Regular readers know that fracking (which is when water mixed with sand and chemicals is injected deep underground at high pressure to shatter rock formations to unlock oil and gas trapped inside) is the new F word at The Political Carnival. I write about fracking a lot (scroll), and for good reason. For instance, tap water in the form of chemically induced flames spewed from faucets where fracking is prevalent, as is depicted in the excellent film Gasland.
Did you know that fracking is linked to methane risks: “When methane concentrations are that high, water can bubble like champagne.” Mmm, yummy. Cheers!
And don't even get me started on climate change.
Rachel Maddow has been all over this topic and is currently exposing the possible (ahem, probable) link to unusual and frequent earthquake activity associated with intruding on Mother Nature this way:
Today's Los Angeles Times front-paged a report about how "energy-hungry Britain" residents aren't too thrilled with the practice either; this despite Prime Minister David Cameron being a huge fan, "practically hailing as a miracle" the environmental mess the U.S. is creating in the name of keeping gas prices low.
But one activist, Hytham Chlouk, calls this so-called "miracle" "the selling of Great Britain." How right he is:
"This is the selling of Great Britain," Chlouk said, peering out from behind a pair of glasses and a mop of brown dreadlocks. "I don't want my beautiful country destroyed. I'd hate for it to be like some places in America that look like alien landing zones."
Hence the obvious reason for blow-back:
The deep-seated hostility is rooted in peculiarly British characteristics and experiences. One is the near-religious reverence among many Brits for the countryside, which makes them especially zealous in driving away any threats to their "green and pleasant land" of hills and sheep and hedgerows, whose beauty has inspired poets and soldiers at war.
Then there were the literally jarring events of the spring of 2011, when two small earthquakes struck near the seaside town of Blackpool in northwestern England. The larger registered a mere 2.3 in magnitude, but the tremors were big news on this seismically docile island — and even more so after government-appointed independent experts concluded that they had been caused by a new fracking operation in the area.
Protesters (they prefer "protectors") call the fracking efforts "rapacious capitalism" and are carrying signs that say things like, "Welcome to the desolate North. Now frack off." Well done, mates.
"Their sole motive is to make profit. They're not here to provide a service or to give cheap gas," said Tim Williams, one of the few camp dwellers clearly older than 30. "We don't want the countryside to be industrialized.... Without the land, what do we have?"