Shale gas is not – nor ever could be – as risky as thalidomide. Here’s why

RiskyBusiness350-350Adam Vaughan’s article in the Guardian on November 28 headlined “Fracking risk compared to thalidomide and asbestos” was not merely insensitive to thalidomide victims and their families, it was also a distortion of what the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser Dr Mark Walport was trying to point out, as the report’s title, “Innovation: Managing Risk, Not Avoiding It” suggests.

The report is 170 pages long and addresses many topics apart from hydraulic fracturing, including ones as varied as GMO crops and the autonomous trains of London’s Dockland Light Railway. Mr Vaughan’s attempt to dilute the complex arguments over the public perception of risk down to his favourite bête noire alone is a disservice to both the several dozen scientists who contributed to the work and his readers. 

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Is shale gas causing amnesia?

fawlty-towers-t-shirt-don-t-mention-the-war-text-mens-teeOn the back of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Synthesis Report and the US/China Climate Initiative, it’s now clear shale gas causes amnesia. Not too long ago, any attempt at placing natural gas within a climate change context was derided as “greenwashing” by the majority of Green NGO’s, most European one. Greenpeace were especially dismissive when I predicted in 2012  the inevitable way forward for 2015 would be China and the US reaching a climate solution that contained natural gas.

Alan Riley is a long time friend of No Hot Air and he said this in 2012 at the NYT in “Shale Gas to the Climate Rescue”

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UK ERC on shale gas

icon-availabilityThe UK Energy Research Centre Report on “The UK’s Global Gas Challenge” and the headlines about it said some fundamentally different things. This is another case of the UK press looking for two sentence solutions to complex issues. But it’s also a case where the sponsor of the report, Dr Jim Watson, who didn’t actually write much, if any, of it, decided to sell the report to the media to push his own agenda, not that of the other four authors. A part of the “conventional wisdom” response of opinion of UK “think tanks” has always been to talk down shale as inconsequential on one hand and to make sure those predictions come true on another. We’ve heard this for four years or more and the press, so busy informing the public on other issues of the day, are stuck in a loop that could be described as the “Let’s call the whole thing off and move straight to renewables” school. It’s moved way past tiresome, towards simply boring. 

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We’ll Surprise You: London Local Energy. Exploring for natural gas and oil under the world’s greatest city

We’ll surprise you.

So much has been written about “controversial” “unconventional” natural gas that most people will be surprised about almost anything London Local Energy says.

 Starting of course with London. But it’s all about the rocks beneath London as much as the great world city we call home that sits above them.

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Shale Gas: a missed opportunity

allegro-site-logoWhile I’m busy at London Local Energy, Here’s a guest post from our friends at Allegro . Let me add that I agree completely with his conclusions, and that I didn’t receive or seek any compensation from them. If you want advertorial, there are other media, including many UK “newspapers”, available.

Michael Hinton is Chief Customer Officer of Allegro. He is Allegro’s customer advocate throughout all aspects of the customer lifecycle. Mr. Hinton manages all interactions between Allegro and its customers ensuring each maximizes the value of their investment.

Since joining Allegro in 1997, Mr. Hinton has held a number of significant cross-functional roles in sales, services and management. Most recently, as Chief Marketing Officer, he was responsible for increasing brand awareness across the industry while increasing market share. Before that, he was Vice President of Product Marketing, where he led a global team in support of Allegro’s field operations. Prior to joining Allegro, Mr. Hinton held general management positions with Independent Gas Companies (IGC), and Skelgas, Inc.

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