I accidentally saw a drop of the news on the BBC last night.
They were waffling on about fracking.
I know a little bit about the subject. Apparently they bore a horizontal hole at great depth and then break up the rock with explosives and chemicals before extracting shale gas.
The Environmentalists and the Greens are violently against this process claiming that it damages the environment, that it’s dangerous and that we should be investing in bird-mincers instead.
So I am immediately all for it. If the Greens hate it, it has to be good.
But then the various governments claim that it will solve energy needs for decades to come, that it’s cheap and that it should get full scale investment.
So I am immediately against it. If governments are for it, there must be a massive catch somewhere.
Sooner or later, Ireland is going to enter the fray. If they haven’t started hunting for shale gas here, then they very soon will. And this country has an abysmal record when it comes to natural resources.
I watched the film “Pipe down” this morning. It is a documentary of the history of the “Shell to Sea” campaign. For those of you who are foreign to these shores, Shell discovered a large gas field off the west coast of Mayo. Naturally this gas has to be brought ashore and this is where the trouble starts. The residents of the area don’t want this as it means major disruption, potential danger and the possible/probable disruption of the local fishing beds.
Now I am all in favour of the people of a particular area asserting their rights. However when the people of west Mayo tried to assert theirs, the trouble started. To all intents and purposes, our Gardai [police] and our navy [such as it is] were handed over to Shell to apply Shell law, rather than Irish law. And thus started a campaign against the locals of violence and intimidation, threats and arrests.
Watching the documentary this morning filled in quite a few gaps in my understanding of the situation. It is really worth watching as it is an excellent illustration of modern Ireland – corruption and greed; politicians riding roughshod over the people they are supposed to represent; the power of Big Business over the rights of ordinary decent people.
All I can say is that I hope to God they never find shale gas in Ireland.