As our population grows and our energy sources decrease so comes the time when we feel the need to find more energy – a more recent development globally is that of fracking. fracking is when water, sand and chemicals are blasted through drilled wells in the ground at high pressures in order to fracture (this is where the term ‘fracking’ comes from) the rocks underneath which in turn releases natural gases and in some cases, oil.
This may seem like a perfectly plausible way of obtaining new natural energy, and in some ways it does have it’s positives. It has the ability to create more jobs, the energy bills in the US (where fracking is big) have been substantially reduced and it can also provide sources of energy for long periods of time, but with any damage that is done to our planet it also comes with repercussions.
In 2011, when a fracking well was set up in Blackpool by a company called Cuadrilla, the process was halted due to small earth tremors as a result of fracking. Obviously this is extremely dangerous and, quite frankly, worrying to think about; definitely a good thing that Cuadrilla decided to suspend the process – although who’s to say they won’t give it another go, there is money to be made after all! On top of this man made natural disaster, there is potential that the cancer-causing chemicals that are used in the process could be released into the atmosphere and taint any nearby water reserves. So not only do we get minor earthquakes, it could also potentially cause cancer – fracking isn’t really sounding all that promising if I’m being perfectly honest!
Reports from a woman in North Texas, who lived close to drilling sites claimed she experienced nosebleeds, nausea and headaches when the drilling began. On top of this, a town named Barnhart in Texas claimed that the fracking was the reason that their town ran out of water. The question we have to ask ourselves here is obvious, are cheap oil and gas prices and more jobs worth the health and potentially lives of some of the human population?
Speaking to a friend of mine, Reece Thornley, who has a degree in wildlife and conservation biology and who has always been an activist for environmental welfare; I wanted to know how his peaceful protest in the Lancashire fracking project had been received by both the company Cuadrilla and the police, he claimed:
“I myself have been victim of excessive police force when I was arrested by 2 police officers for refusing to give up my lawful right to peacefully protest in the central reservation of the road. As a result, I was dragged off the road in front of oncoming lorries by force, where I was then shoved into a thorny hedge with my whole body and face pressed into vegetation cutting into my arms and cheeks, where one exclaimed ‘that will fucking teach you for not doing as your told you cunt’. When I pushed back because they were hurting me, they dragged me to the floor and double locked my arms using an illegal pressure point on my hand before kneeing me in my back to make me fall to the ground where they then pushed my face into the ground. All the time my fellow protesters, or protectors as they prefer to be called, screamed blue murder! They then had to ask their superior officer what offence I had committed (because I had done nothing wrong), to which I was done for with ‘obstruction of the highway’, spent hours in a squalid cell, an charged due to appear in court on may the 5th.”
Shocking to think that someone could be a victim of police brutality, simply for peacefully attempting to stop not only environmental damage, but also a potentially life threatening way of sourcing new energy. If you want to read the rest of Reece’s report, here it is: fracking-for-Georgia and as usual any relevant links I have found that may be of interest: