Thanks to Twitter, I was alerted to an online discussion on the Guardian website yesterday, prompted by statements of opinion by Mark Lynas (freelance journalist/author) and Dr David Santillo (Greenpeace Scientist). As discussed with a commenter on this blog (Lionel) yesterday, I decided to get involved; and to try and contact Dr Santillo personally, via email: ———– Dear Dr Santillo, Re: The discussion on the Guardian website today regarding Fracking I am 100% opposed to fracking; but I think Greenpeace should move on from discussing the possible immediate environmental risks of doing it. Hence the comment that I posted earlier. When will environmentalists stop arguing about whether fracking is inherently dangerous (because of its immediate and localised impacts when poorly engineered and/or executed)… and start focusing on the fact that it is intrinsically dangerous (because we need to stop finding evermore esoteric and unconventional fossil fuel sources to exploit)…? Apart from this, whilst I would not want to condone the way in which at least one commenter on the Guardian website today has questioned the relevance of your background, this does beg the question as to whether Greenpeace could make use of someone with my qualifications and experience? Yours hopefully, etc.. ————- Having failed to get a response, I telephoned Greenpeace today, and was referred to a Press Release published on their website yesterday, which is indeed very interesting – because it includes information obtained via Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. ‘Greenpeace on lifting of fracking moratorium’ is worth reading in full but, if you are short of time, here are the highlights:
- Fracking is a dangerous fantasy.
- Just because it may be viable in the US does not mean it will be viable here.
- Energy analysts agree that shale gas will do little or nothing to lower bills.
- It is a massive gamble and consumers and the climate will end up paying the price.
Greenpeace FOI requests have established that, as early as last Spring, the Environment Agency issued a high-level briefing to the Prime Minister regarding their concerns of threats to drinking water near proposed fracking sites in Sussex. Clearly, such concerns have been trumped by the climate change sceptics and/or economic rationalists in the Conservative Party. A full Greenpeace briefing on fracking can be found here: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/document/shale-gas-silver-bullet. ———— UPDATE: 17 Dec 2012 – Greenpeace UK also advised me to keep an eye on their Energydesk page – for updates on all things related to UK energy policy.