Lancashire campaigners winning the battle against fracking, say climate change experts

John Ashton 180216 Refracktion2

John Ashton. Photo: Refracktion

A former climate diplomat told anti-fracking campaigners in Lancashire they were close to winning their battle against shale gas.

Speaking outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool on the 454th day of protests, John Ashton said:

“You have kept this flame burning so that when this issue is decided it can only be decided in one way.”

Mr Ashton, formerly the UK’s Special Representative for Climate Change at the Foreign Office, told the crowd that had gathered despite near-zero temperatures:

“We have almost won this struggle. We are so close now. But to win this struggle in the country, we have to win it here first. People up and down the country are with you.

“People will come here and remember that this is where the tide was turned.”

John Ashton 180216 Refracktion3

John Ashton. Photo: Refracktion

Describing the campaigners as “the real heroes”, Mr Ashton said:

“We’re not here to defend a field. We’re here to defend our country because what happens in that field over the next few months is going to be important for our country, important for our lives and the lives or our children.

“Do we want a country where the choices that are made are choices that are made with us or choices that are inflicted upon us? That’s what this whole moment in our history is about.

“The struggle over fracking is the struggle over whether we do politics with us or politics that gets done to us.”

John Ashton 180216 Refracktion1

John Ashton (left). Photo: Refracktion

Mr Ashton criticised the shale gas industry for promoting itself as a solution to climate change.

“They said ‘We can be in favour of fixing the climate and we can be in favour of fracking’.

“For six years, I was Her Majesty’s Special Envoy on Climate Change.

“The one thing I do know something about is climate change. Take it from me: you can be in favour of fracking or you can be in favour of climate change but you certainly can’t be in favour of doing both at the same time.”

Jamie Peters

Jamie Peters (left). Still from video by Talk Fracking

“Front line of climate struggle”

The rally also heard from Jamie Peters, a campaigner with Friends of the Earth. He said:

“One of the most important things you can do for climate change is stopping the fracking industry.”

He said people facing shale gas applications elsewhere in the England were drawing inspiration from Lancashire.

“What you’re doing is making a difference.

“You’re eating into their profit margin, you’re slowing down their work

“That’s what really terrifies the industry. You were not part of the plan for the fracking industry.”

Mr Peters said the shale gas industry was “falling apart politically”. It had, he said, admitted it was not getting a social licence.

“They know they’re not going to get the support that they need for this.

“They know there’s going to be an uprising like this. There’s going to be a Preston New Road everywhere they go.

“You are the front line of the fracking struggle but also the front line of climate change struggle.”

60 replies »

  1. Yes, Sherwulfe, some people have lovely ideas and say “yes we can” and don’t deliver, others say “yes we will” and do so.

    How much of the UK energy mix will solar and wind be this week? Yes, it will be there, but very much defined by the term “alternative”.

  2. Notice you couldn’t even attempt to answer the question.

    Dangerous to avoid the elephant in the room, but when you can’t deal with it, perhaps the only option.

    Bit like the one about how delaying PNR will stop it. If that was ever going to be the case, why have Cuadrilla just not applied for an injunction? Shouldn’t be too hard to obtain. It couldn’t be the fact that whilst protest has continued it has provided the evidence for the exploration companies going forward? Oh no, that wouldn’t be possible because the antis are intelligent and supporters are ignorant. Remember the Trojan Horse.

    • ‘For those who have no voice against climate change….

      Emperor and Adélie penguins face a bleak future from global climate change. According to a study by Antarctic researchers, a temperature increase of 1.3°C will jeopardize 40% of the world’s Emperor penguins and 70% of the world’s Adélie penguins—largely because of diminishing sea ice.5 (At present rates, the world will exceed 1.3°C of warming before mid-century.11) Penguin scientists also predict that sea-ice loss due to global climate change will push the Emperor population chronicled in March of the Penguins to the brink of extinction within this century.12’ Shaye Wolf, PhD


      no relation 😉

      • A goal to change the world temperature is ridiculous and hence I don’t care. Let there be an effort to relocate the penguins. Weather changes, species (Mammoth)/Dinosaur die, the world moves on.

        • No one is asking whether or not you personally care Cindy. You have an agenda, so have we. A little tolerance for other’s convictions would not go amiss. Please don’t refer to the fight to save the planet as a religion; we have no climate god to worship.

          I fear an effort to ‘relocate’ the penguins would be futile. Yes species die; current history shows we did not affect that of the dinosaur demise, but we probably had a hand in the extinction of the mammoth. Loss of species of animal and plants including the redwoods is caused by ignorance. Knowledge is a positive beginning, but like that ancient story of ‘Noah’, not all are prepared to listen; thus we must accept the consequences.

          There is still a consensus that we can minimize the damage to the climate cycle with intervention. Sadly many are not aware of the time. We now need action, not words. Like you are against fracking and supporting the protection of trees and whales, let those with the science do their job without being labeled drivel.

  3. You will find LM that industries, or sectors of, obtain the investment they warrant, relatively. I would avoid the point you make in that respect because the question leads to the answer. And answers are not helpful to the antis-see my previous post.

  4. In near ZERO TEMPERATURES the FORMER ‘Climate Change’ diplomat said WHAT??????? Very cold in February ! WOW ! Up there for thinking…Down there for dancing! So where is the Climate change i ask ??? He also replied ‘Thank God for GAS Central heating in this CLIMATE CHANGING environment !!!!!!!!!!

