The BCSE and Fracking

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The BCSE and Fracking

Postby Peter Henderson » Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:44 pm

What is the BCSE's view on fracking ?

I note the green lobby is firmly opposed to the practice on environmental grounds and contamination to water supplies. Most of those who post on the Giant's Causeway Facebook lobby group are also opposed to fracking. Many appear to be Green supporters.

The reason I ask this question is a Facebook friend (who is a former SJS/BCSE supporter) posted a meme of singer Bonnie Raitt from this Facebook group

https://www.facebook.com/BuyThisFrackin ... nref=story

With this message:

One of the most critical environmental issues of our time is banning fracking everywhere because it destroys our water, our communities, and our planet

Bonnie Raitt


Huh ????????

What the hell does Bonnie Raitt know about the geology of fracking ?

Anyway, the post subsequently links to a group calling itself "food & water watch" and this e-mail signed by various singers, including Raitt:

http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/M ... id=46381.0

Now I know Michael is a geologist who has no problem with fracking. Are these claims about contamination of ground water (i.e. aquifers ) and water supplies legitimate or unfounded ? Do movements like this have genuine concerns or is it just another aspect of the broad anti science movement which includes the anti vaxxers and anti GMO lobby ? What do other geologists on this forum think ?

Personally, I remember the furror surrounding mobile phone masts a few years back and the dangers of "micro wave radiation" which was supposed to cause cancer. If you knew anything about RF you would know there's more radiation from a microwave oven than a 25 watt ERP radio mast even several hundred yards away.

Strange how all that nonsense has died down now.

I was also under the impression (from news reports in the media) the slump in global oil prices was largely due to fracking in the US. They deny this as well of course, but I'm sure I've seen quite a few media reports that indicate this.
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby a_haworthroberts » Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:04 pm

Peter

Michael Roberts and Paul Braterman are both in favour - see their blogs 'Peddling and Scaling God and Darwin' and 'Eat your brains out' where Paul reblogged at least one of Michael's frequent blog posts on the topic and recent events in north Lancashire (I think Brian Jordan may also be in favour but am not entirely certain). But that is all I know ie I'm not aware of an official position eg one taken by the whole BCSE committee or membership.

Personally I am broadly in favour too. Along of course with renewables and nuclear - because of the threat of climate change.

For what it's worth, there was an Iain Stewart documentary (an edition of 'Horizon'?) which concluded that the danger to water supplies applied when fracking was done incorrectly or carelessly and was not an unavoidable risk from ANY fracking for shale gas or other fuels.

However, I think some scientists are still more cautious about fracking than they are about GM crops. For instance this one - if I am recalling the right recent TV news interview that I listened to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... ic-advisor
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby cathy » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:20 pm

Like a lot of things it's difficult to find sources to trust when business is involved. I trust Michael 100% on geology knowledge and religion and science generally and Paul 100^ on all science so if they're ok I'm not too concerned. I'm not sure BCSE has a position does it?

To be honest I've huge admiration for Caroline Lucas of the Green Party but that is more her stance on feminism and equality than her green policies. I guess no one party will be perfect which is why single issue campaigns like this one are a god send in many ways. Allowing lots of different people to focus on one important issue. Dreading this election. Milliband reminds me of Wallace more and more each day and the thought of UKIP being anyone's coalition partner is nightmarish :( :( :( :(
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby Peter Henderson » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:09 pm

Personally I am broadly in favour too. Along of course with renewables and nuclear - because of the threat of climate change.


Indeed Ashley, I would agree with you, though I'd imagine the Greens are against the nuclear option.

Michael Roberts and Paul Braterman are both in favour

I do wish Paul would voice his opinion more on the Causeway Facebook group as there appears to be a number of extreme Greens over there opposed to fracking, especially in NI. They were very up beat when the current NI Minister for the environment (Mark H.Durkan) refused permission to a mining company to start exploratory drilling to see of fracking was feasible in Co. Fermanagh.

To be honest I've huge admiration for Caroline Lucas of the Green Party but that is more her stance on feminism and equality


Interestingly Cathy, the local Green Party leader, MLA Stephen Agnew, made the proposal encouraging women (and it will be women under this one) to go back to reusable nappies for environmental reasons. Come on, you cannot be serious. I remember suggesting this to a friend (who is quite green orientated) after our first child was born and he just looked at me and said, "no Peter, don't even think about it". I also remember my mum doing this during the 60's and it was a real pain.

So the Greens do come out with some rather outlandish ideas on the environment. Naturally, I had a run in with a few people on the Causeway Facebook group on that one.

My Facebook friend subsequently told me he thought fracking might be OK in isolated desert areas of the US but not densely populated parts of Southeast England. He also disagreed with me on the reasons why the oil price had collapsed.
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby Peter Henderson » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:15 pm

I suppose the old NIMBY (not in my back yard) mentality also plays a part in all of this.
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby Peter Henderson » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:05 am

From food and water watch's GMO crops section:

Learn how the chemicals used on genetically modified crops are creating dangerous superweeds, harming the farmers and the environment.


