What has developed over the last 24-48 hours is incredibly painful to witness. The government of the United Kingdom, the mouth piece for the British public, have, by way of a “back door measure“, as the guardian refers to it, made a u-turn in its promise to not allow fracking in National Parks.
The words are clever though, “…in National Parks” refers to a way that the drillers would be inside national parks, but by allowing fracking to occur from outside the national parks but drill under them (albeit 1200m), parliament have allowed fracking to occur in our most sacred of spaces.
The are a host of “possible” outcomes to this. The council may not issue a licenses; By the time any progress is made we will realise that this is not economically viable to continue; and there is also the possibility that there will not be large amounts of shale gas.
These, as we can all clearly see, are pitiful excuses to what will possibly be a dangerous game with our priority natural spaces. These spaces have been set aside for everyone to enjoy, for wildlife to thrive and to give the United Kingdom small safe havens from where big industry cannot reach its long arm for wilful gain.
What is insensing the public is not that there needs to be ways to find energy supplies for our futures, but that the government seems to have ignored what the public is asking. That is not in the publics interest. That is against public will and passing through a law that could potentially harm or sensitive environments is wholly reprehensible.
The BBC writes a balance of points to fracking, giving the pros and cons we could expect, you can find that here. One of which says that this only opens a small door as further licences and agreements would still need to be met. Yet this is a small step towards the goal of fracking.
The Dangers of Fracking website lists a multitude of reasons why fracking is dangerous and potentially harmful to the surrounding environment. The fact that normal water supplies could be seriously jeopardized should be reason enough not to allow fracking to go ahead. Wildlife will be effected through this decision irreparably. That’s before we count the cost of people not going to areas that have been decimated by a process untested and potentially threatening.
Ecowatch reported that health in areas where fracking had been carried out in the USA had deteriorated quite substantially. You can read their post here.
If we are looking from an economic reason to frack, we are really only going to see a possible short term gain – IF – gas can be produced to meet demand sufficiently. The long term economic cost will be far more deep reaching. A health system already under pressure will have greater demands to meet. The cost to wildlife could potential be so devastating and our healthy microsystems of plants and tress, mosses and ferns damaged to leave a wasteland that cannot be repaired.
There are two sides to every debate, but the government didn’t even allow for that debate on Thursday 16/12/2015 and that is what is unsettling for those keen to provide a sustainable future for our local environment as well as our wider one too.