  5. Phil C- to summarize…. I actually DON’T CARE about the ‘impacts of climate change’. Not one bit. I’m happy to RISK it. I’m not exactly -denying- anything… I mean I think its all bs… but mainly… I JUST DO NOT CARE. Do I care about the California Redwoods- yes… The impact of sonar testing on whales? Yes. But not about the whole big environmental bang. Don’t even want to hear the drivel. Also… don’t think for a moment that newly found resources in Africa won’t be exploited in the name of climate change… so ridiculous.

    • Well we all pays our money and takes our choice (horrible phrase) You see the problem, aparently mine not yours, is that i do care, i care about everything, i care about my family and my friends and their families and their friends, and so on and so on and the end result of that, is i care about everyone, everywhere, to do anything else is simply inhumane.

      So differences aside for a moment, you don’t care about climate change at least, i assume for very good reasons, i do care about climate change, and i think for very good reasons.

      So where does that get us?

      Perhaps we should agree to disagree on climate change and concentrate on preventing fracking from poisoning our country and all of us here?

      How about that?

    • c let me try and find some common ground here, is the main argument you have against the concept of climate change that it is being used by rich corporations and politicians to asset strip the public with vastly expensive scams like the carbon tax? A massive scam if ever i saw one? And vast amounts of public money being used to change demographic and global societies into accepting a global new world order?

      Is that your argument?

      if so i would agree that climate change is being high jacked by these power crazed entities.

      Does that get us anywhere?

      • Yes… it’s all a scam.. and stupid. Everyone agreed there is global warming.. one would have to be dead not to notice a difference in the past 20-30 years… but is it something worth trying to control? No it’s stupid folly. Tons of respect lost when specific environmental causes are being overshadowed. As an American with family and property impacted by fracking, yes I’m hell bent against it… but not because of the idea of energy extraction.. just the methods…. cheers

        • Common ground, good, I’m not sure I follow the concept of controlling the climate except that perhaps a lot of what we experience is what has been termed geoengineering, military weaponising of the atmosphere by whatever method.
          But controlling? No, I would say attempting to limit the gross fluctuations we experience, yes, and that would mean reducing emissions from fossil fuels
          Are we still on common ground?

          What seems to be happening is the corporatisation of systems, be they political, religious, military, social, resources or even climate?

          Maybe this whole onshore fracking debacle is little more or less then exercises in social manipulation for eventual corporatisation of political regulation and control mechanisms?

          • Not really. Give me a real and viable alternative I can use TODAY. I’m begging you. I’d disconnect my gas supply, purchase alternative transportation (or alternative fuel), disconnect from the grid… TODAY.

            The fact that I don’t have a viable alternative as a consumer is just maddening. And until that comes, we have to accept the reliance on
            activities that cause the issues that everyone is complaining about. I’m not for small, modest habit changes… I want an alternative.

            NO fracking is not an alternative- it does more harm and causes more aggravation to people than any other means of energy extraction.

            I see fracking as a desperate attempt of government to not be a slave to another resource-rich country. I get that. But seriously, we need to not destroy the water supply, land and quality of life to achieve it. We need to make deals with our enemies… just the plain truth. Or invest billions to find the golden nugget which will be the energy savior.

            I see the whole climate change thing as part of the Open Society one-world-government initiative… There is no way I’m going to be a sheeple. Ppl need to know more about the underlying goals of the ideology they are buying into.

            • Until the governance of each country works on this there is no immediate solution; private agendas, investment in fossil fuel and greed currently stifle the change we need.

              I have lived off grid for 20 years, it’s about adapting. Thankfully things have improved and each year moves closer to providing the energy without changes to current lifestyles that many do not want to give up.

              For the now:
              In the UK we have companies such as Good Energy who source only non-fossil fuel generation; do you not have an equivalent in the US?

              For the future?

  6. The biggest problem about climate change is trying to overturn the intractable ignorance and denial perpetuated by fossil fuel supporters (knowing lies in many cases in the face of the evidence) along with the complexity of the explanation.

  7. Ahh, I see the re-education worked PhilipP. I wondered where you had gone after the faint praise for your logical post a few weeks ago.

    Back to the pros are ignorant and the antis are intelligent. We could discuss the proof of that for some time, but I am a little tight on time this am as I am off to Barclays Bank. Hope I don’t come back having done a property deal unknowingly.

    • You’re as cyptic as ever Martin. No change their. I’ve not shifted my position either so I’ve no idea what you’re on about. Good time to pull your money out of Barclays Bank btw.

  8. Not even cryptic PhilipP, here or there-just using a little humour to let you know I see the contradiction in your post without being unkind by exposing it.
    I have no money in Barclays Bank PhilipP. You do jump to assumptions-it helps to explain a lot.

    • Expose away Martin. You’ve never managed before… have a go. And you missed the humour in ‘pull your money out’ quip (royal ‘your’) in case you were one of those. No assumptions made, just a bit of snowflake sensitivity on your part perhaps.

  9. Oh yes, PhilipP, I am a really sorry capitalist who would be sensitive about having money, wherever it was stashed. Maybe my re-education quip was more accurate than I thought.
    Suspect all the banks will be empty soon as money is withdrawn to pay for record gas consumption with prices up by 33%-so far. The Norwegian pipeline will be like a gas version of a demented petrol pump with the cash wheels dashing round turbo charged, and similar for that being creamed off into their Wealth Fund to pay for all those social projects they have in mind. Could someone explain that to Mr. Skinner, and co.? Probably not.

Add a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s