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Fracking fears – Time for an alternative perspecti

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On 4 Sep 2013 at 1:48pm Jeremy Clarkson wrote:
Since this seems to have turned into an anti-fracking forum (I miss the Lewes.co.uk one personally) I thought I’d offer an alternative view;
Firstly, fracking is not taking place at Balcombe. They are carrying out preliminary tests to see whether there might be a case for applying for a licence to extract oil via fracking. While there have been a range of scare stories in the press regarding earthquakes, plagues and end-of-the-world scenarios associated with fracking, the connections have yet to be proven. Certainly there is no actual evidence that fracking causes significant harm to the environment (until the extracted oil is burned that is), although I admit that it is likely.
Secondly, we are mostly drivers. Cars and buses allow me the freedom to enjoy Sussex, they bring goods into our town, they export goods from our town, they are utterly essential to our community. If I WERE to choose to attend a demo against the testing in Balcombe, I would, LIKE THE MAJORITY OF PROTESTERS, burn oil in order to get there. Oil provides us with immense opportunities to travel, keep in touch with family and friends, build the homes we live in, get to work so that we can contribute to our community and a host of other genuine positives for our society. Fracking releases formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons that facilitate this and, while I am genuinely concerned about the environment impact it may have, we need to weigh this up against the genuine benefits.
So, perhaps the fracking argument needs an injection of reflection and proportionality. It MAY not be good for the environment, but we benefit from oil in every sphere of our lives and I think that’s worth remembering too.
Fracking fears – Time for an alternative perspective?
Since this seems to have turned into an anti-fracking forum (I miss the Lewes.co.uk one personally) I thought I’d offer an alternative view;
Firstly, fracking is not taking place at Balcombe. They are carrying out preliminary tests to see whether there might be a case for applying for a licence to extract oil via fracking. While there have been a range of scare stories in the press regarding earthquakes, plagues and end-of-the-world scenarios associated with fracking, the connections have yet to be proven. Certainly there is no actual evidence that fracking causes significant harm to the environment (until the extracted oil is burned that is), although I admit that it is likely.
Secondly, we are mostly drivers. Cars and buses allow me the freedom to enjoy Sussex, they bring goods into our town, they export goods from our town, they are utterly essential to our community. If I WERE to choose to attend a demo against the testing in Balcombe, I would, LIKE THE MAJORITY OF PROTESTERS, burn oil in order to get there. Oil provides us with immense opportunities to travel, keep in touch with family and friends, build the homes we live in, get to work so that we can contribute to our community and a host of other genuine positives for our society. Fracking releases formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons that facilitate this and, while I am genuinely concerned about the environment impact it may have, we need to weigh this up against the genuine benefits.
So, perhaps the fracking argument needs an injection of reflection and proportionality. It MAY not be good for the environment, but we benefit from oil in every sphere of our lives and I think that’s worth remembering too.
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 1:52pm Swan Vesta wrote:
At last!! REASON!! Hear hear JC!
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 2:03pm Fossil Free Fuel wrote:
The majority of fracking planned for this country is for GAS and not for oil.If you can run you car on gas you are very unusual.As for earth quakes not being caused by fracking tell that to the people of Fylde or Ohio.See the link below.

Watch the video »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 2:18pm Refraktion wrote:
11 myths debunked.

Check it out here »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 2:25pm Deelite 2 wrote:
If you like driving you'll not want to be in Sussex over the next decade. The roads will be blocked by the hundreds of thousands of tanker journeys required to get the water and chemicals to a site and the gas and poisoned water away.
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 2:43pm Climate Chaos wrote:
The well respected body 'The International Energy Agency' stated in 2012:

"No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2 °C goal2

In other words we must leave 2/3 of fossil fuels in the ground to avoid a 2 degrees Centigrade rise in global temperatures. Latest estimates are that we face a further 2 degrees C rise. But you are probably a climate change denier Clarkson so you can just ignore all this and sink back into the carbon monoxide fug that usually surrounds you.

