Friday, 14 August 2015

To Frack Or Not To Frack

I have been following the mucky history of 'fracking' for some time on The Diane Rehm Show. (Regular readers know I get a lot of my foresight from American Public Radio, because whatever horrors are visited on our cousins in the USA, inevitably cross the Atlantic ... ) The promise that fracking was 'safe' because the carcinogens added to the high pressure water jets that break the shale rocks to release the gas, would not pollute drinking water, turned out to be undeliverable. "Ah yes!" The oil industry reassures us, "Faulty kit, not dangerous practice!" Well, really, if the oil giants couldn't get something as important as public health right straight away, why trust them with a second bite of the cherry?
And it's happening. Here it comes. Our lovely government that promised local autonomy is now saying, "Except when you don't allow fracking!" So just wait for it ... Some of our most beautiful landscapes will be despoiled, and the lives of many of our citizens disrupted by the roads that have to be laid to accommodate the heavy plant that has to go in and out, by those very goings in and out, and inevitably, someone, somewhere will get a dose of something nasty and everyone in government will be shocked and dismayed, like they didn't see THAT one coming. ...
The best science says we can't take out of the ground any more of the greenhouse-gas emitting hydrocarbons without destroying the biosphere. The legacy we leave to our descendants, if we carry on like this, if we allow fracking, is a dying planet. But hey! Politicians only think in bursts of five years, and crossing their fingers, they hope the mess they create now, will either go away, or get blamed on someone else ... And now, who knows? With luck, there might not be anyone left to blame them anyway!
My hope lies in a massive awakening of consciousness in the sleeping populace. I thought that very unlikely until tens of thousands of disenfranchised Brits joined the Labour Party to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Who is a both red AND green. You should hear the establishment squeal! They didn't see THAT one coming either.
To destroy the planet for short-term gain is immoral. Corbyn offers a real alternative to the short-sighted adherence to unbridled self-interest that dogs the current political system. He might not be able to stop this  juggernaut, but he will stand in its way. Let's face it, someone has to. I, for one, will stand with him.

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