the rest of the UK?
- There's not much in it for the 99%. First they said it would reduce energy bills, then they said it probably wouldn't. Then they said we could stop importing Russian gas, but it was pointed out we hardly import any anyway.
Then they said it would bring jobs, but the 6-year fracking project proposed in Lancashire would create just 11 jobs at each of the 2 sites. Insulating homes in the North West could create nearly 10,000 jobs in 5 years and cut people's energy bills. Perhaps we should do that instead.
- The Nanas have said no. A group of grandmothers have got together to oppose fracking in Lancashire, and recently occupied a proposed fracking site. Everyone knows you should always do what your grandmother tells you.
- Paris climate talks, December 2015. There are big ambitions from the Paris 2015 climate agreement: let's make sure our own country does its bit to get off fossil fuels.
This is an updated version of a blog first published on 26 January 2015
Subscribe to this blog by email using Google's subscription service