UK gas gold in them there hills. Under pavements too?

streets of goldAlmost every day we see someone decrying an alleged impact of shale gas on UK National Parks or pristine rural areas. It’s always about the F word, although never about the Farming word. But the urban media is obsessed in perpetuating the Arcadia myth where countryside is idyll and urban is idle. Yet, the UK is missing an important trick by actively keeping shale gas in the countryside. 

What’s needed is some solidarity between rural and urban dwellers. Why should shale development be exclusively rural? There’s absolutely no geological reason for it. Shales are shales and they were created hundreds of millions of years ago. No one, divine or otherwise, placed them exclusively under National Parks, or rural landscape.

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Balance for blue: The surprising renewable energy success story Greens can’t bear to mention is Texas.

BalanceScaleAnimationAn endearing/infuriating attribute of the Green media community is an ability to influence the debate by highlighting renewable successes in ways framed to feed into the “lets call the whole controversial and risky fracking thing off” meme. To those in the green audience, the point is that renewables are already able to succeed so what do we need gas for? 

It’s only natural to publicise success, and I certainly don’t begrudge them it. What is hypocritical is promoting wind as a complete solution. It is inconsistent to not highlight wind success when it’s obviously supported by gas. No one in the oil and gas industry feels threatened by wind, but in the UK especially, wind supporters, (significantly, never the industry itself) generally frame the shale debate as one of either/or, not both.

Continue reading Balance for blue: The surprising renewable energy success story Greens can’t bear to mention is Texas.

The great myth of UK opposition to shale.

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One of the great myths remaining about UK shale gas is that public opposition will make it impossible to develop.

As someone active in the shale debate UK and worldwide for eight years, I’ve learnt one of the first things we need to do with objectors is to take a psychological approach: What do you fear exactly? Why do you feel this way? What have you heard or read that worries you? Do you  feel this way because your friends do? But it’s not just them. It’s time to put investors and regulators on the couch too.

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The Domino Effect: The Times They Are a Changing.

Irb can’t recommend Rusty Braziel’s book, out this week,  “The Domino Effect” too highly enough.This book hits just the right tone between readability for energy wonks and a general audience.

If I had the money, I’d simply send a copy of this to the single figure thousands of shale “activists” in the UK present on Twitter or Facebook.

Continue reading The Domino Effect: The Times They Are a Changing.