But as with chemicals, earthquakes, water and dead birds, what is the reality behind the alleged controversy? Does one person for example create a controversy? I ask because the actual number of opponents of shale in the UK are so small that in any other issue it would not be worth mentioning.
Now we do live in a democracy, but if so how come the shale gas movement which mustered somewhere between 7 and 12 protestors at a conference in London Wednesday, or 30 at a national campaign launch in Manchester on Saturday gets far more publicity than this organisation which has hundreds of members publicly listed on their web site to support their view
This website is dedicated to unraveling the true mysteries of the universe and demonstrating that the earth is flat and that Round Earth doctrine is little more than an elaborate hoax.
By comparison the Frack-Off demonstration as we see here can only muster a handful:
The march was a collective action by activists from Frack Off (London), London Rising Tide and other interested groups. It was in solidarity with Irish anti-fracking groups who are protesting at the same time. The leprechaun theme was chosen both to mark St Patrick’s day and also because companies are currently trying to frack in Ireland.
Carl from Frack Off said, “Fracking has been shown to cause water contamination and earthquakes in the US, so it ought to be stopped improvehearingnaturally.com/Buy-Nexium.html here until we are certain it is safe. We also need to reduce our carbon emissions and fracking will cause a disastrous cut to investment in low-carbon power sources. The only sensible course is to say ‘no thank you’ to fracking”
But the demonstration was enough to get coverage in The Guardian:
Saturday’s meeting follows the blockading of a fracking industry conference in London on Thursday, when activists obstructed the entrance to the hotel where the conference was taking place with a giant banner. They were coordinated by Frack Off, London Rising Tide and other protest groups.
Carl, an activist at Frack Off, said: “Fracking has been shown to cause water contamination and earthquakes in the US, so it ought to be stopped here until we are certain it is safe.
“We also need to reduce our carbon emissions, and fracking will cause a disastrous cut to investment in low-carbon power sources. The only sensible course is to say no thank you to fracking.”
The story was simply a re-write of Frack-Off, even though Fiona Harvey of The Guardian even managed to get basic facts wrong, the “blockade” happening on Wednesday, an hour after the conference ended if the protestors had bothered to read the agenda.
And who is Carl? Is Carl so famous that he only needs a first name? Or is he Indonesian and only uses one name? Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before he changes his (or her) name to a symbol: The fractivist formerly known as Carl. I’ve already complained about the lapse of reporting standards to the Guardian, but I’m sure they’ll ignore me. Carl may actually be working for the nuclear or coal industry or be a Gazprom agent. But with only one name, how could we ever know.
Carl and friends Manchester meeting was considered controversial enough to merit a mention on BBC News North West Saturday evening. It doesn’t appear on BBC iPlayer, so we depend on a source equally as eminent as Carl, Mrs Joyce Evans of Bolton, Lancashire who told me that judging from the clip she saw about 30 people at that national event. Full disclosure: Mrs E is my mother-in-law.
How come Mrs E, or me for that matter doesn’t merit an opinion in the press? Could it be that there are opponents, and hidden allies, hoping to exaggerate not only the danger of earthquakes or chemicals, but also the scale of the opposition? Opponents who primarily wish to cow the UK government into a bureaucratic inertia which serves the same purpose as an outright ban?
Next time we see “controversial” shale gas we need to also ask, how big a number is that?
Gasland, the controversial 2010 documentary film written and directed by Josh Fox, was viewed by only about a dozen people Saturday at the Radnor Library, but a lively discussion of the film followed its showing.
Lively discussion is fine. But, as with the science facts of shale, lets see numbers. Preferably with both names.