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to think people should be more concerned and better informed about this...

48 replies

frazzled1772 · 07/06/2013 10:57

It will effect tens of thousands of people in the uk.
It was mentioned on question time last night and clearly decision makers and others have no idea of the risks of this process.
Take a few moments to find out about it and form an opinion please.

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flatpackhamster · 07/06/2013 11:09

The only opinion I can form from reading it is that you are scaremongering.

Fracking hasn't caused earthquakes in the UK. There have, it's true, been tiny, barely detectable tremors.

Taps haven't been set on fire as a result of fracking. The taps are supplied by springs which have a high proportion of dissolved methane in them.

Fracking is fantastic news for us. It means we won't have to have electricity rationing, energy bills will be lower, our balance of payments will improve because we're not importing Russian gas, and there's a host of other benefits - lots of skilled engineering work, relatively small scale pollution compared to wind turbines (check out the acid leaching process used to obtain the rare earths to build the batteries), etc. Much of the fracking will take place in parts of the country where they're desperate for jobs (NE England). Gas fired power stations are clean and cheap and quick to build.

It's all good. Unless you're an ecomentalist.


WestieMamma · 07/06/2013 11:16

YABU to assume people aren't concerned because they're uninformed. I'm not concerned because I AM informed. Perhaps more than most. Definitely more than I want to be (married to an industrial scientist uber-nerd).


frazzled1772 · 07/06/2013 11:33

So is all the negative publicity just made up then?

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lljkk · 07/06/2013 11:47

I wouldn't mind some scaremongering about what's wrong with encouraging over-dependence on gas as energy source. Not that I'm against all development of gas resources, but shale gas extraction is being held up as a panacea, especially by Climate Change Deniers. Even putting the CC debate aside, gas dependency will lead to higher prices in real terms and less energy security in the long run for the UK. Loads of economists & strategists saying this, but folk don't want to listen.


lljkk · 07/06/2013 11:54

Timely Blog entry.

New Statesman, you know, that bastion of hippies that it is.

Shale gas is not a game-changer.


frazzled1772 · 07/06/2013 12:01

lljkk - fracking appears to be a relatively short sighted solution that is being leapt at. There seems to be many aspects of this process that are being overlooked.
WestieMamma - please share your knowledge
Flatpack - should fracking be allowed to take place in an area of outstanding natural beauty?
Small scale pollution - how small scale? What is an acceptable level of pollution? The Balcombe drilling site is in a highly populated area - less than three miles to the nearest village as well as the local river and reservoir. There is not a great shortage of jobs in the home counties.
If it's so great why do have some countries have a moratorium on fracking in place?

OP posts:

frazzled1772 · 07/06/2013 12:04

cross posted lljkk! sorry just checking your links now!

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frazzled1772 · 07/06/2013 12:11

And btw flatpack I am not an ecomentalist by any standards. I am just concerned about a process that seems to be government backed but which is still appears to be experimental and with significant risks attached to it. I am not convinced that it is "small scale" pollution.

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amicissimma · 07/06/2013 12:28

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

frazzled1772 · 07/06/2013 12:54

What facts amicissima?

The link here questions the validity of the facts we know about fracking.

To quote Aaron Bernstein, associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health from the article:

Non-disclosure agreements "have interfered with the ability of scientists and public health experts to understand what is at stake here.?

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that shows that the full extent of the risks of fracking is not yet fully documented or understood.

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WestieMamma · 07/06/2013 23:02

Fracking may seem experimental to you, but it isn't. It is a well established process which has been going on for over a 100 years.


goneHaywire · 07/06/2013 23:24

I recommend watching a documentary called "Gasland". There are people in the US that can light their tap water on fire because of fracking!!!


DrSnowman · 07/06/2013 23:41

I think that we need to be careful of the fraking debate, I think that earthquakes in the UK are a very remote threat. The UK is a very stable area of land which has not seen major earthquake or volcano activity for a very long time. So geologically it is close to dead, thus we do not need to worry ourselves too much about the earth shaking.

