Thursday, August 7, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 7th August 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury The race to frack for shale gas in our green and pleasant land is hotting up! Our ‘greenest government ever’ has opened the bidding for licences to extract shale gas over vast areas of the UK. We are told that there are mega amounts of gas beneath our feet – but we have no idea whether we will be able to extract it in a safe and viable manner.

There is overwhelming opposition to the government’s plans for shale gas extraction. This was evident during an official consultation by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). However, this did not stop ministers giving the go-ahead for shale gas drilling which comprises a comprehensive exploration of the UK, including our national parks if it is thought necessary by communities’ secretary Eric Pickles.

Methane gas, which is produced by fracking, is not a ‘green’ alternative; it is, in fact, 70 times more harmful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. We all know that we cannot safely burn even one third of the world’s proven fossil fuel store without exacerbating the effects of climate change so why look for new deposits? It is far better for us to invest in all the different forms of renewable energy available to us now and move towards a cleaner, low carbon society. Our society is one of waste. We waste energy as much as we waste food. Our first steps now should be a drive towards energy efficiency and then an expansion of renewable energy.

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