‘Why bother with Fracking?’ Find out at next Cafe Scientifique talk

Want to learn more about Fracking? Head to Cafe Scientifique for the next talk, ‘Why bother with Fracking?’

Fracking

The next Cafe Scientifique talk takes place on Monday 20th January starting at 7pm.

The speaker will be Professor Chris Rhodes who is now an independent consultant dealing with energy and environmental issues.

Long-time Cafe Sci attendees will remember his talk in September 2011 titled ‘What Happens When The Oil Runs Out’.

This month he’ll be talking about fracking, so it’ll be a great opportunity to learn more about this controversial process.

As usual the talk takes place at the Regency Suite above the Conservative Club in Shanklin.

A donation of at least £3 on the door is encouraged to make sure all expenses are covered. i.e. the rent, cost of speakers’ travel expenses and a meal, plus overnight accommodation if needed.

Image: www_ukberri_net under CC BY 2.0


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Wednesday, 8th January, 2014 5:13pm

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58 Comments

  1. peaceful_life's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

    12.Jan.2014 12:08am

    At a cursory look, Chris, appears to ‘get’ EROEI (Energy return on Energy Invested), probably worth the effort for people to attend this, essential knowledge for councillors too, all of them.

    Reply
  2. Cicero's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

    12.Jan.2014 9:59am

    Would somebody pls ask the following question for me?

    1. The geological structure of most of the Island is unsound (e.g. Sandown Bay area, Bonchurch and Ventnor to Freshwater).

    2. It has been shown in the UK and the US that fracking operations increase the risk of subsidence within and outside the area of fracking.

    3. Insurance companies are already loath to provide buildings insurance in risky parts of the Island in which case either insurance cover will be denied for more parts of the Island or premiums will soar?

    4. Property prices are likely to decline substantially in areas of proposed fracking operations.

    5. Will off-shore corporations (like France’s Total) recompense property owners affected by capital losses, pay the increased insurance and/or repair any building damage free-of-charge?

    Reply
    • Question Master's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

      12.Jan.2014 10:39am

      What question would you like asked?

      Points 1 & 2 are not questions but statements (are they even true?)

      Point 3 is just an opinion neither outcome is certain.

      Point 4 is just another unfounded opinion.

      Why is point 5 even necessary? If you can prove someone has caused you a loss or damage you already have recourse in law.

      Reply
      • Cicero's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

        13.Jan.2014 12:02pm

        So….. do your own research and prove me wrong! BTW you might find the following report interesting.

        It comments
        “The most extensive coastal landslide problem in Great Britain is at Ventnor, on the Isle of Wight, where the whole town has been built on an ancient landslide complex (Lee and Moore 1991).

        Although present day coastal retreat is minimal, long-term erosion has helped shape a belt of unstable land, which extends almost 1km inland (eg. Luccombe; Bonchurch, Wheeler’s Bay; Ventnor town; Woodlands; Castlehaven; and Blackgang, Isle of Wight, Study Areas G1 to G8), see Plate 5a.

        Contemporary movements within Ventnor town have been slight; however, because movement occurs in an urban area, the cumulative cost of damage to roads, buildings and services has been substantial. Over the last 100 years about 50 houses and hotels have had to be demolished because of ground movement. (Sellwood et al. 2000)

        The following detailed examples are noted:

        The most instability- prone geological sequences in this category are the London Clay, the Gault Clay and the Lias Clays of the Midlands and southern England (eg.the Isle of Wight Undercliff, Study Areas G11 and G1).

        Rockfalls, topples, sagging failures and rock slides are the dominant modes of failure of these materials, which include horizons such as Upper Dalradian and Moinean mica- schists in the Scottish Highlands, the Carboniferous Limestones of Wales and Northern England and the Chalk along the south coast (eg. Afton Down, Isle of Wight Study Area G10)

        Classic examples of instability promoted by these unstable combinations of rocks include the Upper Greensand and Chalk overlying the Gault Clay along the Isle of Wight Undercliff (Study Area G1)

        Examples include the major landslide complexes on the north coast of the Isle of Wight, especially at Bouldnor,

        Sequences of stiff clays and weak sandy strata can give rise to some of the most dramatic forms of coastal cliff recession….This setting can also give rise to cliffs prone to seepage erosion, as at Chale on the south-west coast of the Isle of Wight, (eg. Blackgang, Isle of Wight; (Study Areas G8 and G12).

        http://www.risknat.org/projets/riskydrogeo/docs/guide_pratique/Acivite1_Ateliers/Presentations%20Atelier1/A1P13-Coastal%20changes/programs/overgb.html

        Reply
        • Cicero's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

          13.Jan.2014 4:52pm

          To continue…

          re point 3 (property values at risk of declining as a result of fracking.)

