Air emissions, Economic impact, Environmental controls, Jobs, Local Impacts, Noise, Raw materials, Resource use, Traffic, Waste storage, Water

“Dear Aunty, have you really had a change of heart about the F-word?”

Well, yes, I have to admit that I have dears. It seems that I have completely overlooked the many dangers.

Let me tell you what I have discovered about this industry, that makes it such a great threat to our way of life.

Land grab

This industry will continue to consume vast tracts of our countryside, with ramshackle roads built to accommodate it’s heavy machinery cross-crossing fields. On average, around 33% of available land is sacrificed to it worldwide.

Heavy goods vehicles on our rural roads

Getting materials to and from the various sites that support this industry requires vast numbers of road tanker and other HGV journeys on our little rural roads, flowerpots. On top of this, there is the machinery and equipment that’s needed to make the industry function.

Methane emissions [1]

A potent greenhouse gas, albeit with a shorter lifespan in the atmosphere than CO2, this industry has a recognised problem with fugitive methane emissions but does very little to try and control them. My estimates suggest, my loves, that it could be responsible for over 200 million kg of methane annually in the UK alone. Worldwide, including the US, it could account for as much as 4% of GHG emissions.

Surface water pollution [2]

According to Environment Agency and Defra guidance that I’ve been able to obtain, it seems our regulators already know that this industry is prone to releasing highly polluting materials into rivers and streams – some of which is simply allowed to wash off land and through soil, dears.

Chemical use [3]

As suspected by many, this industry uses some very nasty chemicals that are transported neat through our villages and that have been linked to all sorts of harms, including cancer. Worse still, pumpkins, many of these chemicals are almost certain to get into the human food chain.

Water consumption [4]

According to a report by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, sweeties, the water demand of this industry is colossal – worldwide, accounting for 70% of all the water used by humans

Dangerous wastes [2]

I’ve discovered, poppets, that this industry produces very large quantities of liquid wastes that, if spilled into watercourses, can have a very profound impact – causing significant fish kills and affecting downstream abstraction. In fact, anybody drinking affected water will be made seriously ill.

Worker safety [5]

The industry has a terrible track record for worker safety, cherubs, with numerous serious accidents and even fatalities every year. If they can’t take care of their own people, how can they be trusted with the safety of the public?

Jobs [6]

From what I now gather, dears, this industry relies on low-skilled workers, with lots of them being performed by a migrant workforce from outside the UK – with more than 80% expected to be migrants at peak.

Yes, sweeties, the F-word most definitely does need to be given serious pause for thought.

Because, as you can see, FARMING (not FRACKING) is not without risk and the jobs benefits you might expect it to create are not necessarily felt by UK residents.

And guess what, my loves?

That’s right. There’s a lot of farming going on in Lancashire right now, and in Sussex.

Rise up. Educate, agitate and resist.

Or not.

Until next time xxx

[1] http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.METH.AG.ZS

[2] http://adlib.everysite.co.uk/resources/000/252/413/water_air_soil_code_2009.pdf

[3] http://www.livestrong.com/article/199337-how-herbicides-affect-people/

[4] http://www.imeche.org/docs/default-source/reports/Global_Food_Report.pdf

[5] http://www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture/hsagriculture.htm

[6] http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1083134/bitter_harvest_how_exploitation_and_abuse_stalks_migrant_workers_on_uk_farms.html

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4 thoughts on ““Dear Aunty, have you really had a change of heart about the F-word?”

  1. Aren’t the words “energy poverty” bandied about in the UK? Aren’t energy policies driving the costs up? Didn’t I just read about senior citizens’ death rates increasing because they can’t afford energy? So, does Aunty wish to continue that?
    The blog is too cute by half.

  2. Ha ha! Very good.
    What also makes me laugh is when people complain about ‘industrialising the countryside’ when gas extraction (or anything really) is proposed. It just shows that these complainers don’t realise that the countryside is already a vast industrial estate.
    Keep up the good work!

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