‘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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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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58 Comments on "‘Why bother with Fracking?’ Find out at next Cafe Scientifique talk"

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peaceful_life

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.

Cynic
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… Read more »
Question Master

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.

Cynic
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… Read more »
Cynic
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… Read more »
Cynic
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,… Read more »
Cynic

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

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!

Cynic

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

Colin
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… Read more »
Steve Goodman

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).

Steve Goodman

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.

Cynic

@SG Save WHOM time and money?

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

Steve Goodman
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… Read more »
Cynic

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

Steve Goodman

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!)

peaceful_life

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?

Anna
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… Read more »
bongo
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… Read more »
peaceful_life
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… Read more »
Steve Goodman

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.

Steve Goodman

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).

Tanja Rebel
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… Read more »
max

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.

peaceful_life

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

max

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
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.… Read more »
steve s

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.

peaceful_life

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.

phil jordan

@ 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.

Cynic

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?

peaceful_life

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?

Cynic

Thanks PL

Steve Goodman

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.

bongo
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… Read more »
Don Smith

We want the facts from experts – Not public opinion.
Public opinion is nearly always against change, or something new.

peaceful_life

The facts are there from the experts.
It’s not a new technology.

peaceful_life

@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.

max
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… Read more »
peaceful_life
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… Read more »
tryme

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

peaceful_life

It’s all Pixels to me, Tryme. ;-0)

max

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.

Steve Goodman
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… Read more »
Don Smith

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?

Cynic

“Fracking will come, it must”

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

Steve Goodman
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… Read more »
Tanja Rebel
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… Read more »
Steve Goodman
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… Read more »
Tanja Rebel
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… Read more »
peaceful_life

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.

Tanja Rebel

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.

Cynic

“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!

Steve Goodman
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… Read more »
Cynic

“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!

peaceful_life

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

Tanja Rebel

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!

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