Sunday, 4 August 2013

A postcard from Frackpool

16:36:00 Posted by Shaun Brookes , , 2 comments

Mock-postcard showing a fracking well, a broken tower and the caption "shaking things up since 2012"

Well, prepare yourself for gas flares firing at the end of your driveway- and strengthen those listed rectory walls whilst you’re at it- words to that effect from Energy Minister Michael Fallon today graced my favourite paper- the Mail on Sunday. Well, who would have thought it. After months and months of people trying to explain that this fracking nonsense is just that- and that it isn’t worth it- despite the best efforts of the direct beneficiaries, we’re finally hearing the hushed voices.
I couldn’t help but laugh- mostly in awe when I heard on the news last week that protestors had glued themselves together outside the Balcombe site. Part of me wishes I was there- that I had the dough (and the balls) to quit my job and set up camp, but for now, I’ll just keep on dreaming up ideas for poems and try to do my bit in dissuading the various people I encounter.
Today for instance, I had both sides of the argument from two regulars, ten minutes apart. The first, a local farmer who owns land just a 90 second drive from the site, has a ‘friend’ who worked in fracking. The story goes that some parts Over-Wyre, the gas is just blowing out of the ground without any fracking what-so-ever. Why shouldn’t we get it out, he asked me. Whilst this apparently justifies drilling for it, it also suggests there could be a better way given time.

The second story goes that the non-existent earthquakes after last year’s initial drilling cracked the newly skimmed wall of a customer’s house. I’ve heard people dismissing any link between the earthquakes and fracking. I must have missed the local area memo for people to tweet on mass about tremors, simultaneously- that would explain my reluctance to accept the myth that they didn’t happen, I was just ill-informed of course.  
When you pit those two tremors against the further, non-environmental fear of how many local jobs would even be created should we decide to let this ghastly welling continue, it quickly becomes a no-brainer. It would be naïve to think communities will benefit to the extent that has been suggested- there’ll be taxes and tariffs galore at the first chance ministers get- so really, is it worth crossing the Rubicon. You’d have to ask if there is that much money for so little risk, why have the French led the world in banning it.

 I’ll continue to spread the message. I’ll continue to consider the way we’re told one thing one week and something else the next. Most of all, I’ll continue to write about the things I deem the most important at the moment- the misinformation- which, as a poet, is the least I can do.

Thanks for reading, S



vicky ellis said...

Good stuff. Poets leading the way in community information dispersal.

Ashley R Lister said...

Fracking scares the hell out of me. It's just another Tory plan to rape the environment. As if there weren't enough of those.