James Murray of Business Green writes in April 2013 (and with which I concur):

"What will we face in 2050? It is impossible to see the future, but if the environmental projections are even half right it will be daunting. In fact, we already have a taster of some of the pressures to come, given that many of the economic and humanitarian challenges that relate to climate change are already evident. The bulk of the inflationary pressures currently impacting the UK relate to environmental issues as volatile weather and resource scarcity push up the prices of food and key commodities.

With greenhouse gas emissions continuing to rise, the carbon intensity of global energy infrastructure flat-lining, and a political and economic settlement capable of keeping fossil fuels in the ground a long way from being realised, all the best estimates continue to point to average global temperature increases of four degrees plus by the end of the century. The balance of risk suggests that without a global economic revolution or an entirely unanticipated natural phenomena - either of which would have to be so dramatic that they could realistically described as miraculous - the world by mid-century will already have a remarkably hostile climate."

Warnings such as this inevitably attract accusations of scaremongering. Climate sceptics and their allies will continue to argue that none of the worst climate impacts will ever come to pass. I envy them their scientific ignorance and cavalier attitude to risk; envy it and hold it in the highest contempt. As Duncan Clark explained in an excellent article for the Guardian last week detailing our continued failure to stop burning fossil fuels, lower than anticipated levels of climate sensitivity could possibly ride to our rescue, but it would be deeply irresponsible to rely on such an unlikely salvation. "If we are lucky, the impact of burning all that oil, coal and gas could turn out to be at the less severe end of the plausible spectrum," he argued. "But that is hardly reassuring:

it's akin to saying that it is fine to walk blindfolded into a main road since you can't be sure there are any cars coming."
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 2:55pm Calm down dear wrote:
Actually I find Jeremys comments refreshing. He's not denying the impact on the environment, just acknowledging how fossil fuels have benefitted us hugely over the years.
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 3:15pm A Doctor speaks. wrote:
Opiates are pretty good at relieving psychological and physical pain in the short term but lead to addiction, crime and deeply unpleasant death if persisted in.Clarksons observations on oil are banal and commonplace.
Im sure he is highly regarded in whatever pub he sups in but they don't deserve any serious consideration here.
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 3:28pm Rogan Josh wrote:
Environmental damage due to fracking is widely documented even with the gagging clauses forced upon people by the oil and gas companies in the states.
What planet are you living on Clarkson, planet Denial?
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:20pm Myth I wrote:
Myth 1 – Cheaper Energy
Fracking will mean cheaper energy

Check it out here »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:23pm Myth 2 wrote:
Myth 2 – Fracking and jobs
In Cuadrilla’s recently commissioned survey they struggled to get people to identify tangible benefits that might result from fracking. However, it was evident that they had managed to persuade a small percentage (11%) of respondents that their activities would result in more jobs
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:24pm Myth 2 wrote:
Fracking and jobs

Check it out here »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:27pm Myth 3 wrote:
Fracking fluids are harmless

Check it out here »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:29pm Myth 4 wrote:
Fracking boosts the local economy

Check it out here »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:31pm Myth 5 wrote:
Fracking brings energy security.

Check it out here »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:35pm Myth 6 wrote:
Methane pollutes less.

Check it out here »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:37pm Myth 7 wrote:
Fracking is safe

Check it out here »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:39pm Myth 8 wrote:
little water used.

Check it out here »
 
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:40pm Zebedee wrote:
Dingo, there's balance to be had you know. If you get too insistent you'll just encourage people to take and against you and your views (which would be bad).
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:40pm Myth 9 wrote:
Fracking is highly regulated

Check it out here »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:43pm Myth 10 wrote:
fracking requires no subsidy

Check it out here »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:46pm Myth 11 or myth whiplash wrote:
We`ve been fracking for 20 years without any problems

Check it out here »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 4:57pm Myth 12 wrote:
Okay on the one hand there are the 99% of climate change scientists who agree that climate change is man made and likely to be disastrous.Then there are the 1% that think it ain`t. Is that balanced enough for you?
If your Granny fell in the fire would ask a few people in the street what you should do? Would you wait until you had a more "balanced" view before you pulled her out.Of course not.
You usually have some thoughtfull and relevant things to say Zebedee but not this time I`m afraid.
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 5:14pm Myth Whiplash wrote:
The falsely balanced climate change debate.Check out the great video too.

