The UK Government’s pursuit of unconventional sources of fossil-fuels and new nuclear, at any costs. Shows clearly, that the Government is not serious about tackling the serious and urgent issue of climate change and climate justice. Using the Police as shock-troops against peaceful protesters, the Government shows, it is only concerned with the interests of corporations. It also highlights what an utter farce COP21 Paris was, as a number of signatories to the agreement, are still pursuing a fossil-fuel powered future! And, lets not forget, the police also, committed acts of environmental vandalism by chopping down trees, they thought, might be used by the protesters! As well as other acts of vandalism by the police and contractor for iGas.
Via the excellent “Salford Star”
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Lord Browne, was Chief Executive of BP from 1995 to 2007 and during his leadership, health and safety management deteriorated. This led to a number of major incidents at BP‘s plants and ultimately the the March 23, 2005, explosion at the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, which killed 15 workers, injured 180 others. He has also been considered, ultimately responsible, for the disaster of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
Instead of being held responsible for this tragic accident and others and put on trial. He sits in the unelected House of Lords, even spending time as a member of the UK Governments Cabinet. Pushing the exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels, through the use of slick water, high pressure horizontal fracturing, ‘fracking’ in the UK. This person has been behind the Government’s message that ‘fracking’ will be carried out safely and will not result in any environmental or health issues! Despite the fact, health and safety in the UK, is now down to self-regulation.
Would you trust anything this person says?
It is accepted that, at the best possible estimates, shale gas will supply the UK, for possibly 15 years. And yet, we have Babs Murphy of The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, stating “It is our responsibility to ensure that the economic benefits [of shale gas] will come to local businesses. We owe it to future generations not to let this opportunities pass by”! So they think, for a short-term ‘gain’, future generations should be ‘inconvenienced’ and suffer the environmental consequences?
The Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) has produced a new report on ‘fracking’ waste water: energy. Stating that the management and disposal of wastewater remains one of the biggest hurdles facing the ‘fracking’ industry. It does mention the possible need of a in some cases a radioactive substances permit will be required, if ‘fracking waste water is re-injected. Has the issue of radioactive waste water been down-played? Because it is classed as NORM, normally occurring radioactive material? We know United Utilities discharged radioactive ‘fracking’ waste water into the Manchester Ship Canal and the EA allowed them to.
And are people aware of the recent Federal Jury judgement: Federal jury awards $4.24 million to dimock families in fracking case
The public inquiry into Cuadrilla’s plans to frack near Blackpool reached its final stages last week with the closing arguments from half the groups involved.
Despite the outcome of the IPCC latest report, COP21 and a new socialist government in Portugal. The new Portuguese Prime Minister says gas and oil exploration in the Algarve is to continue! A group of concerned citizens in the Algarve have been campaigning against the oil and gas companies efforts to explore and exploit potential fossil-fuel deposits. The campaign group Algarve Surfers and Maritime Activities Association (ASMAA) has been very active in raising public awareness of the issue.
These licenses are in areas that are environmentally sensitive, especially those off-shore and onshore the Algarve. With parts of the Algarve being designated areas of Natura 2000 sites. Also Algarve is economically dependent on fishing, sea salt, agriculture and tourism. All of which would be adversely affected by oil and gas exploitation, even without any accidents occurring. During off-shore exploration, seismic and sonar activity, have an extremely detrimental impact on marine life.
Our oceans are already being badly affected by pollution, global warming, acidification, overfishing and even excess carbon dioxide. Carbon Dioxide intoxication was also covered by Portuguese papers: Peixes podem ficar intoxicados em meados deste século. We are already feeling the affects of climate change, with major changes in our weather. JP Sottile, writing for the Truthout magazine puts the argument against further oil and gas exploitation quite well: Mother Nature’s invisible hand strikes back against the carbon economy?
I would call on the new Portuguese Socialist Government to cancel these oil and gas contracts. And to revitalise the last Socialist Governments investment in renewable energy developments and energy efficiency. The International Energy Agency (IEA) once praised Portugal’s efforts to strengthen its energy policy: Portugal 2009 review. Though I would not agree with all the IEA’s recommendations, especially with regard to privatisation.