The reason why an earthquake occurs is that mother nature causes energy to build up in the rocks under our feet. The longer the energy has to build up the greater the potential earth quake will be. After A-bomb tests in Nevada some minor earthquakes have occurred. Maybe these bomb trials may reduce the risk of a larger earth quake by resetting the rocks in the ground.

I also think we need to be careful about the fraking question for another reason. Since the 1970s a big movement has occurred where big industry is automatically viewed as bad and small scale organic lentil weaving is automatically good. This is a load of nonsense, but a large minority of society follow this fool's errand.

The thing is that drilling for oil / gas, building cars, operating airliners, making agrochemicals (like pesticides) and nuclear activities are things which can only be done by big industry as a large capital investment is needed.

I suspect that if a small cottage collective were making MOX pellets in a shack in their back garden, making weedkiller in the garage and drilling for oil on their allotment (using fracking to increase their yield) then the small is wonderful lobby which is currently very critical of these industrial activities would be singing their praises.


frazzled1772 · 09/06/2013 13:17

I wouldn't be happy at all with lentil weavers fracking. It s not bad because it s a huge company doing it. It s bad because the true extent of the damage tracking can cause is not fully understood yet it s being hailed as the solution to our energy problems

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frazzled1772 · 09/06/2013 13:22

Sorry got stopped in my tracks.. Westie where has fracking being going on for a hundred years and on what scale? I would be very happy to hear a successful account of safe fracking as they are due to start exploratory fracking two miles from my Sussex home anytime now.

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frazzled1772 · 09/06/2013 13:25

And by all accounts this could just be the start of it. My understanding is that 100 s of wells across Sussex and Surrey could be drilled.

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JuliaScurr · 09/06/2013 14:59


LoopyLooplaHoop · 09/06/2013 15:05

YABU for writing an OP without explaining what it's about. Glad the others did.


DrSnowman · 09/06/2013 15:35

Well the first fraking of an oil well was done in 1859 using explosives, one method is to drop explosives down an oil well to crack the rocks near the well. For details see


TiggyD · 09/06/2013 15:41

OMG! I want to make fire shoot out my taps!

Fracking sounds really cool! Even the name 'Fracking' sounds edgy and brilliant, and the idea of making the country shake is great.

Cheap fuel for years and years. Hooray!!!


WestieMamma · 09/06/2013 15:44

Westie where has fracking being going on for a hundred years and on what scale?

They began fracking at Caddo-Pine Island oil field in 1905. It has 23 wells and has so far produced 300 million barrels of oil and gas.


MalcolmTuckersMum · 09/06/2013 15:47

Do you live in Balcombe OP? What do the locals think?


frazzled1772 · 09/06/2013 17:09

Thanks Westie. It seems there are there are potentially 244 sites across Sussex/ Surrey - the Weald Basin, that maybe suitable for a well. That's significantly larger than the 23 at Caddo Pines - that worries me.

The fracking process these days now involves a huge range of chemicals which would not have been used 100 years ago.That worries me too. They weren't drilling 1000s of feet of pipes and flushing these chemicals through them - what if the pipes crack/ leak?

I do live very close to the Balcombe site. Locally opinions are I would say largely against, however many people are trusting the County Council to protect our interests and have adopted the stance that if the council say it's ok then it probably is. There is some opposition with people asking for a moratorium on fracking until more is known about the risks.
There are a couple of protestors outside the site today - the first ones as far as I know.

It appears that the full extent of damage to human health is unknown.See my previous link as an example of this :


I can't help but feeling a bit like a canary being dangled down a mineshaft.

Earthquakes and flaming taps are not my main concerns. There is much anecdotal evidence of health problems and environmental damage where fracking has taken place.

Thanks for all the responses.

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frazzled1772 · 09/06/2013 17:30

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KittensoftPuppydog · 09/06/2013 17:38

Twiggy, really cool eh? You probably won't be able to drink the water either! Really really cool.

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