          “The prospect that the state will open the region to drilling, as the New York Times reported, “has spooked potential buyers” in upstate New York. The Times story also quoted a realtor who shut down her business In Wayne County, Penn. Agents there, the woman said, are having trouble selling rural properties “because people don’t want to be anywhere near the drilling.”

          “A 2010 study of the Texas real estate market in the heavily drilled suburban-Dallas area near Flower Mound concluded that homes valued at more than $250,000 and within 1,000 feet of a drilling pad or well site saw values decrease by 3 to 14 percent.”

          “Faced with a boom in coal-bed methane development in the early 2000s, officials in La Plata County, Colorado studied the impacts of oil and gas development and found that properties with a well drilled on them saw their value decrease by 22 percent.”

          “In a 2005 peer-reviewed study, researchers found that oil and gas production “significantly affect the sale price for rural properties.” The study determined that the presence of oil and gas facilities within 2.5 miles of rural residential properties in Alberta, Canada reduced property values between 4% and 8%, with the potential for doubling the decrease, depending on the level of industrial activity.”

          “Similar nightmares have befallen residents of Dimock, Penn., where fracking problems decimated home values, and the drilling company responsible, Cabot Resources, was ordered to pay impacted fam­i­lies set­tle­ments worth twice their prop­erty val­ues, a total of more than $4 mil­lion”

          ….. read more in the website
          http://www.resource-media.org/drilling-vs-the-american-dream-fracking-impacts-on-property-rights-and-home-values/

          Reply
          • Cicero's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

            13.Jan.2014 5:07pm

            point 3 cont’d) re property insurance

            “Further to my post a few days ago regarding property insurance and potential damage caused by fracking, I have some further news. My brokers have made enquiries of nearly 300 insurance companies, either by telephoning them directly, or via email. The vast majority are treating this as an ‘Excluded Peril’ and are not prepared to cover the risk under any circumstances, even if the risk was shared by the policyholder by increasing the voluntary excess. However, they have found one company, Royal, Sun Alliance, who are prepared to underwrite the risk. However, in order to facilitate this, they have increased my premium by 19.4%”

            http://stopfyldefracking.org.uk/latest-news/page/2/

          • Cicero's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

            13.Jan.2014 5:13pm

            re point 5 “Recourse to law”

            Given the enormous cost of taking a problem to the Courts, what is the chance of winning against corporations with bottomless pockets like Cuadrilla or Total?

            So…”Question Master”… is my question “Will off-shore corporations recompense property owners affected by capital losses, pay the increased insurance and/or repair any building damage free-of-charge?” STILL not worth asking?

          • Question Master's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

            13.Jan.2014 6:21pm

            If you can prove they have damaged your property why will it cost you anything? Your insurance will pay then reclaim from the corporation. You will not be out of pocket. The insurance companies have just as big pockets!

          • Cicero's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

            13.Jan.2014 7:41pm

            IF you can get insurance- look at my previous comments.

  3. Colin's comment is rated -1 Vote +1 Vote -1

    13.Jan.2014 7:00pm

    I think Cicero has made some valid points.

    I am neither for nor against fracking in principle, but would question whether the island is a suitable area for it. A large part of the island is classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and wonder how that sits with the areas considered by the government as suitable for fracking. There are not wjde open unpopulated areas on the island and so it is inevitable that many people will be adversley affected by any fracking activity.

    This in addition to points already raised about the stability of the islands geological structure and the insurance aspects.

    The USA has vast areas of land and would appear to be successful so far; whether the success can be replicated in a county so many times smaller remains to be seen.

    Reply
    • Steve Goodman's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

      14.Jan.2014 3:03pm

      Colin – fracking in America is not successful but harmful for many Americans, as shown in documentary films such as ‘Drill Baby Drill’ (which also shows how the damage done in rural Poland created a backlash from the farmers & landowners).

      Reply
  4. Steve Goodman's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

    14.Jan.2014 2:44pm

    If you don’t welcome fracking under your property, you can register your opposition at wrongmove.org.

