Why the issue is so much bigger than fracking

Fort McMurray, tar sands Alberta, Canada
Fort McMurray, tar sands Alberta, Canada

The energy industry would have us believe that fracking is a safe procedure which would ensure our ‘energy security’ . Our government is enthusiastically promoting fracking as an answer to our energy needs, pushing forward new licences for much of the UK.

For a fossil fuel company, such as Cuadrilla, its one imperative is to maintain its ‘reserve replacement ratio’, put simply , this means that in order for these companies to maintain and improve their share prices (their ONLY consideration) , they need to constantly seek out new supplies of fossil fuels. It is essential that energy companies have as much fossil fuels in reserve as in their current production if they are to stay in business. These companies will continue to seek out new sources of oil and gas infinitely, continuing to locate new areas to drill and increasingly damaging methods of extraction, such as Alberta’s tar sands and Shell’s attempts to drill in the Arctic.

Without concerted international attempts by governments to restrict these companies they will continue to expand their destruction and increasingly drill using even more environmentally damaging methods. This is the only way in which companies can maintain their share prices, they will never extract enough to be ‘satisfied’.

All of this is devastating news for our planet, aside from the high levels of pollution and environmental damage, scientists now predict a 4 to 6 degree rise in planetary warming if we continue to burn fuels at our current rates. Four degrees of warming would ensure catastrophic rises in global sea levels by a predicted 1 to 2 metres by 2100, condemning much of the coastal areas of Britain, Europe, Asia and The Americas. With this will also come deadly heat waves , flooding and other extreme weather events and a dramatic loss of crop yields globally.

According to 97% of climate scientists , global warming is now significantly impacting our environment. Of the remaining 3%, many are sponsored by right-wing think tanks dedicated to maintaining the status quo of a tiny percentage of the super rich. It’s not hard to see why companies whose very existence relies of the continued extraction of damaging fuels, pump fortunes into defending their drilling rights and ensuring unprecedented access to government.

This is why CC and I changed our energy supplier to one which guarantees 100% of its energy comes from either hydro or wind power. Our gas is guaranteed ‘frack-free’- not perfect since it’s still gas, but a step in the right direction. All of the profits from our energy company are spent on increasing green energy methods. ( see http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/ )

We can only hope that we can apply the brakes and change the direction in which we are travelling for the sake of our little son and his children in time to build a brighter future for the next generation.

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