At the COP21 meeting last year David Attenborough quite rightly referred to fossil fuel proponents as the modern day moral equivalents of slave traders. I say quite rightly because disagreeing with whatever David Attenborough says would be the moral equivalent of punching the Dalai Lama in the face. Dave’s had a really good look around the World, he knows what he’s on about and he’s a bloody nice fella.
Like slave traders, oil and gas companies will descend upon a perfectly peaceful community and terrorise it.
This is precisely what happened for two whole years at a beautiful little spot in Cheshire by the name of Upton. That was until last week when frackers iGas announced that they will not now be drilling at the Upton site as it doesn’t meet the company’s “criteria for commercial development.” Now bear in mind that just a handful of days ago over £200,000 was spent on an immense 200 Police officer and high court bailiff operation to forcefully remove an Anti Fracking Community Protection Camp from the field that was due to host the dark satanic drills. You could accept that a highly indebted company with crippling upfront expenses and not a drop of gas so far exploited would go to extreme levels of expense just days before a report is due out determining that they don’t need to but that would be ascribing an eye watering level of incompetence to what our government keep telling us is a gold standard industry.
Of course an alternative possibility would be that iGas have finally understood that it wasn’t just a Community Protection Camp that they we’re dealing with but an entire highly organised and highly motivated local community and they just didn’t fancy all of the hassle. Add into the equation that the site is right next to Chester Zoo and the fact that the intended field is also possibly the equivalent of Mecca for highly protected Great Crested Newts and the excuse of commercial viability looks as likely as an excuse of not wanting to drill there for fear of awakening the Kraken.
No matter how humiliating and embarrassing the excuse may look the alternative would be even more devastating. To admit that the local community had seen them off would be a cataclysmic blow to iGas and the industry as a whole. Long gone are the days of its former CEO Ian Austin testifying to a House of Lords committee that a social license would be required to operate in any community but it would indicate a complete sea change to say that they’re now going to only terrorise communities that put up little resistance to them. Now we really would be in the days of the slave traders picking on weak and easily exploitable communities.
Fracking was inevitably going to go this way in the UK and it was only the detached arrogance of the early industry planners that allowed them to even consider putting drill pads right next to housing estates. Some places will be easy pickings, others will resist the drills by any means possible. Some places will have minimal social cohesion such as where the drill has just strolled in at Horse Hill in the Surrey Stockbroker belt but if they try fracking anywhere near the Forest of Dean it will be like the siege of the Alamo.
Strong social cohesion is why the fracking industry is getting such a right royal shellacking in Lancashire where the next round of this monumental battle is due to be fought through the rest of February into March.
Lancashire is about to be beamed back into the 1950’s and the era of the Stalin show trials with a fracking inquiry the result of which has already been determined.
Even Jennifer Mein the leader of Lancashire County Council seems to be blissfully unaware that we now live in a back to the future fascist state appealing to stoney faced apparatchiks over a decision that’s already been made.
In poll after poll fracking proves to be as popular as a night stuck in a lift with Jeremy Hunt with a recent Manchester Evening News poll recording an astonishing 97% against fracking, one of the rare occasions when Mancs have agreed upon anything. Even the Government’s own regular DECC poll shows a tiny and ever declining level of support for fracking with the vast majority showing a preference for renewable forms of energy confirming that democracy and fracking were separated at birth and are unlikely to ever have a reunion.
All of this is in the face of ever worsening news for fracking which like our recent foreign military ventures is only going to be more damaging the longer that it goes on. Ironically, since the people of Lancashire decided that fracking was a really stupid idea it’s been either banned or halted in virtually every nation that surrounds us with the French courts recently dismissing the last American frackers plea of “but it’s SO unfair” and the Dutch Government deciding that it would be equally unfair to poison its own citizens. The State of Oklahoma is now going through a fracking earthquake epidemic usually suffering 2 a year, last year they suffered almost 1000 quakes with Oklahomans now living in fear of the big one! Worst of all is the unreported environmental catastrophe at Porter Ranch in the northern suburbs of the great global metropolis of Los Angeles where a gas leak has lead to a state of emergency being declared with thousands of people being evacuated and folk living in daily fear of a cataclysmic explosion. But of course fracking and gas storage is all perfectly safe according to the Tories.
The biggest change since Lancastrians ditched fracking was the global gathering at Paris for COP21 where the whole World decided that we should strive to keep global temperature rises to within 1.5°C of pre industrial levels. This included our government as part of what was called “The High Ambition Coalition” who to confirm new levels of doublespeak returned to the UK to announce a whole new tranche of fracking licences. Regardless of the band of Tory lunatics playing the kazoo on the deck of the Titanic the World has effectively agreed to ban any new forms of fracking, indeed only a small percentage of currently known fossil fuel reserves can be burned if we are to stand any chance of keeping under that 1.5°C target.
We the people of Lancashire will carry on doing our bit to fight climate meltdown especially as much of our County is at or near sea level and it would be highly lemming like not to. The sham inquiry that’s about to happen will be yet another huge recruiting sergeant bringing in hordes of folk who aren’t particularly bothered about fracking or climate change but will abhor the appalling lack of democracy involved. And more British families, like at Upton, will be overjoyed and celebrating as the fracking Wolf is kept away from their door in places as far wide as North Yorkshire and Dorset as the modern day slave traders are ruthlessly driven out of business in a soon to be frack free British Isles.
Author: Smokin’ Joe Brotherton
Follow on Twitter @MancunianSpring
Ordinary everyday folk in Lancashire are fighting for their Children against the multi billion dollar Oil & Gas industry on the usual shoestring budget and could really do with our help…..
Thank you ☺ x
***THIS just in…..
Tory Police & Crime Commish goes ballistic at iGas calling their nonsense out and askin’ for a coin…