Unprofound Thoughts on Fracking 466

I hope I don’t pretend to have expertise on everything. On fracking I have none. My entirely amateur views on the subject are that the major risk appears to be pollution of aquifers. The UK seems too seismically stable for earthquakes or volcanoes to be a serious concern. I am not terribly worried about the local environmental consequences of the installations – human activity of all kinds detracts from the natural environment in a sense. This spot was doubtless a great deal more pleasing aesthetically before Dundee was built upon it. But then Dundee has a great deal more human utility.

It is also plain to me that humans are going to have to burn fossil fuels for a while yet, despite the very obvious fact that we also need to put much more energy and resource into developing renewable alternatives.

So I am not opposed to fracking in principle, which I know will upset some people. But nor can I understand the hurry. Fracking is being undertaken on a very large scale in the United States and elsewhere. Onshore fracking is not actually a new technology at all, but its widespread use is new. Given concerns especially about the effects on underground water supplies, why don’t we just wait for thirty years and see how it turns out elsewhere? That should give time for a good accumulation of evidence.

The hydrocarbons are not going anywhere – they will still be there in thirty years time and I predict will be a good deal more valuable. So my entirely unprofound, non-fundamentalist and dully pragmatic view on fracking is that there should be a thirty year moratorium. Then we can think about it.

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466 thoughts on “Unprofound Thoughts on Fracking

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  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “Apparantly two legislative acts to strengthen security agents power and restrict civil liberties were being considered in Canadian parliament with strong opposition from general public to such legislative acts. I bet tomorrow parliament will have no opposition to adopt the acts.”

    Splendid if correct.

    And you’re tendentiously misrepresenting the purpose of the two bills, by the way.

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    The question has been answered, in absentia.

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    ‘do you have a tatoo?’ Summing up the genuine respect for those who fight for chicken-hawks lacking honor or Semper Fidelis.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    From Ben

    “I know Germany is land-locked”

    It’s a “John Goss moment” as it’s become known!

    (The “indigenous unhabitants of the Falklands” refers)

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “Zionist support is alive and well in the Zionist outpost of Canada under the control of Harper and Baird to such an extent that many Canadians were joining the IDF in the recent mass slaughter of Palestinians.”

    Is the implication of the above (and the rest of your post) that

    (1) Canada had it coming

    (2) the killing of the soldier was justified

    (3) you personally would reply “yes” to the above two questions?

    Are you an apologist for terrorism, Mary?

  • glenn_uk

    @ Habbabkuk: Surely my comments did not imply that they should not be supported under any circumstances. It must have been clear, my point was that they would receive support more regularly, if the authorities did not take such advantage of goodwill towards genuine efforts against terrorism. Rather than using “terrorism” as a catch-all for doing whatever they like to throttle dissent for their policies. Come on, play the game here.

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    “Are you an apologist for terrorism, Mary?”

    ” You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

    The answer although not forthcoming, is implicit.

  • Peacewisher

    @Smith: That was my point earlier. It worked in US and then in UK… and eventually in France… they just had to get the wording right for the culture. Weren’t they clever! Just like herding sheep. And it is surely expected to work in Canada. Especially if the Bilingual CBC does their job as effectively as the BBC. But why are they doing this??? Do they really want a major war with the Islamic world?

    @Habby: Of course the rise of the IRA was the by-product of heavy-handed people handling in Belfast in the late 1960s. I thought that was well accepted and Blair apologised (can you imagine that!). Some times I wonder if you grew up in these isles at all.

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    The dearth of protestations from the military proponents who have no response to their lack of patriotic duty, while they accuse others of a lack of militancy, is observable. These are the same sub-humans who send others into battle, then complain about the costs of wounded warriors returning home. They complain but they don’t explain their own personal exemptions from military service. Do they have even a rat-scat of integrity or credibility? Can there be any redemption for this layer of scum at the bottom of the frog-swamp?