    If you wish to tell Mr Cameron that you are not keen on fracking, you can sign the latest online petition from Friends of the Earth.

    Investment in cleaner renewables has to happen eventually;
    we could save time & money by getting on with it now.

    Reply
    • Cicero's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

      14.Jan.2014 3:08pm

      @SG Save WHOM time and money?

      Offshore investment bankers? Foreign corporations like Total and Cuadrilla’s partners?

      Reply
      • Steve Goodman's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

        15.Jan.2014 12:42pm

        C. – sorry that wasn’t clear enough; I’m sure our taxes would be better spent encouraging the cleaner, safer, reliable, renewable energy technologies rather than the finite dirty dangerous ones. Improving insulation & building specifications would also help enormously, as would early transition from oil dependency before it becomes an emergency response.

        One way we can all save money, support our own economy, & speed things up is by boycotting the bigger greedy (& largely foreign owned) energy companies & switch to a gas & electricity supplier doing all the right things, such as Ecotricity. Their prices are already good and will only get better as the gap widens between the likes of them & the few big companies; not having shareholders, they do not need to inflate profits; as they expand they add new infrastucture for renewable energy production & use, which will keep down prices & do less damage in the long term.

        Reply
        • Cicero's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

          15.Jan.2014 1:08pm

          @SG I agree, however IMHO fracking (the subject of this thread) is among the “finite dirty dangerous” fuels.

          Reply
          • Steve Goodman's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

            15.Jan.2014 2:19pm

            C. – yes, the fossil gas & oil the frackers say they want are of course in that fuel group.(Pedant’s corner entry; fracking is not a fuel!)

  5. peaceful_life's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

    20.Jan.2014 10:38pm

    Not one Councillor attended.

    I have to ask: Councillors…do you actually want to care and comprehend what’s going on?

    I ask this question without malice or vexation, but more from a sense of bewilderment at why you wouldn’t, at the very least, be intrigued at the fundamentals that should shape your policy making decisions.

    IOW representatives, why didn’t you attend?

    Reply
    • Anna's comment is rated -2 Vote +1 Vote -1

      20.Jan.2014 11:25pm

      Firstly – not attending a fairly unpublicised event does not indicate a lack of interest or knowledge. Busy diaries and all that… Secondly – if you want to get a wide-ranging audience for an event don’t hold it in a politically affiliated Club. Lots of people would have real reservations about that – putting money into the hands of an organisation of which you do not approve and do not wish to be associated has that effect on people with particular principles. Many Councillors would have those principles (I hope)

      Reply
      • bongo's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

        21.Jan.2014 12:12am

        Every councillor was personally invited to this very important talk, as they are to nearly all publically organised events of any substance & regularly fail to attend.
        Too busy to attend an informative, open discussion on such an important topic?
        I understand your point about the venue, but I would have thought this was quite clearly not a subject matter that was in the conservatives favour.
        As far as I am aware the majority of donations went to cover Chris’ time, travel & accommodation.

        Reply
      • peaceful_life's comment is rated +7 Vote +1 Vote -1

        21.Jan.2014 9:25am

        The talk was about energy and the ramifications of it’s contraction within the dynamics of a hyper mobile structure of civilization.

        The venue may seem counter intuitive and somewhat of a paradox but….the information was completely impartial and people were free to ask questions in a public forum.

        Energy cares not about any humanistic notions of division, indeed…all things considered….these divisions are proving ever more infantile and are regressive in the face of what needs done.

        Reply
      • Steve Goodman's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

        21.Jan.2014 4:44pm

        Anna – not even a Conservative councillor attended; but it’s the message, not the venue that matters. The talk attracted the biggest ever cafe sci audience here.

        Reply
      • Steve Goodman's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

        21.Jan.2014 4:56pm

        The lack of publicity wasn’t helped by the CP failing to mention the meeting in last Friday’s article on IOW fracking. (The room was full despite that).

        Reply
      • Tanja Rebel's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

        21.Jan.2014 5:03pm

        It is now up to the Isle of Wight Council to put this issue at the top of their agenda as it urgently needs to be looked into before possible applications come streaming in. It is vital that the Island is prepared and capable of offering alternatives in the form of localisation, energy conservation as well as the development of truly sustainable energy sources. Lets make Eco-Island come true.

