Green guru's visit to support anti-fracking campaigners

More than 100 people turned out to hear the views of a top UK environmentalist at a Fylde fracking site.

Wednesday, 27th June 2018, 11:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th June 2018, 4:48 pm
George Monbiot at the Preston New Road site. Photograph courtesy of Refracktion.
George Monbiot at the Preston New Road site. Photograph courtesy of Refracktion.

George Monbiot, Oxford University Zoologist and Guardian environmental columnist, visited anti-fracking protesters at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road drill site.

The visit was at the invitation of the Green Party as part of the ongoing Green Monday campaign against the extraction of gas from shale rock deep below the ground.

Activists are to stage a 48 hour Block around the Clock protest starting tomorrow despite Cuadrilla having won a temporary injunction to prevent people blockading the site or those of its suppliers.

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Mr Monbiot, who has a new book out entitled Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for the Age of Crisis, spoke about the need to “reframe our political and democratic process to encourage greater participation of the public and the need to move towards a sustainable future based on renewables.”

He said in a tweet after the visit: “A determined, resilient, inspiring group of people, who are fighting climate breakdown and corporate arrogance on behalf of us all.

“It was wonderful to see how broad the public support for this protest is: I’ve never seen anything like it before.

“Almost everyone in the area seems to be against fracking and in favour of the demonstrators.”

A spokesman from Frack Free Lancashire said: “It was great to have George visit the site and show support for the communities where central government has overturned the democratic will of the local councils. His speech on driving a new political narrative was essential to hear and very inspiring.”

Tina Rothery from The Green Party said: “We wonder when the government will pay attention to the expert wise minds on fracking? So many scientists, academics and authors support the anti-fracking movement.”

But a pro-fracking group said Mr Monbiot's attitude was wrong.

A spokesman for Lancashire For Shale said: “It comes as no surprise to hear Mr Monbiot making anti-business remarks like this considering that in 2007 he was looking forward with some glee to the forecast recession.

“There is nothing arrogant about wanting to contribute to the economic regeneration of the area, which a successful Lancashire shale gas industry will do, whilst also helping to reduce our dependency on higher CO2 gas imports - surely, as an environmentalist Mr Monbiot should support that?"