An antidote for green/black propaganda


I recently came across a useful summary from an outfit called FTI Consulting covering opinions on the economics and safety of shale gas from a wide range of authoritative and respected sources.  Given the huge amount of hysterical black propaganda from Green groups, it’s nice to have a bit of sensible, measured and positive comment.  And bear in mind that while FTI may well be working for the industry (I assume so but have no certain knowledge) the sources quoted are not.  Some, like the Institute of Directors, certainly have an interest in energy and related issues and may arguably favour shale gas development for that reason.  Others like The British Geological Survey have no obvious commercial interest in the issue.

I am very conscious that some of the authorities quoted have taken a stance on climate issues with which I and my party take issue.  These include the Grantham Institute, the Royal Society  and, indeed, DECC.  Nonetheless, their views on shale gas are worth noting.  Just because we disagree with them on one issue, we do not necessarily assume that they are wrong on all issues.

I give some snippets that may be of interest, but I do recommend anyone concerned with the shale gas industry to read the whole document.

Jobs: Estimates from the IoD and consultants Pöyry  range in the tens of thousands of jobs created for the UK and up to 800,000 across Europe.  Pôyry predict reductions in import dependence and the IoD expects lower gas prices (than would otherwise be the case).

Environment: Needless to say the sources quoted all subscribe to climate change orthodoxy, and are concerned about CO2 emissions.  DECC believes that local GHG emissions (including any leakage) will represent only a small proportion of the total, which will be dominated by combustion (but will of course reduce emissions to the extent that gas replaces coal).  They expect the total carbon footprint of shale gas to be comparable to that of conventional gas.  The IoD expects a switch from coal to gas to reduce the 29,000 annual UK deaths from poor air quality.  The Grantham Institute (they would, wouldn’t they?) hints at the benefits of shale gas for balancing intermittent renewables.

Safety:  The Royal Society stresses the need for robust implementation and monitoring of regulations, but finds that the risks of contamination from hydraulic fracturing are small.  Well integrity is a more important but still manageable issue.  Public Health England finds a “very low likelihood of groundwater contamination”.

Seismic Risk: Durham University’s Energy Institute says that seismic risks from fracking are not significant compared to the seismic effects of other human activities like mining, or filling reservoirs.  The British Geological Survey “sees no reason why it (fracking) should not go ahead”.  The Royal Society says “Seismic risks are low”.

Water usage: The Royal Society says that water usage “can be managed sustainably”, and looks to increased recycling and re-use of water to reduce consumption.

The broad conclusion from these findings is that fracking is as safe as any other industrial activity (and safer than many).  There is really no basis for local communities to oppose shale gas development – rather they should welcome the associated economic development (the US experience is that property prices increase as shale gas exploitation brings in new businesses, jobs and money, and increases demand for homes).  And the hysterical Green/black propaganda deserves to be ignored.



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8 Responses to An antidote for green/black propaganda

  1. Eric Worrall says:

    My personal view is the brutality of people’s self inflicted suffering will win this battle in the end – but it is going to be a long fight.

    One of the reasons I left Britain is far too many people still believe the green cr@p – even people I know were bashing bankers, and agitating for more eco-crucifixes, to “give us energy independence”.

    But the time will come when the pain will become unendurable, when the hunger in people’s belly, the cold and frostbite, the shocking sight of a dead person in the street, with nobody attending to them, hospital services being completely unavailable, Basics, let along luxuries, being completely unaffordable – will finally force them to question what they are currently utterly determined never to question.

    I’m not brave enough to face that journey. When the food riots start, I shall be too old to fight my way to the front of the group. My heart goes out to those who are trying to make things better, but are caught in this grim journey into the darkness by the momentum of their fellow passengers.

  2. limogerry says:

    Here’s the antidote to some of the propaganda
    Also, here’s some insight into the IPCC courtesy of Canadian investigative journalist Donna Laframboise.

  3. Richard111 says:

    What Eric Worrall said above. With knobs on. I’ve warned my kids. Watch out for street gangs. They will move into the country side when the supermarkets close down.

    • Mike Stallard says:

      Roger, I do not follow the posts above. I was brought up in Peterborough where trees were covered in black greasy grime and so was I. Our black and white cat was just black. I can remember as a lad collecting all the phlegm from a hacking cough in a jam jar – all green! And then there was the thrill of tobacco and picking up fag packets for my collection. Peterborough was on the railway, you see.

      I hope that puts some perspective into the argument. The only two sensible answers I have heard against fracking are these: 1. The fracking companies make all the money and the local communities need a lot more than the measly £100,000,000 pounds (or whatever) is being offered. Actually I do have some sympathy. In some countries the oil wells are milked dry and the local people just get all the inconvenience. 2. The Beeb did manage to produce an American lady who said that water in her local area was full of methane. Of course there was no discussion…

      Look at all the fuss today when the lights went out for a couple of days!

      • Thanks Mike. We in UKIP support a clean environment. But we don’t agree that CO2 causes global warming! The point about “fracking companies make all the money” is often heard, but frankly nonsense. The jobs, the wages, the Treasury Revenues, the balance of payments, the energy security — this is a vast economic opportunity for Britain as a whole. Special incentives for local residents are important, but small compared to the national economic benefit.

  4. Me_Again says:

    ” 29,000 annual UK deaths from poor air quality…”

    Must be cities I suppose. Their own fault then……

  5. Alan Van Der Westhuizen says:

    Hi Roger, I realise you think anything green is bad, but we do have cleaner beaches because of the green flag scheme. And cleaner rivers, where we can actually catch fish again. And some green stuff is good, and we need much more of it; take tidal energy and wave energy for example. And considering all the water we have falling from the sky, we could do much more to promote hydro power; there is a successful scheme in Skipton that supplies many homes. Cheaper and easy to fit schemes like that should be used much more widely.
    I do agree that we should stop using coal if at all possible, and gas is a good fill in, but ultimately, as a long term goal we should be aiming for self sufficiency in energy again, now that North Sea Gas production is falling, as we don’t get enough sun, solar is not the way forward, but hydro schemes, tidal schemes, and wave energy schemes are most definitely the future, and to deny this is to look like a party of dinosaurs. Paying over the odds for Nuclear is just plain idiotic also.
    It would be good if you were at least a bit more honest about the advantages of going green. Best Wishes, Alan

  6. Neil Craig says:

    In a free or even economically efficient society people (companies are made up of people too) should be free to act unless there is an unambiguous greater downside for society. Thus it is not, or at least would not if we were free, be up to us to “prove” shale safe but up to opponents to prove it isn’t.

    When one bears in mind that the “Greens” have been caught lying, time after time, their evidence would have to be rock solid. So far it is almost non-existent.

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