I have just seen an article about an incident, which could have been the North Seas’ Deepwater Horizon, but for favourable winds. The article in the Guardian does mention petroleum condensate causing damage to marine life: Total fined 1m North Sea gas leak. But the official press release from the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) does not mention any environmental impacts of the release: Total ep UK ltd., received record fine following largest ever North Sea gas release. There was another incident reported earlier this year: Shell fined. This is how the incident was reported in the Guardian, which includes other failures by Shell: Shell North Sea oil leak. Another major incident in a mature oil and gas field, by a major oil and gas company. There a numerous incidents that occur in the oil & gas fields, that the public never hear about: HSE offshore statistics. So how can any politician allow oil and gas production in environmentally sensitive areas or even unconventional sources, with a clear concisions?
Even before the COP21 Paris event, some UK investors were calling on companies and local authorities to divest from fossil fuel companies. With groups such as Go fossil free and Friends of the Earth (FOE) pushing the message to divest.
Also with organisations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calling for most of the remaining fossil fuels to remain in the ground in their latest report IPCC 5th report. And Carbon Tracker’s report on Stranded assets danger zone, as well as others. The UK Government has increased subsidies for fossil fuels and pushing ahead with ‘fracking’.
The Government states it needs ‘fracking’ to ensure security of supply. But has shut down the last deep coal mine, in favour of imported coal? It is also heavily reliant on imported biomass, for incineration and co-firing? And new nuclear will be dependant on imported uranium imports?
We constantly hear from our politicians, mass media and climate change denialists, that renewables are heavily subsidised. When the truth is exactly the opposite, with fossil fuels and nuclear being heavily subsidised at the expense of the tax-payer and energy customer.
Despite all the evidence, that shows our continuing burning of fossil-fuels and biomass, is leading towards catastrophic climate change. The fossil-fuel industry continues with its quest to extract the remaining fossil-fuels. This is despite the fact we passed the point of Peak Oil some time ago. These industries like BP, pulled out of any alternative investments, such as for renewable energy and now find themselves locked into stranded assets. As do Governments (local and national), insurance companies, pension funds, banks and investment funds.
There have been several reports on the economic impact of climate change, including Climate change slams global economy study. And despite reports that ask the question, will the frackers go bust?
The UK Government is pushing ahead with fracking. An update from Recent fracking research round-up from the UK. They are also pushing ahead with burning bio-mass, despite it being shown to be as bad as coal, especially to human health: Pulp fiction.
And this is all happening, despite the Brundtland Report published in 1987, pointing out:
31. The objective of sustainable development and the integrated nature of the global
environment/development challenges pose problems for institutions, national and
international, that were established on the basis of narrow preoccupations and
compartmentalized concerns. Governments’ general response to the speed and scale of global
changes has been a reluctance to recognize sufficiently the need to change themselves. The
challenges are both interdependent and integrated, requiring comprehensive approaches and
Nearly 30 years later, after many different conferences, the Governments of the Global North’s response has not changed. They have refused, steadfastly, to answer the ‘Call to Action’. Even when the report stated:
32. Little time is available for corrective action. In some cases we may already be close to
transgressing critical thresholds. While scientists continue to research and debate causes and
effects, in many cases we already know enough to warrant action. This is true locally and
regionally in the cases of such threats as desertification, deforestation, toxic wastes, and
acidification; it is true globally for such threats as climate change, ozone depletion, and species
loss. The risks increase faster than do our abilities to manage them.
And we have Governments like the UK’s, stating we need shale and coal-bed methane gas, as a bridging fuel? Thirty years ago, the report made this observation about fossil fuels:
17. In terms of pollution risks, gas is by far the cleanest fuel, with oil next and coal a poor third.
But they all pose three interrelated atmospheric pollution problems: global warming, urban
industrial air pollution, and acidification of the environment. Some of the wealthier
industrial countries may possess the economic capacity to cope with such threats. Most
developing countries do not.
Is it the sentence; ‘Some of the wealthier industrial countries may possess the economic capacity to cope with such threats’. That makes the Governments of the Global North, continue with ‘business-as-usual’?
A blog from Barton Moss anti-fracking camp: