Talk Fracking has just launched ‘My Fracking Questions‘, a website that allows people to send their top concerns about fracking to Energy Minister, Matt Hancock MP.
We are hoping that if enough of us demand real answers from the Government – answers based on fact, not spin – we will reveal the truth about fracking. We’ve been amazed by the level of support we’ve received and here are just some of the many people standing together to ask for real answers about fracking.
Why the public deserve to be part of the conversation
The current government’s statements on fracking paint a rosy picture of the future – it will be good for the economy, it’s safe, the jobs market will boom, energy prices will come down, climate change will slow. We can all worry less about our long term energy security. If only. Take a second to consider the validity of any of those assertions and like us, you’ll find yourself left with more questions than answers.
We have been told that fracking has created an energy boom in the US but numerous respected financial reports suggest that fracking is an economic bubble about to burst. Other reports from the US document serious health and environmental consequences. In specific cases like the Pennsylvanian farmer Terry Greenwood, these have been deeply concerning.
The fossil fuel industry is being described as the source of the next ‘subprime’ economic collapse, with trillions set to be lost in stranded assets invested in hydrocarbons that can never be burned if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.
The current government don’t seem to want to react to the information that is staring them in the face – they need to be honest with us and the whole country about the potential risks as well as the potential benefits. It is only an informed public that can engage in the conversation and it is only then that social license can be obtained.
The next generation – i.e. the young people studying and working in Britain today – in particular have been left out of the conversation. They are the ones who could inherit a toxic legacy, who will have to clean up the mess and live with the consequences of potentially catastrophic climate change.
A government that doesn’t intend to take climate change seriously does not deserve to look a single young person in the face - yet it seems our under 25′s know the least about fracking in the country. What kind of legacy are we leaving for them? Where have they had their say in this conversation?
We need the government and industry to publicly debate the issue. We need more independent research. Most importantly we need normal working British people to have the opportunity to join in on the conversation and decide for themselves.
Vivienne Westwood and Joseph Corre have written this letter to the new Energy Minister Matthew Hancock MP.
Dear Mr Hancock:
We have travelled the country from London to Swansea to Glasgow, listening to people’s views about the ‘fracking’ based energy policy of the current government.
We discovered that a remarkable amount of people are still unaware of what fracking even is, let alone what potential benefits or dangers it may hold.
We were also fascinated to hear that once the many people who had no idea about fracking, took the time to look into the process, they were deeply concerned.
The overriding impression was that the country is still ill informed about something that could have a dramatic effect on the UK and its future generations.
People deserve the chance to be given all the facts and to then engage with what should arguably be a wide open national public debate.
Talk Fracking has today launched a process allowing the public to consider the key questions that they would like clear and simple answers to, which will then be shared with you accordingly. These are questions that we have heard repeatedly the length and breadth of the country.
We believe that this is a more transparent and dynamic way for the government and industry to start to build genuine social license – rather than pushing fracking through regardless without considering all the potential outcomes.
A very important aspect in helping to ensure that a democratic and balanced discussion happens, will involve working closely with you and your office to facilitate a place for you on the panel for an open debate on fracking.
We also are keen to include you in the engagement with young people and next generation of voters who will be sending their questions to you.
We have found that they are amongst the most concerned groups in the country, as they find out more about fracking and start to consider whether the benefits outweigh the risks.
They are greatly concerned about climate change and finding a safe energy security that stretches over their lifetime and that of their children. They are the ones who will inherit whatever legacy may be left from fracking, so we believe that they are the most important people for us to help you establish a clear line of dialogue with.
We would like you now to come back with clear answers to these questions, which we will then publish on our site. Please do consider the evidence we have provided as background information to the questions.
It would be fantastic if you could respond through your office within the next two weeks. If this is an unrealistic deadline then please let us know when would be a fair time for us and all those who have posed these questions to get an answer.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Vivienne and Joe