        Reply
        • max's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

          21.Jan.2014 6:25pm

          Expecting the council to put this at the top of the agenda is laughable. It just won’t happen. Central government is withdrawing £28million of funding – the budget will remain top of the agenda for some time.
          This is an important issue which should be discussed, but top of the agenda – no.

          Reply
          • peaceful_life's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

            21.Jan.2014 6:36pm

            The talk/lecture was about energy, which is the budget.

          • max's comment is rated -4 Vote +1 Vote -1

            21.Jan.2014 6:49pm

            The talk was about fracking, which is the extraction of gas from rock to use as fuel. Money will be involved, but to claim that energy is the budget is wrong. The reality is £28 million cuts to the budget, which means fracking will not be top of the agenda.

            I feel like we’ve had this conversation before, so Im pretty certain theres no more to be said.

    • phil jordan's comment is rated +6 Vote +1 Vote -1

      21.Jan.2014 7:02am

      I’ll speak for myself…though in doing so, will be speaking for a number of other Councillors…
      I attended a Councillors briefing on Safeguarding, held at County Hall, and for which around 16 Councillors attended.
      I left County Hall at 7.28pm and met with a Ryde resident shortly before 8.00pm over a pressing matter of being flooded out of their home. I arrived home, in Ryde, around 8.45pm.
      That is why I, personally, did not attend.

      Reply
      • steve s's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

        21.Jan.2014 7:19am

        And I’ll speak for myself.
        I attended an appointment with Nettlestone and Seaview Parish council to discuss how the reductions in Government subsidies to Local Authorities are going to affect us all. I got home at about 8.30.
        Tonight I’ll be at Bembridge, doing the same thing, after a day at County Hall. Not sure what time I’ll be home.

        Reply
        • peaceful_life's comment is rated +6 Vote +1 Vote -1

          21.Jan.2014 9:18am

          Thanks for the reply, Steve and Phil.

          Granted no one would realistically expect the entire council to attend, but having said that, surely it was reasonable to expect that the council should of sent at least a representative to collect and carry back critical information about the ultimate drivers that must dictate public policy if we are to mitigate in a fair and sensible fashion.

          Reply
          • phil jordan's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

            21.Jan.2014 3:15pm

            @ peaceful life:

            I would have hoped that a Councillor or two might have attended…Indeed, had I not been elsewhere, I would have certainly attended.

      • Cicero's comment is rated +1 Vote +1 Vote -1

        21.Jan.2014 11:03am

        Did Prof Rhodes mention that high concentrations of salts, including those of radium and barium, are present in the flowback waters from late-end fracking operations, lending fears over potential groundwater contamination?

        Reply
        • peaceful_life's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

          21.Jan.2014 11:37am

          I don’t recall him going into detail on the specific chemical makeup of the fluids, but yes…he did speak of the groundwater contamination legacy.

          If I’m correct I think, Simon, may well of mentioned that the talk was to be recorded with relevant visual slides from the talk. Could you clarify, or correct me on this please, Simon?

          Reply
        • Steve Goodman's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

          21.Jan.2014 4:38pm

          C. – yes he did mention the likely release of hazardous chemicals & radioactive materials previously held safely in the ground for a long time; exactly what is returned depends on the local geology, the actions of the frackers, & whatever chemicals they choose to put in.

          Reply
  6. bongo's comment is rated +7 Vote +1 Vote -1

    20.Jan.2014 11:13pm

    I attended this talk this evening, as a concerned resident of the planet, of the island and mother of two young children, for whom I’d rather not leave with this mess. I’d prefer to hand over a better place not a worse, poisoned, resource depleted land! I too was extremely concerned that there was NO representative from our council and how they can possibly make decision without listening to the facts or public opinion? I worry that with such big cuts being placed upon local councils & now the offer from central government for a large cut of the business rate rights from the fracking procedure, that maybe they are not interested in facts or the peoples views??
    At the very least you would have expected someone from the sustainability department to have a presence there…. Wouldnt you???
    This is all begining to leave a very bad taste in my mouth & they havent even poisoned our precious water yet.

    Reply
  7. peaceful_life's comment is rated +6 Vote +1 Vote -1

    21.Jan.2014 6:55pm

    @Max.

    ‘The talk was about fracking’

    Was it?…is that what you took from it?….what did you make of the other three quarters of the talk that wasn’t about fracking in specific?

