Can we stop Climate Change by opposing Fracking?

“Sorry, folks, but if you care about the environment – the planet for that matter – your strategy to stop oil pipelines is futile if its only focus is oil spills on land and sea. You may stop one or two poorly conceived projects, but you won’t stop industry expansion. There is too much money to be made in a world that allows carbon pollution to remain largely unpriced and unconstrained.” (Mark Jaccard, The Energy Collective, 2nd October 2013)

Can’t we say the same about Fracking?  Will opposing Fracking solve (or even address) the problem of global warming?  We may be focussing on the detail rather than the big picture – now is the time to lobby for a complete turn-around in our approach to energy sources.  Our cry should be “Leave the carbon underground”, invest in renewable energy sources, stop the waste in energy use.  Our target – produce all electricity in Ireland from renewables by 2030, replace most petrol and diesel powered vehicles by electric, increase insulation in our houses.

Which is not to say that we in GEAI do not completely oppose Fracking.  Unconventional shale gas development is a scar on the landscape, a polluter of air and water, a scourge of local communities.  But Fracking is not the only game in town.  Mother Earth is in danger.  All of us know what a 2C increase in our body temperature feels like.   She is heading for more than 2C at the moment, towards a future incompatible with life as we know it.  If we are to save her, we all have to act.  In the words of Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

(Aedín)

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