Monday, 12 August 2013
Fracking poses big questions.
Every once in a while an issue hits the headlines that has the potential to open up a real can of worms and spark a debate about the very nature the way we live. I believe that fracking is one such. The trouble is that more or less everyone is focusing on their own particular fraction of the fracking issue and failing to look at the bigger picture. Is fracking a technical issue? Very much so and their are some very genuine concerns about the safety of the practise. Environmental? Well only if you consider minor earthquakes and poisoning the groundwater something to worry about and that's before we even start to think about the greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere. How does class politics fit into it all? Well, big companies are making big money from the extraction of natural gas so fracking makes perfect sense in the boardrooms of the world, especially if the practise can be confined to economically disadvantaged areas where there is likely to be less organised resistance. Trouble is that gas deposits and geological strata have no respect for property prices and the wealthy South East is turning out to be a fracking hot spot. David Cameron is now urging Tory voters in the shires to put aside their concerns and embrace the controversial procedure. From NIMBY to IMBY. The truth is that an ever expanding economy demands an ever expanding supply of energy. Those lovable dredlocked ant-fracking fraggles down in Balcombe have the right idea but the trouble is that most of us are looking for a lifestyle not limited to eating lentil casserole by candlelight. The problem is that juggling with material abundance, environmental well being and human happiness is a trick that capital is not capable of. Not without dropping at least one of the balls.