    Money,*represents* the ability to do work, energy IS the ability to do work.

    Reply
  8. max's comment is rated -4 Vote +1 Vote -1

    21.Jan.2014 7:40pm

    Yes. It was about Fracking and the use of fuel. Whatever anyone ‘took’ from it, thats what it was about, at least insofar as it relates to the comments here about fracking.

    Money represents nothing if you dont have it, and the IOW council do not have it. Anyone can have the energy to do work, but without money it wont happen for the simple reason that people need to be paid for their work. Its called an economy.

    Now, back to the point. Fracking will not be the top of the IOW council agenda. The budget will. You can discuss what SHOULD be as much as you like – my point is what WILL be.

    I dont want to get into this conversation again – you refuse to listen to any opinion except your own. I wont be responding to you any more.

    Reply
    • peaceful_life's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

      21.Jan.2014 8:33pm

      Hi Max.
      It was about the use of energy, fracking being part of the story.

      If there are those within a community that don’t have the money that’s used as that same communities operating system, then money still represents, it represents inequality.

      Think of any economy as a three part system, the primary economy of nature that has the materials used within the secondary economy that produces the goods and services needed required by humans, and the tertiary economy of money, or more realistically with fiat money, credit/debt.
      The first two are governed by the laws of thermodynamics, in particular the second law, meaning they are subject to limits and decay, but the tertiary economy of credit/debt is *theoretically* limitless, but when the tertiary is out of kilter to overshoot the first two then that’s not an economy, that’s a problem.

      Energy will be at the top of everyone’s agenda and I absolutely agree with you, what will be..’WILL be’.

      This…”you refuse to listen to any opinion except your own”…..is interesting when we consider evaluating Professor Rhodes perspective on the factual laws of physics, quite contrary to your statement of my blinkered vision, I value his opinion.

      “I dont want to get into this conversation again”
      As you wish.

      Reply
      • tryme's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

        21.Jan.2014 9:35pm

        Just confirming, peaceful_life, that Max is ‘woodworker’ as was. No change expected there then.

        Reply
      • max's comment is rated -4 Vote +1 Vote -1

        21.Jan.2014 9:56pm

        To clear up 2 points:

        1) Regardless of what Peaceful_Life claims, the fact is that the IOW council will have less money than they used to, and any discussion about Fracking or thermodynamics, or any other theory will have no impact on that whatsoever.

        2) Tryme, I dont know why you persist in believing I am someone else, but please stop it.

        Reply
    • Steve Goodman's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

      22.Jan.2014 2:38am

      No Max, the talk was not only about fracking & fuel use, which is one big part of our big problem, and which is connected to the IOW budget cuts & the urgent need to live within our means so that we stop making things worse & start to rebalance as painlessly as we can for as good a future as possible.

      After going through the scary stats. – about rapid depletion of finite resources, the impossibility of filling the widening gap between supply & demand, world population has doubled in 50 years, there are too many people consuming & destroying too much of what we & our descendants want & need, and how ‘business as usual’ which led to our current woes cannot continue because the sums don’t add up – after all that, we got to the bit about action for our best bet for a happy ending; the transition we must make in an oil-dependant society running out of oil.

      And that’s where our councillors & other politicians could have a bigger & better influence on how fast & how well we get through this. There is no issue more important than our threatened life support system, so it would be reassuring to see everyone acknowledging that at least. Continuous ‘growth’ is impossible because of finite resources, as is producing sufficient food & energy to satisfy the demands of all the people wishing to live the sort of lives currently enjoyed by many of us. For decades politicians have failed to understand &/or deal with this; now we are where we are it is not unreasonable to say that councils & governments should not only be aware of the situation but should also be reacting to the reality of the inevitable changes that will result. Unfortunately the 1970’s oil crisis didn’t get everyone agreeing to manage resources responsibly; maybe our current emergency will. Reducing demand & waste, having less, and having to share more, will be forced on all of us; we are particularly vulnerable as an import-dependant island community. We could admit it, and adjust, & enjoy it as much as possible. Widespread use of existing tools for movement towards self-sufficiency in energy & food production such as permaculture, community supported agriculture, & public growing spaces has to become political policy. Ultimately there is no choice; the cuts are a painful reminder that we have to live within our means economically & environmentally.

