The scientific report into fracking (gas extraction through shale) has proved what environmentalists feared, which is that it contaminates drinking water and has a high risk of causing underground explosions.
You may remember that I wrote about my concerns regarding this cheap and comparatively easy way of obtaining gas from land some time ago. Not only is it hazardous to human and animal health but also it devastates the land and the world of nature, as has since been proven. However, once again little notice seems to be being paid to the findings. The fracking boom is continuing unabated in the US, and the UK has commissioned further studies into how best fracking can be incorporated into energy provision.
It is a growing worldwide conundrum - how do you have a green energy policy (which will include fracking) while honouring the environment? A good example of the dilemma is in mid-Wales, north of where I live, where proposals to build massive wind farms and huge pylons across one of the loveliest and wildest places in Britain has provoked stronger protests from the people of Wales than has been seen in recent history. It is an unimaginative proposal by big power companies for the cheapest energy option without consideration for the impact on the place and its inhabitants. The land belongs to the people who live there, and it will be interesting to see how far their views are accommodated by the Welsh Assembly and UK Governments when the final decision is made.
In the end it is about balance, flexibility and integrity, sometimes involving compromise but always involving honour. We have seen little of this in the fracking debate so far, but there is always the possibility of change. If there continues to be the headlong pursuit of cheap energy at the expense of health and nature that we are seeing every day, the big corporates with their eyes on their healthy profit margins will learn a very hard lesson from the lands and seas they exploit.
Guided Meditations & Talks available from Claire Montanaro