Nothing learnt from the two world wars
I do find this new form of warfare quite baffling.
Not only do we have the President of America tweeting away like an immature teenager and making threats by tweets, but it now appears that governments – via the media – inform the ‘enemy’ of their proposed plans of attack.
Is it any wonder that forewarned Assad is shipping out his planes and military personnel into safety, therefore nullifying any future attack from the allies and turning it into a fruitless gesture?
What does occur to me is that, after two world wars, and an appalling loss of life, governments apparently have learnt nothing.
Call ourselves civilised?
Incidentally, I would also like the main powers-to-be to personally inform me in advance if world war three is indeed about to break out – obviously being nuclear – so that I can hurriedly spend all my savings and enjoy myself before being totally annihilated by the stupidity of the Americans and Russians!
At greater risk than Yorkshire residents
When any industry moves into a rural area, there will be changes to air quality which can have consequences for the health of nearby residents, and shale gas is no exception.
All stages of constructing and operating a site can release air borne contaminants, including volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, as well as methane.
Although the US shale gas industry is relatively new, a growing body of studies is already finding a range of adverse effects on health, especially for vulnerable residents.
For example, a quick search of the Zotero database shows a recent study of infant health in Pennsylvania. This found evidence of the negative health effects of in utero exposure for mothers living up to 3 km away from a fracking site.
The Scottish government commissioned a comprehensive series of reports which assessed the direct and indirect public health risks associated with fracking and concluded that fracking must be banned.
In contrast to this, the UK government is pressing ahead with fracking, and has not even defined a minimum setback distance between homes and pads.
So where does that leave Lancashire and Yorkshire?
North Yorkshire has produced a draft minerals plan that includes policies on high volume hydraulic fracturing and this is currently being examined at a public hearing. Residents and councils have called for a 500m buffer zone as a minimum, and the Government-appointed planning inspector has supported this idea.
It was noticeable that Kevin Hollinrake, the MP for Thirsk and Malton, called for minimum separation distances of 1.5km for any settlement of three or more homes. This is in sharp contrast to the situation at Preston New Road where residents are only 350m away from the pad. Is there such a thing as a safe setback distance? And if so, is it 500m, 1.5km, 3km or more?
The Yorkshire plan will be the model for all other county councils and what is evident is that Lancashire residents will be put at greater risk than those in Yorkshire. Clearly this is not acceptable.
Not much of return for all the risk
Cuadrilla has reported recently that the four wells which it has been granted permission to drill show “signs” of a “sizable quantity of shale gas...enough to power 5,000 homes for 30 years”.
There are about 650,000 homes in Lancashire, which means that the four wells together might provide one year’s worth of gas for each one. This is not much of a return considering the rape of the Lancashire environment and the legacy of risk for future generations.
How much interest does council pay?
I would be interested in how much interest Blackpool Council pay per year to fund its many grandiose schemes. Perhaps under the freedom of information act, you could discover this!