      Reply
  9. Don Smith's comment is rated -5 Vote +1 Vote -1

    22.Jan.2014 12:22am

    Just think a £100.000 bribe – It won’t even meet half of the CE salary.

    Fracking will come – leave it to the scientist; not the ‘Not in my back garden brigade’.

    Fracking will come, it must, so why waist time delaying the inevitable?

    Reply
    • Cicero's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

      22.Jan.2014 10:55am

      “Fracking will come, it must”

      Well at least there will be plenty of holes for Island fracking supporters to bury their heads in!

      Reply
    • Steve Goodman's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

      22.Jan.2014 3:11pm

      Don, fracking here is not yet inevitable, but our deaths are, so I hope you don’t feel that way about everything (“come, it must, so why waist time delaying the inevitable?”).

      It wasn’t very long ago we were being told by the likes of Eurovia & Eddie Giles that building a second asphalt plant here was essential. We were also hearing that an unsuitable biomass plant was coming, and that the previous council would continue to be in charge following the last election. I think we can probably agree that disagreement about inevitability is inevitable. However, one inevitability scientists understandably seem to agree on is the need to change our dependence on fossil fuels because there will be none left once we’ve used it all (most of the easily obtained good stuff has already gone), and because using it causes additional life threatening problems, like the disease-causing fuel emissions featured in today’s news reports.

      Reply
  10. Tanja Rebel's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

    22.Jan.2014 6:33pm

    Agreed, fracking the Isle of Wight is not inevitable. In actual fact, it is highly undesirable in an area which is geologically sensitive as well as highly dependent upon clean water supplies. Fracking would only cause more problems and further delay the urgent transition to a society which is more localised and which uses and sources its energy wisely.

    As stated before, it is time to make Eco-Island come true. Subsequently, it could be transformed into Transition Island, a place that would become an example to the UK and the world as a whole.

    Reply
    • Steve Goodman's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

      23.Jan.2014 2:53pm

      As part of the transition we have to make, we could also take some inspiration from other island communities with valuable experience; Icelandic & Cuban residents have had to adapt to changed circumstances caused by sudden severe economic downturn & restricted oil supply, resulting in much less imported food & energy. They got through it, and it has not stopped a lot of people continuing to pay a lot of money to visit & enjoy themselves.

      I am aware of the differences between here & there; I also know what we could do. We can reduce demand. We can grow more of our own food, eat better & healthier, and waste less. We can plant more for birds, bees, butterflies, & squirrels. We can make more use of the energy in our sunshine, wind, water, & ground. Our attractive landscape could be made more so with motorised horsepower reduction & equine & human horsepower use increasing.

      Or we could industrialise our countryside with fracking wells & associated heavy lorry traffic, noise, pollution, & unpredictable irreversable damage to our water, soil, geology, & climate in return for what would be at best a small amount of the finite fossil hydrocarbons which are probably safer undisturbed.

      We are oil dependant, & the peak oil crisis will not stop because of fracking.

      Reply
  11. Tanja Rebel's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

    24.Jan.2014 11:44am

    As far as I understand, various councils – including Bath – have stated that they don’t want any fracking in their area. If Bath can do this, the Isle of Wight can too…

    In his lecture. Professor Rhodes pointed out that fracking would serve as an unwelcome distraction from the important job at hand, namely to make ourselves less dependent upon fossil fuels and create a society which is truly sustainable with regards to energy provision. Eco-Island was trying to create this and the Isle of Wight Council can make it a reality. If they then focus on making the Island more self-sustaining in food production as well we can truly start calling ourselves Eco- or even Transition Island.

    We cannot afford to take our eye off the ball. Lets declare the Island frack-free and get on with the job.

    Reply
    • peaceful_life's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

      24.Jan.2014 3:07pm

      Hi, Tanja.

      Probably best we prioritise water capacity and food production before all else as these are essential.

      And yes, for both of those things, it wouldn’t be the wisest move to risk polluting the land any further.

      Reply
  12. Tanja Rebel's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

    24.Jan.2014 4:38pm

    Hello Peaceful Life,

    Agreed, our water supply and food production are essential and need to be safeguarded before all else. Fracking brings with it too many risks to even be contemplated in such a geologically sensitive area as the Isle of Wight.

    Reply
  13. Cicero's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

    27.Jan.2014 6:14pm

    “Ministers are considering changing trespass laws to make it easier for energy companies to carry out fracking beneath people’s homes without permission.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25914066

    Watch out Island!

