All of the recent polls and statistics show that the majority of people in the UK do not know what fracking is or do not understand its implications for Britain’s future. David Cameron’s “greenest government ever” is fast tracking their shale gas and oil programme by removing peoples’ legal protections and easing regulations. There is mounting evidence to show that fracking can be extremely destructive to the environment and is at opposites with the IPCC recommendations for avoiding catastrophic climate change. It’s clear therefore, that the government has no democratic mandate to force fracking onto Britain.
Talk Fracking seeks to protect our democracy and to provide a forum for debate with independent expert opinion as a counter balance to the powerful pro-fracking lobby, so that an informed public can decide for themselves whether they support fracking as a sensible energy solution.
In our experience from touring the country from Glasgow to Swansea and speaking with people from all backgrounds and political persuasions, we have witnessed anger and astonishment from people who live in areas where fracking may take place. They feel betrayal at the fact that they have been kept in the dark about the potential consequences of an industry that seems fraught with risks.
So far, we have tried several strategies to bring this issue into the public eye and encourage people to educate themselves so that they can make an informed decision. Talk Fracking started with an open letter calling for public debate, signed by over 150 scientists, respected organisations and celebrities, which was published in the Times on June 2nd 2014. Following this we organised six nationwide debates. 88 key policy makers, scientists and industry figures were invited to take part as spokespeople for shale gas. The former energy Minister Michael Fallon’s email invite was opened 81 times. Entire government departments and large fracking companies were unwilling to offer any representative at all. Despite all these efforts, only one geologist committed to attend.
Talk Fracking remains committed to highlighting the issues surrounding fracking in the UK, holding the policy makers and industry to account and providing the forum for the debate that the British public deserves before it’s too late.
Talk Fracking is funded by Humanade with donations from Vivienne Westwood, Joseph Corre and Lush.
We need to talk about fracking.