  • Peacewisher

    “Splendid if correct”

    So you are in favour of totalitarian government then, Habby…

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    Your original post would have been better if you had started off by saying that the UK authorities deserve to be supported in their fight to prevent terrorism before going on to tell us at some length how they would get even more support.

    Actually, I believe that most British people (certainly those who wish their country well) do support what the govt is doing to combat terrorism (including increasing preventative measures if various kinds).


    As to this blog, well, if you’re honest you will agree with me that the position of several Eminent commenters here on terrorism and terrorist acts such as those just witnessed in Ottawa and Québec is at best ambiguous.

    Or rather, it is perhaps not ambiguous. Deep down, the Marys, RoSs, DonnyDarkos and so on rather like what they’re seeing, because they have a deep hatred of the UK and a number of other Western countries. But of course they daren’t come out with an endorsement of those terrorists acts because (1) they would put off more moderate and sane readers here and (2) they are afraid of attracting the (justified) attention of the security services.

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    ” because they have a deep hatred of the UK and a number of other Western countries. ”

    I suppose that is a more defensible position than the knee-drop you reflexively take. I hear a sucking sound when you speak.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    ““Splendid if correct”

    So you are in favour of totalitarian government then, Habby…”

    Only if you believe that the two Canadian bills referred to will bring about totalitarian govt, Peacewisher.

    As it happens, I do not believe that.

    I believe that those two bills are intended to provide the Canadian authorities with useful and effective tools with which to fight the scourge of terrorism.

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    What is your contribution to the military, havasack? Can you take some credit for at least being a reservist, or a volunteer? ‘Natch. You do nothing without monetary compensation without the risk of physical harm.

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    They seem to hate the word ‘chickenhawk’ It must have something to do with absence of balls, or attendant male properties.

  • Peacewisher

    Habby: Any legislation that runs contrary to the principles of the 30 articles of the UN Charter on Human Rights is clearly moving in the direction of totalitarianism.

    Of course the US probably had its own takeover in the late 1940s because it went from helping to set up the charter to refusing to sign up to it…

  • Sofia

    Node. 1 03pm Pattern Recognition.

    Johnstone. 2 09pm Schumacher. “Small is Beautiful”

    Thanks for pointin to the bigger picture.

    Some more thoughts…

    “In non-hierarchical“… societies whose members cooperate freely, intelligence is additive; in hierarchical organizations structured around a chain of command, intelligence is subtractive. The lowest grunts or peons are expected to carry out orders unquestioningly. Their critical faculties are 100% impaired; if not, they are subjected to disciplinary action. The supreme chief executive officer may be of moderately impaired intelligence, since it is indicative of a significant character flaw to want such a job in the first place. (Kurt Vonnegut put it best: “Only nut cases want to be president.”) But beyond that, the supreme leader must act in such a way as to keep the grunts and peons in line, resulting in further intellectual impairment, which is compounded across all of the intervening ranks, with each link in the chain of command contributing a bit of its own stupidity to the organizational stupidity stack.”

    Dmitry Orlov. “Understanding Organizational Stupidity”

    “Pit one socially net-worked problem-solving web against another—a constant occurrence in nature—and the one which most successfully takes advantage of complex adaptive system rules, that which is the most powerful cooperative learning contraption, will almost always win.”

    Howard Bloom. “Global Brain”

    Some interesting research here… A Stupidity-Based Theory of Organizations

    So, it seems tupidity cascades down through hierarchical systems, multiplying istelf until it reaches… ? Dad. Can you comment?

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    OOPS; Shit, in order to be useful has to be tamped down, rather than fluffed. Septic tanks need leach-lines just as the duodenum needs a rectum, so bowels can be evacuated.

  • Oops

    Yes but only Germans pay attention to their poops – and they have those platform toilets to make it easy.

  • Sofia

    Ben. 12 23pm

    “It must have something to do with absence of balls…”


    And Dad, what’s the point of using a delicious and highly sought-after female organ as a term of abuse? Doesn’t that make you a bit of a pr… Oh, forget it!

