A crowdfunded leaflet about fracking is to be reprinted after distributing 80,000 copies in a month.
The leaflet What does fracking mean? was produced by JoJo Mehta, a campaigner from Gloucestershire who in February put UK MPs on legal notice for any harm from fracking.
She said the leaflet was designed to “directly inform the public of what fracking looks like in production and what has resulted elsewhere from the practice”. She is now planning another run of 80.000 copies. View the leaflet here
Lack of information on fracking
Miss Mehta said: “I put all UK Members of Parliament on legal notice earlier this year that they were in dereliction of their duty to the nation if they voted to fast-track fracking in the knowledge that it would cause harm.
“I provided them with that knowledge in the form of a comprehensive summary document on the risks and harms of fracking.”
“I then realised MPs were not the only ones with a dearth of knowledge on the subject. Most members of the British public, especially those disinclined to dig around online, were stuck with the information found in conventional news channels and these were failing to show what happens when fracking is put into practice.”
“Discussion always seems to be around the idea of an exploratory well here and there, nothing to interrupt anyone’s business as usual. The sheer scale of industrialisation and harm to environment and communities that a frack field in production implies has never been shown”.
Miss Mehta said a simple, straightforward printed document was needed with clear images and graphics that was easy to understand for someone with little or no knowledge of fracking.
She designed a four-page A4 leaflet, with quotes from the major UK political parties and letter to the British Medical Journal from academic leaders.
“The power of these leaflets is that they are going directly into the hands and through the letterboxes of the general public”, she said. “They bypass the usual information “feed” of TV, broadsheets and tabloids and thus the contents are not diluted or misrepresented.”
“Some have been handed out from stalls at markets and on high streets; many whole villages have been leafletted door to door; some have been given out at campaigning or community meetings as well as at the door of meetings hosted by fracking industry representatives. But they have also ended up in dentists’ and doctors’ waiting rooms, cafe tables and inside the menu cards in busy pub restaurants, anywhere that ordinary folk will encounter them.”
“It’s been a resounding success. The feedback has been extremely positive from those giving them out on high streets or delivering door-to-door”.
“We also know that big companies, Cuadrilla and Ineos, have seen them and they are causing ripples in Lancashire.”
£3,000 raised in two weeks
Ms Mehta said she raised £3,000 on crowdfunder.co.uk in two weeks and printed the first run of leaflets at the end of April. “By the end of May, the entire run of 80,000 had been sent around the UK for distribution by volunteers and campaigners, particularly in Lancashire and Yorkshire”.
“We’ve already run out”, she said. “There is a clear demand for the leaflets. We have at least half a dozen pending requests for more”.
Ms Mehta said the reprint of another 80,000 leaflets plus delivery would cost about £3,500.
Rather than crowdfunding, which takes a percentage of the money raised, Ms Mehta said the new run would be funded by what she described as “heartfunding”. Ms Mehta said this was a “heartfelt contribution from concerned citizens to enable this project of directly informing the UK public to continue”.
- Jojo Mehta is a mother-of-two living in Nympsfield, near Stroud, Gloucestershire. She describes herself as an “earth activist and concerned human being” and (with Katy Dunne) is co-organiser of Frack Free Five Valleys and co-founder of Toxin Free Network which promotes the Toxin Free Community strategy). She writes, speaks and advocates on behalf of communities and the earth.