Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
There was a very worrying report last week about the amount of crude oil and other contaminants that are being allowed to leak into the North Sea daily despite assurances from oil companies that they are improving their record regarding spills. There were 429 reported oil and chemical spills in the UK North Sea alone last year.
Oil company Shell has obtained permission to drill in the environmentally sensitive area off Alaska but has recently had a disaster when its rig ran aground and was destroyed. This has cost the company $90 million so far but its controversial plan to resume drilling this summer is still undergoing reviews. We can all remember BP’s catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico which cost 11 human lives and was a disaster for wildlife in the area as well as a loss of livelihood for fishing communities.
The World Wildlife Fund has called for a halt to this unseemly rush to exploit the unspoilt areas of the world, to stop subsidies to oil and gas companies and to ban all companies with a poor safety record.
We know that the era of easily obtainable, cheap oil is virtually over. Now is the time to be putting all our efforts and ingenuity into finding ways to produce renewable energy from wind, wave and solar technology. We also know that technology will not be able to solve all our problems; that we cannot continue to be profligate with energy and must live a simpler life.