Shale gas; is fracking sustainable?

Winchester 1

This water meadow close to Winchester cathedral has changed little in 1000 years. There is shale gas below it. Should we extract the gas? What are the risks? Can we manage those risks?

Bill Butterworth 18 October 15

Britain could lead the world on delivering safe shale and the UK (England, N Ireland, AND Scotland AND Wales) has always been in the forefront of engineering.  Why should we bother? For two reasons; selfishness and responsibility. Selfish? When the lights go out, so does nearly everything we depend on; central heating, police computers, the City of London; car and truck fuel pumps, water mains pumps, hospitals, everything. This is not a question of “if”, more of when – we are short of power. Responsibility? Well, the UK has some of the best brains and applied technologists in the world and, if we are able to deliver safe shale, then we have a professional responsibility to actually deliver it to the wider world. Can it be delivered? Unequivocally, yes.

Firstly, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 says “there must be no risk to human life, wild life or the environment”.  There is, in this universe, no such thing as “no risk” except perhaps in the mind of the insane. The real question in life is quite simple; have we identified the risks, all of them, and do we have in place adequate monitoring and control measures that we can trust?

I certainly don’t know everything I need to know on this subject but, as best I can, I plan that each Sunday will be my responsible shale day. I will update this blog, looking at the risks one by one on a science-based, factual basis, honestly and professionally.

If you are really worried about global warming, try reading my book,  “Reversing global warming for profit” published by MX Publishing and available from bookshops or on line from Amazon.