    Reply
    • Steve Goodman's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

      27.Jan.2014 11:39pm

      Watch out everybody; this is another sign that we are in a hole and that government & business are responding with a determination to keep digging. And drilling. And fracking. And wrecking our only life support system.

      We are also to be compelled to subsidise tax breaks for fracking, and we don’t seem to be doing enough about reducing demand for harmful fossil hydrocarbons, using gas from waste instead, and increasing provision of the other renewable energy sources we will be dependant on when we have used all of the finite supplies.

      “The greenest government ever”, said the leader of Andrew Turner’s gang; obviously not so, because fracking champion Lord Deben’s appointment as chair of the committee on Climate Change is one of a long line of cynical appointments to ensure that action is given low priority. Peter Lilley, vice chair of an oil & gas company, was appointed in 2012 to the select committee, following the appointment of Owen Paterson, another climate sceptic, as environment secretary, and John Hayes, who opposes wind farms, as energy minister. Richard Benyon & Lord de Mauley, neither with impressive environmental credentials, were appointed to the Dept. for the Environment. And there are more.

      Cameron said that questioning the the desperate push to expand fracking was the work of “irrational” people “religious in their opposition”; Lord Deben said opponents were extremists. Not a great way to try to win the argument, is it? I think there’s enough convincing science to suggest the opposite. The Committee on Climate Change has set a target for the average emissions from electricity generation to be 50g of CO2/kwh by 2030; gas produces nearly 10 times that amount, and gas & other fossil hydrocarbons are still a huge part of our electricity supply. Some of the government’s friends are also wary; BP reports that shale gas expansion will not stop a major rise in greenhouse gas emissions, & Brewin Dolphin says shale gas will not reduce gas prices.

      BP also say that the expected rise in greenhouse gases over the next 2 decades will put “hopes of curtailing dangerous climate change beyond reach”. Two dangers linked to that are a temperature rise this century sufficient to ensure widespread crop failures & famine, and ocean acidification so severe as to disrupt the whole marine food chain. Not good news when we are already unable to feed the present population. Rising sea levels from melting ice would also be bad news because of the huge population displacement. If we are to have any hope of avoiding even more dangerous levels of climate change, up to 80% of known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. But governments talk about cutting emissions while continuing to seek economic growth at all costs.

      If Andrew & his fellow power holders really want to help us & our descendants, they must forego fracking & fossil fuel dependence. Energy & climate change minister Ed Davey has some good things to say about investment in UK renewable energy projects (“the most resilient such market in Europe”; the UK ranked “as the fourth best place in the world to invest in renewable energy – and the first for offshore wind”). If the UK & other nations would agree on a financial transaction tax, tens of billions of pounds could be raised annually to improve the situation by cutting further harmful carbon emissions & reducing the present damaging level of atmospheric carbon.

      The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recognises the possible necessity of carbon dioxide removal on a very large scale, tantamount to geoengineering. Fortunately nature provides excellent means to do so using trees, plants, & algae: Reforestation, and management such that the carbon in the wood is not returned to the atmosphere. Plants can be turned into biochar for soil improvement. Photosynthesising algae can absorb CO2, purify water, & become part of an aquatic food chain – simultaneously removing greenhouse gas levels & growing more food. (Algae can also be used to produce fuel). Andrew’s gang does nothing to promote these ‘win-win’ carbon removal options, choosing instead to worsen the problem by helping it’s fracking friends, like Cabinet member & Cuadrilla boss Lord John Browne. I am watching out, and I don’t like what I see; we need to do more, and I’d like Andrew to help us.

      Reply
      • Cicero's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

        28.Jan.2014 8:40am

        “Cameron said that questioning the the desperate push to expand fracking was the work of “irrational” people “religious in their opposition”.”

        One might respond that Cameron & Co Inc are equally irrational and religious in support of fracking (GM and other noxious things) being devotees of the god Mammon!

        Reply
  14. peaceful_life's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

    2.Feb.2014 11:42am

    Is there any news on the podcast for this lecture please?

    Reply
  15. Tanja Rebel's comment is rated +1 Vote +1 Vote -1

    3.Feb.2014 7:45am

    The link to the lecture podcast is http://cafescientifique.onthewight.com. It should be up and running. If you didn’t get to the lecture it is well worth listening to!

    Reply

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