Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Fracking is a form of climate-change denial
Local communities are showing the courage to fight fossil fuel madness. We can all help them prevail.
Here’s one thing we don’t often want to admit: it is too late to stop many of the harshest and most destructive aspects of climate change from materialising. We’re out of time. Superstorms, droughts, floods, disappearing islands, coastlines and lost species are already here.
Our movement and our scientists, by contrast, do have the courage to identify what needs to be done. Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, estimates that we have 17 years to replace all fossil fuel infrastructure with renewable energy. That means no new fossil fuel projects. Period. We burn down what we have, and we build renewable energy sources as fast as we can. That means no new pipelines, no new fracking fields, no new offshore drilling, no new tar sands or coal mines.
That would mean no new fracking in the US or the UK. You cannot be a climate leader and support fracking: it is a new form of climate denialism. One only has to look at the brave stand people all across the world are taking to fight fossil fuel developments to see the kind of courage our governments lack but that the future will demand. Britain has seen protests in Balcombe in West Sussex, and in Blackpool, while in the US we have had brave pipeline fighters in Nebraska and Standing Rock reservation, North Dakota.
Last week, even as superstorm Matthew bore down on America’s east coast, Barack Obama said at the premiere of Leonardo DiCaprio’s new climate change film that keeping fossil fuels in the ground isn’t practical, and that we have to accept fracking as a way to cut emissions because “we have to live in the real world”.
The real world, I assume, is the one that science is describing – that says we cannot develop more fossil fuels. The world Obama is referring to is something else – a bubble – in which fossil fuel lobbyists obscure the will of the people under their superstorm of campaign cash and political influence.
In my view this Guardian piece is yet more evidence that green fanatics simply cannot be appeased. No matter how far you bend over for them, and President Obama by any measure has been pretty accommodating to the green movement, they always want more.