Why Fracking is a BAD idea…

Britain’s future countryside?
Picture taken from blog.skytruth.org
Image copyrighted to Bruce Gordon, eco flight.

OK, just to warn you, this blog is going to be in rant mode.  I don’t normally preach but this is something I feel is very important.

HM Government seem to think its a great idea to introduce ‘Hydraulic Fracturing’ aka “Fracking” into the UK.  Fracking works by extracting natural gas from shale rock deep in the Earth.
Here, have a look:

http://www.what-is-fracking.com/

I especially love the bit where it says about horizontal drilling (into the shale layers):

This drilling process can take up to a month, while the drilling teams delve more than a mile into the Earth’s surface. After which, the well is cased with cement to ensure groundwater protection, and the shale is hydraulically fractured with water and other fracking fluids.

Sounds safe, right? But wait! Whaddya mean “water and other fracking fluids?”

Among others, Hydrochloric Acid, Methanol, Glutaraldehyde, Polyacrylamide, all for breaking down bacteria, keeping the water ‘slick’ and regulate temperature during heat increase.  Here’s a whole list and what they are for: http://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used

So, what happens to these fluids after gas extraction?

According to http://www.energyfromshale.org
Spent or used fracturing fluids are normally recovered at the initial stage of well production and recycled in a closed system for future use or disposed of under regulation, either by surface discharge where authorized under the Clean Water Act or by injection into Class II wells as authorized under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Regulation may also allow recovered fracturing fluids to be disposed of at appropriate commercial facilities. Not all fracturing fluid returns to the surface. Over the life of the well, some is left behind and confined by thousands of feet of rock layers.”

So, let me get this straight, the fluids are either reused for further fracking projects or disposed of according to regulation, or even just left in the rock?

So, say if any of those chemicals are leaked into a water supply, they end up killing bacteria which is vital for eco systems to thrive? Or what if the contained water begins to leak into the soil?
This article from the Scientific American (a country that has had Fracking a lot earlier than we did) gives some prime examples: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-fracking-wastewater-wells-poisoning-ground-beneath-our-feeth/

Including:
*Discovery of the weakening of rock that is supposed to contain the water fluids.
*Trees that become sick and die after a leak.
*The contamination to ground water supply, despite assurances.

So, if we get the go ahead, we in the UK have all this to come? Especially after proposals for fracking sites in every county, except Cornwall.

And as for earthquakes, according to the New Scientist, the high volumes of water (don’t forget those fracking fluids) can cause tremors, but not enough to be concerned: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21120-how-fracking-caused-earthquakes-in-the-uk.html#.UubbcfynySw

Oh, well that’s OK then, right?

It hasn’t been confirmed whether fracking will actually happen in the UK, our Government is still deciding if its enough of an investment to accept.

I really hope it doesn’t.

It will mean that our greenbelt will be torn up, ripped apart and polluted, for what? The dregs of gas in our global problem of dwindling energy supply? Delaying the inevitable fall for a few more decades?

What really pisses me off is that it seems like with the selling off of our forests and nature reserves, fracking will be another way to rape our land, leaving well holes to blight our landscape.  I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but here’s what I can see as a possible future for Britain:
All land marks sold off, corporations running our schools, police and medical facilities.  Thousands of more estates built on one half of the greenbelt, the other half as toxic zones or sterile after the fracking wells have been removed.  Pockets of woodland and nature parks owned by companies who charge all for entering them. Britain’s Green, either gone forever or sold off for profit.

Worst case scenario.

Best case scenario? This doesn’t happen!

Here’s a few of the anti-fracking petitions I have already signed myself, by all means look into fracking for yourself, I, for one am against it.

http://my.greenparty.org.uk/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=3&reset=1

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-shale-gas-extraction-by-fracking

http://www.campaigncc.org/frackingmeeting

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“Quoth the Raven…”

Here we are: 2014, a year away from the Hover Boards we were promised in the movie ‘Back to the Future 2’.

Bringing in the New Year has undergone many changes, especially in modern times where the mainstream celebrate with fire works and lighting Chinese Lanterns, perhaps unknowingly passing the old year and welcoming the new with the most basic (and instinctive) method of communal celebration: fire.

The New Year in folk tradition paints this as a time of transition, not only numerically, but in the world around us as well as the Otherworld.  Yorkshire lore has it that high winds around NY are the ‘Winds of Change’ where the new year is literally blowing away the old year, its effects and energies being cleared away.  In some areas including Yorkshire and beyond (apparently this also applies in Southampton), it was tradition to open all the windows just after midnight to let out all the bad luck and spirits gained from the old year… you had to be careful closing the windows though, because you could end up trapping a passing spirit in your home!

And in this transitional chaos, the world was seen as being in flux.  Meaning, if you knew where to look you could divine what the new year portended.

One Celtic tradition has it that if you were to watch the skies all of NY night, and you knew your clouds, you could tell what the year has in store.  I honestly can’t remember where I got that from, I think its Irish with variants in Scotland and Wales.

Others include:

* First Footing: good or bad luck on you and your household depending on the looks of the first man to come to your door just after midnight:
Dark Hair: Good fortune
Red Hair: Bad fortune (there’s your racist).
In fact, with that tradition, apart from the dark haired fella, any red headed, squint eyed, flat footed, women (there’s your sexist) are all bad luck!  Although if a man has a high instep or rides a horse then that’s very good luck (!?…).    I have flat feet and, in the right light, red in my hair, so next year I might go and knock on the doors of any neighbours who piss me off!

* Clocks: Should be wound up at the time of the beginning of New Year to bring good luck.

* Waking up: For a girl to awaken in the morning of New Years Day to see a man pass by, from her bedroom window, supposedly meant she can hope to be married before the year is ended.

So, getting into the spirit of New Year divinations, I asked my Druid Animal Oracle this simple question:

What do I need to focus on in 2014?

The answer:

image

Raven (Bran) reversed.

It means recognising that you cannot build or make foundations of something new without the destruction of the old.  It can also represent having to endure the dark in order to find the light.
Or it can mean the realisation of opposites “in light there is darkness, and in darkness, there is light”. There are stars in the night sky and there are embers that darken in any fire.

I will admit to thinking “Oh shit” when I drew it, but at the same time there is a sort of dread excitement… a development of something new but something will have to give way, what that will be is for 2014 to reveal.

“Allons-Y!”

Sources

Anonymous, ‘The Complete Book of Fortune: The secrets of the past, present & future revealed‘, Blaketon Hall Ltd, Exeter, 1988, p. 483.

Philip & Stephanie Carr-Gomm, ‘The Druid Animal Oracle Deck‘, Connections Book Publishing Ltd, London, This version printed 2005, pp. 20.  Illustrated by Bill Worthington.