The website has a touch of the "Alex Jones" conspiracy theories about it.
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby jon_12091 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:46 pm

The UK is not the USA.
Geology is different.
Legislation and regulation are very different.
Quite often what the anti-frackers say is actually somewhat different to what the evidence actually says.
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby cathy » Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:56 pm

'Women' to go back to reusable nappies Peter!!!!!! Let me at him with my fierce stare! Please let him know that it's babies wear nappies and they commonly have two parents - one of either sex both of whom are more than capable of changing nappies. So of he does wish to go back to reusables it'll be women AND men he should be encouraging. Not only sexist but homophobic - gay men have babies to. Grrrr. How to lose voters. Worse than any calm down dears from Camoron.

Caroline Lucas is pretty good and nothing like your green throwback. Not actually sure of her views on fracking tho.

How does fracking compare in the climate change debate?

Sadly the oil price collapse is benefitting the Tories.
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby Peter Henderson » Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:57 pm

So of he does wish to go back to reusables it'll be women AND men he should be encouraging. Not only sexist but homophobic


To be fair Cathy, he didn't really mention the gender or sexual orientation of the parents but I really can't see many men (or women) starting into washing cloth nappies in this day and age. The proposal was actually made by councillor Ross Brown and not Steven Agnew:

http://voterossbrown.eu/city-council-sh ... kle-waste/

http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/region ... -1-6568471

I'd imagine the practice might even be highly unhygienic, given you're handling human excrement in a domestic situation

Clearly the guy has no experience of looking after babies and young toddlers.

It's nonsense like this that would put me off voting for them Cathy.
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby Peter Henderson » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:01 pm

jon_12091 wrote:The UK is not the USA.
Geology is different.
Legislation and regulation are very different.
Quite often what the anti-frackers say is actually somewhat different to what the evidence actually says.


Indeed Jon, as it was in the mobile phone mast protests a while back. That's why I'm sceptical of many of their claims.

As you say, the geology is different as well.
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:08 am

"Not actually sure of her views on fracking tho." I am ...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23759827
Many in the Green Party act like they are following some weird pagan religion rather than evidence-based science or reason and pragmatism.
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby Peter Henderson » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:23 am

a_haworthroberts wrote:"Not actually sure of her views on fracking tho." I am ...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23759827
Many in the Green Party act like they are following some weird pagan religion rather than evidence-based science or reason and pragmatism.


My Facebook friend who opposes fracking campaigned for the Greens in Scotland in one of the elections Ashley, so it doesn't surprise me she's against fracking.
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby Brian Jordan » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:30 pm

I didn't know I'd expressed an opinion on fracking, but here goes...(pauses to put kettle on!)
I know very little geology but it's clear that many of the arguments against fracking are ill-informed, with many coming from debunked American sources. Arguments less easily rejected are the inevitable surface disruptions such as heavy traffic and eyesores but these are common to many industrial activities that need planning permission. I remember many years ago when the Boulby potash mine was proposed for North Yorkshire. There would be no eyesore problem, the Whitby Gazette was told, it would be unnoticeable because it would be screened by trees. Or not, as it turned out.
I'm a bit puzzled by the Mineral Rights argument. Anti-frackers talk about strangers delving below people's land without paying or needing permission. Wasn't ever thus in the days of coal mines? I knew someone who was well compensated for subsidence damage but don't recall his ever getting paid for the coal that had been extracted!
So it becomes a matter of disputed "facts" and an unrelated but not unsurprising nimbyism. In general, many of the "facts" are based on ignorance piled on preconception - a bit like creationist arguments.
Which brings us to the BCSE's attitude: there isn't one. However, the NCSE has decided to take climate denial under its umbrella because of its similarity to and some overlap with creationist anti-science.
I'm a bit ambivalent about Green politics - just as some Greens are ambivalent about science and common sense. We used to know the family of the local Green parliamentary candidate, who is a local councillor and generally good bloke, but in this day and age voting for any single-issue party is a wasted vote when it's so close between the main parties of Left and Right. It would be different if we had (a satisfactory version of ) PR.
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Re: The BCSE and Fracking

Postby cathy » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:19 pm

To be fair I'd not be voting green based on Caroline Lucas, one MP, being good on one issue where I do agree with her which has nothing to do with the environment nor fracking. Unless of course the only alternative was UKIP or the Tories in which case any party would be preferable. Peter I don't think any sane person would use reusable nappies no matter how green they were. I can't even imagine what that would be like. This election is depressing tho. The wrong Milliband has no chance and should be eviscerating the Tories by now. Farage is doing the old bloke and character hiding sheer lunacy trick and getting away with it.
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