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    Sofia; Excellent metaphor, but I wonder if your Dad truly gets the drift. Now if he sees a lack of balls as a mulligan, he is certain to misunderstand.

  • Sofia


    “…but I wonder if your Dad truly gets the drift.”

    Since his is rank puts him very near the base of the hierarchical stupidity cascade I’m confident his next droppings are will confirm your doubts.

    The quality of trolls here is a scandal.

  • jivss


    You really are a desperate fucking troll clown.

    Not content with seeing tv licence evaders as some kinda terrorists you now seem to be insinuating half the posters on this blog are terrorists too.

    You are an embarrassing little Mickey Mouse shill.

    Pathetic,desperate and deeply ignorant Habbabkuk.

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    “The quality of trolls here is a scandal.” I had to chuckle.

    The scandal is their reliance on typos and semantics for their only foundation of grievances long held without a scrap of christian forgiveness or rectitude. Such scandals rarely reach the conscious minds of the perpetrators, if sentience is not a bridge too far for the likes of them. We an only hope they don’t get smarter and that’s also a bridge too far.

  • glenn_uk

    @ Habbabkuk: Is it necessary to declare patriotism, support for the troops/authorities, denounce official terrorists and so forth, before feeling that one might meekly suggest how the authorities might further these goals even better?

    That is the job of the mainstream media, not mine – and they do the job very obligingly. Personally, I find it rather sinister that it’s even suggested one should avow faith and allegiance to the state, death to their enemies etc., before being considered eligible to discuss a subject.

    In this regard, I don’t think most British people regard official terrorists much of a threat at all – despite the best efforts of the authorities to terrorise us concerning them. Most British people would find it insulting and risible that photographing a local police station’s old fashioned lamp is an actionable offence under terrorism legislation. Would you not agree? Particularly since such action is widespread, not simply the buffoonery of some local over-zealous force.

    Examples are so numerous, I trust you will not be belabouring this discussion with requests for references.

    Far from combatting terrorism, our administration is doing its best to stoke it. Did Iraq pose any threat to the UK? Has our invasion and occupation of that country not increased the likelihood of terrorism as a direct result? Is our perceived (and actual!) enthusiasm for joining the US’s military adventurism not making us a target for militant reprisals?


    As to this blog – I feel you read those you term the “Eminences” entirely wrong. They do not want harm to some poor bloody soldier who was on ceremonial duty in Canada, no more than they want to see a London Tube bombing or a car bombing in Baghdad. Arguably, there is some smugness in noting a backlash to joining in on the corrupt GWOT.

    But even if these actions were endorsed – should that require a visit from the SS boot-boys? Do you feel a comment on blogs, the exercise of nothing but free speech, should bring about punishment from the state?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Glenn, sorry about that.. this a bit of what I wrote live on The Daily Telegraph’s website tonight straight out of my head..sorry if it doesn’t reach your standards..

    Don’t be put off..when you fail the test..just do it again a few months later..and then 3 months later you pass with flying colours…just if you feel that way…just if you want to do what you really want to…

    Maybe train as a nurse or a doctor..and they may say you are not good enough…then train as a paramedic..can I get on this course..can I drive really fast cars with flashing lights and take Responsibility of The Situation < Because I am in Authority///i might only be a 25 year old girl…but I got here first..and I know what to do..and we are standing outside the pub…looking on in amazement…

    Yes our NHS really is that fast…the nurses arrive and take control of the situation..and the police and if necessary the ambulances turn up a few minutes later..

    The 25 Year Old Girl…then Drives on To The Next one in her 8 hour shift…

    That 25 year old girl..just saved your life..didn't you notice?..She personally brought you back from the dead..and you opened your eyes and slowly and very gradually went wow..she really did do that..if she hadn't turned up I would be Dead…



    won't even give them 1%???

    wtf is going on?


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