Last night in Upton Bishop

Last night I was at a screening of the film Gasland organised by a lovely group of people in Upton Bishop. A very pleasant evening with a good turnout of the local community and lots of homemade cakes! The film was way too long at 107 minutes and very short on accuracy or factual detail, but did have some interesting interviews. Most of the people in the hall last night were already convinced of the case against fracking. For those who simply came to find out more it was not a good place to start and contrasted poorly with the February evening in Ludlow where Prof Michael Rosenbaum gave a very good introduction to the subject.

Rather at the other extreme from the film Gasland are a couple of weighty reports which are worth a quick look, and which I referred to last night. The Hughes Report ‘Drill, Baby, Drill: Can unconventional fuels usher in a new era of energy abundance?’ gives masses of detail on the geological potential and the difficulties of extracting this resource, while Ingraffea et al focus more on the climate change implications. In August 2013 I wrote the following paragraph in a previous blog

There has been some good coverage of the threats to groundwater and the wider environment caused by fracking. (eg, Prof Ian Stewart BBC 2 Horizon programme ‘Fracking: The New Energy Rush’ and the Ecologist TV video ‘Fracking Hell: The Untold Story’) The cumulative impact of these local disasters will have enormous economic consequences as the law suits pile up. However the fact that fracking is probably even worse than coal from a climate change point of view gets very much less coverage. Three Cornell professors, having analysed the climate change implications of fracking sum up the situation with the warning that “shale gas is not a suitable bridge fuel for the 21st Century”.

Hughes Report

Ingraffea et al

The Frack Free Herefordshire site is also well worth exploring.