It has been upsetting to see and experience the scenes of conflict between police and protestors at the gates of the Kirby Misperton fracking site.
The police have undoubtedly been put in a difficult situation but to step back and look at the bigger picture we must acknowledge that the environmental protestors/protectors have got their feet planted firmly on the moral high-ground. We simply cannot continue to plunder the earth’s resources until we have used up every last drop, and certainly not with the knowledge we have of the damaging environmental impact of fossil fuels. Sustainable energy production is the only sensible way forward and other countries are miles ahead on this, they are consistently out-performing us in terms of harnessing renewables.
It’s not just solar and wind; tidal and wave power in the North Sea could rejuvenate a declining oil industry. Gas from biological sources not only provides fuel but also limits the emissions of methane from plant and animal waste. Many other countries, our Scottish neighbours included, have looked at fracking as an option and firmly rejected it.
There are countless reports of the nightmares that have unfolded in the US, Canada and Australia. My own research two years ago led me to the work of a vet and a pharmacologist in the US (Bamberger and Oswald) who have written extensively on the subject and collated evidence across agricultural, livestock farming and animal and human health sectors. None of it reads well.
The world is facing massive challenges, not least in how to feed, house and prevent disease in this ever-growing population and how to stop the war and conflict we see on a daily basis.
But, if on a community, national and global level we don’t awaken to the idea of looking after this planet for the long haul then everything else becomes somewhat pointless.
Forget fracking...forge a future.