How inspiring it was to take part in the anti-fracking demonstration at The Spa in Scarborough on Monday.
People of goodwill from across the north of England assembled to confront the fracking industry at their conference and say: “You are not welcome here.” One of the banners read:
‘Frackers are crackers’. It’s no joke - fracking is a completely irrational policy.
According to the Global Humanitarian Forum (former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s think-tank), climate change is already killing around 300,000 people annually. The Royal College of Physicians estimates that about 40,000 people die prematurely in the UK every year due to air pollution. Scientists are telling us that the vast majority of conventional fossil fuels must remain in the ground if we are to have a chance of averting a climate catastrophe. Shale gas from fracking is an unconventional fossil fuel, not even included in those projections.
But these statistics do not worry the fracking industry. They appear hell-bent on creating even more air pollution and climate chaos with their extreme and toxic technology. One of the conference presentations was called ‘The Size of the Prize’. This tells us a lot about the frackers: their greed and profits are far more important than our environment, our health and our livelihoods (in an area largely dependent on tourism).
If fracking goes ahead, it will represent a crime on a massive scale: a crime against our environment, a crime against communities, a crime against humanity. The alternatives - in the form of a burgeoning renewable energy industry around the world - are already in place. There is no justification for even considering fracking. It must be stopped.