As a virtual worlds creator, I have a lot of contact with people all round the world and have been hearing, for some time, the awful tales of contaminated water and land surrounding fracking sites in the United States.
As our government is so keen to promote fracking as a way of extracting gas from the UK, I wanted to comment on what is proposed.
Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a way of extracting gas trapped under the ground, by the use of high pressure water and chemicals.
The chemicals are not extracted after use, they remain in the geology and, in many parts of the US, have made drinking water unsafe and even flammable.
The UK government seems astonishingly keen to promote fracking and very unwilling to approve renewable schemes for wind farms and solar farms. I find that very hard to understand.
When a solar or wind farm is at the end of its life, it can be dismantled and removed, and the land is unaffected.
When a fracking site is no longer in use, the chemicals and contaminated water remain in the ground, and may find their ways into water courses and poison the land – as has happened in many states in the US, most notably Pennsylvania.
Our own MP, Sir Edward Leigh, was proud of his opposition to wind and solar, and that he has personally intervened in a number of planning applications for these farms.
I understand people dislike their views being affected by these things, but we are, I believe, at a point in history where we have to choose renewable energy if the human race is to have a future.
Fracking, on the other hand, is something the government is promoting. The Government’s own report stated there were many risks and adverse effects to fracking. You can read the report for yourself on the Government’s own website for environment, food and rural affairs.
My own view is that even if the process of extraction was benign, we should not be exhausting every supply of fossil fuel.
There are two reasons: climate change and pollution are not helped by the burning of fossil fuels, and our descendants may, at some stage in the future, need fossil fuel for some purpose that we can’t even guess at.
The extraction process is not benign. It involves the use of toxic chemicals, a vast amount of water and can lead to an increased risk of earthquakes (as in Ohio) and a great deal of noise and disruption for the communities neighbouring the sites.
I would encourage people to inform themselves and join the online activist groups, including Frack-Free Lincolnshire, on Facebook.
I believe that anyone who takes the time to inform themselves about the actual effects of fracking in other parts of the world, rather than the rosy picture presented by our government, would oppose the process.
Chapel Street Market Rasen