Check it out here »
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 9:12pm Jeremy Clarkson wrote:
As posted some hours ago, I suspect fracking may well be harmful to the environment. As posted some hours ago, I was simply pointing out that fossil fuels have given much to humankind, and that denying that seems similar to the denial I'm being accused of. I believe humans are damaging the planet and believe much of what the research is showing re climate change. I am deeply suspicious of government motives for environment - based taxes but I guess that's another matter. I'm also irritated by the superior tone of many anti-fracking pontificators who fail to accept both their personal impact on the environment nor acknowledge how their own lives have benefitted from fossil fuels. These people can only alienate others from the cause.
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 10:26pm Tired legs wrote:
I'm sorry but your point is so minor. Oil has benefited and now its a threat? Is that it?
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On 4 Sep 2013 at 11:57pm Heaven help us wrote:
Re: Fracking fears – Time for an alternative persputely aware of their impact on the environment and hasn't tried to minimize that impact as best they can.
You obviously have not met many environmentalists, perhaps you should get out more Jeremy?
The situation remains as I am sure you are aware that my refusal to fly or my log burner or my preference for public transport over the car is pretty small beer in the scheme of things. If everyone did these things then perhaps it would make a bit more difference. Our lives though as you are aware are based around the internal combustion engine and the burning of fossil fuels.
There is no doubt that these fossil fuels have been of enormous benefit to us all in all the ways that you have outlined.They are in fact so precious as feed stock for the making of useful chemicals that are irreplaceable in the pharmaceutical and plastics industries that the last thing we should be doing with these rapidly diminishing resources is burning them.
Burning shale gas is exactly what Osborne intends to do, this by any measure is grossly irresponsible .
This emphasis on fracking is as I am sure you are aware directs investment and attention away from the renewables that we desparately need to plan a more sustainable future for ourselves and our kids.
If we appear superior then Ican only apologise. We certainly don't feel superior. We have however researched our subject pretty extensively and it is extremely frustrating to come accros the same old discredited and badly
Informed opinions on aspects of the debate for example that fracking has no adverse environmental effects when all the evidence from across the pond poits to there being major environmental drawbacks and serious risks.
If we across as being hectoring or shrill at times it's because we have seen the future as laughing Lennie Cohen sang "and it's murder.".
We see no possibility at the moment with each climate change emissions target being ignored and CO2 emissions at the disastrous levels of 400 parts per million and climbing.
As for feeling superior it will give me no sense of triumphal satisfaction when our climate system in the not too distant future tips into chaos resulting in death and starvation for millions of us.
There will be no sense of smug satisfaction when the young turn round and say to us you were right all along why did'nt they listen to you?
No sense of superiority just a deep, deep sadness and a profound terror for what is to come.
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On 5 Sep 2013 at 12:01am Malling wrote:
Just seen this thread and tired legs, what's your point? I think jc is making a reasonable point and I'm sick of the superior "tone" of the environmental militia. Get a job /life. There are plenty of people who care about the environment who don't feel the need to bully others with their pompous sermons.
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On 5 Sep 2013 at 12:07am Jeremy Clarkson wrote:
Genuinely grateful to Heaven for at least presenting his /her case in an accessible way without the smug righteousness demonstrated by Myth. You are a good ambassador for the environmental cause, Myth is a bore.
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On 5 Sep 2013 at 1:29am Sick of the lies wrote:
Why do people think that exploration of fracking opportunity is perfectly ok because 'they're not fracking'?
Jeremy, would you be OK for some friends of mine to come round your house and have a quick assessment of whats worth stealing? They don't want to steal anything at this stage, they just want to know if a robbery is worthwhile.
How could you possibly refuse them?
 
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On 5 Sep 2013 at 10:24am Someone else wrote:
Doomed! We're all doomed! Run for the hills!
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On 5 Sep 2013 at 10:27am Bony M wrote:
Scientists say fracking does causes minor earthquakes.

Check it out here »


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You forgot to mention that the earth is flat, Tom more
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