“Dear Aunty, is fracking for gas really ‘ecocidal’?”

My, my, what a strong and frightening word that is…but, no, it’s not my dears.

The people who use this phrase to describe the potential effects of fracking for natural gas do so, sweeties, simply to stir up more opposition.

What is the real basis of this opposition though?

My piece on Nimbyism in the debate acknowledges that it’s OK to say no to fracking because you don’t want it near the places you live and socialise, dears, and there are other legitimate arguments against as well.

Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of people are arguing against it on purely ideological grounds: some are opposed to any form of fossil fuel use, others feel that renewables offer a chance of decentralised local power generation and that this is somehow more democratic, others think uncaring big corporates stand to make a lot of money (anti capitalist sentiment) from fracking and that this is somehow a bad thing, others are politically motivated in their opposition.

Now, my lovelies, whilst there’s nothing at all wrong with holding these sorts of views and promoting them, it’s wrong to think that ideology alone can somehow magically meet the UK’s energy requirements.

It’s also quite wrong to hijack the shale gas debate just to further your ideological beliefs, at the expense of the nation as a whole – most of whom probably don’t share your views, it has to be said.

There are worrying signs that local communities, who have legitimate (but easily answered) concerns about fracking for gas, cherubs, are being infiltrated by ideologists. You can see it in the way that previously ordinary residents have adopted the language and campaigning tactics of hard line protestors of various hues.

Take this, for example, sweeties: Balcombe resident Louisa Delpy took to Twitter recently to suggest that dead bats are dropping from the skies, with the suggestion that fracking could be to blame. But, as she evidently knows, there was no fracking for gas taking place in Balcombe at the time, just test drilling for oil, and so her batty tweet was clearly aimed at creating a false impression. Louisa previously – and within days of drilling in Balcombe commencing – posted photos of dirty water in a bath and attempted to link this to fracking also.

Then there’s this tweet from RAFF in Lancashire. Resident’s Action on Fylde Fracking appears to be made up of largely white, middle aged and middle class, semi-retired residents from Lytham and St Annes that are opposed to fracking in their area. You’d expect them to be mild mannered in their opposition, and to begin with my dears, they were, but lately they’ve begun to use increasingly aggressive language – the ‘bastards’ they refer to are Cuadrilla.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that both Louisa Delpy and RAFF associate with @sandyd68, both in person and on Twitter. A quick look at her timeline, sweeties, will reveal that she has quite anarchistic tendencies. It’s not that long ago that her Twitter banner image was a cushion bearing the initials ‘ACAB’ – or, for those not old enough to remember the Miner’s Strike, ‘All Coppers Are Bastards’.

She and others like her are the hard line types that, frankly, just seem disaffected by the world around them and want to protest at anything that doesn’t fit into their world view dears. She often talks about ecocide and extreme energy, but I think it’s a warped ideology that drives her. I say this, pumpkins, because whilst she opposes fracking for gas and often cites climate concerns in doing so, she also opposes the development of clean renewable wind power off the coast of Brighton…which at best just means she’s a NIMBY and, at worst, an objector for the sake of objection.

There really is no reason to believe that fracking in the UK will bring untold environmental harm, and there is certainly no risk of widespread ‘ecocide’ that some would try to have us all believe, darlings.

Until next time xxx


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