“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

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.

1 comment:

Dr Llareggub said...

I have supported fracking and extraction of fossil fuel for some time and incurred the wrath of the left and anarchists who are so well informed about scientific issues and so knowledgeable about the armageddon that will surely come about if it is allowed. My own view is that subject to scientific review it may have the possibility of escaping from energy dependence on OPEC, western support for oil dictatorships, and the wars that are being fought for Arab oil. I raised the subject on the Incubone blog and Incubus led a deranged - fuck/cunt - usual attack followed by others and my voice was drowned out. My position is somewhat idealist. Energy is the key to the future. Working class interests would be advanced by attempts to control energy extraction, not by supporting middle class spoilt brats who have no idea how daddy's wealth is created. And please, the future is with energy and production, and who controls it - or do people really believe that we should sit on our bums awaiting the banking collapse that will usher in a new life under the social movement. The tales about earthquakes, poisoned water, if true, could be part of a valid scientific argument to limit energy exploration, and what I am saying is that close scientific surveillance should accompany fracking exploration. As the greens will tell you - they are so environmentally conscious in Saudi - aren't they. And before our talented friend replies with the usual obscenities let me point out that I am cautiously supportive, and would oppose if scientific evidence indicates that I should. And please, just because someone has kicked stupid Cameron's arse in that direction is no reason to bend the other way.