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. c-where little old UK should be getting it’s gas supply, according to many antis. The Norwegian’s, who are largely lovely people, are very pleased to produce oil and gas and supply it to deserving neighbours. No, I joke. They sell it, and achieve huge levels of income that they then use to reward the commercial companies but also cream off a percentage into a National Wealth Fund they invest into long term investments and use the income to fund many projects. Last time I was there they were looking at a whole new high speed rail network south to north but had a few concerns about how to keep their elk or moose off the lines.
    But, somehow, the UK paying others for something we might be able to produce ourselves and raise taxes upon is taboo, and it would be better to borrow another £500 billion (maybe from Norway?) to fund UK projects. I think looking at the basic economics of that, one of us (Norway, UK) would end up being able to manage their ecological objectives.

    • OHHH I see… And the issue is that the Scottish supply is depleted? Well Martin lets be honest- your concern is not REALLY for the welfare of the UK because the country is obviously dependant on other countries for more things than just GAS/OIL. Also these ecological objectives you cite are not without a huge cost including impacts on home prices and stability. It is not OK to pass complete risk onto the people to achieve what the fracking industry is forcing down peoples throats. Will there be a bond to cover any unforseen damage to thehome in the next 50 years? Which insurance company will provide insurance against fracking risks? What if indeed, the sale price is impacted by 50, 300k on the value of my home- who will compensate me? Sure it is all difficult if not impossible to ‘prove’ the fracking companies will state- but much like weed legalization in the USA (Colorado)- the consequences are often more costly than the proposed solution!

      Real self sufficiency means not having to trade at all. Budget items balance out. So Norway makes money off of the UK.. thats ok for the SJW’s out there who need to finance the social system supporting all of those migrants they are happy to take in. Perhaps the UK should make some peace with other nations like Russia. Russia isn’t the enemy.. I read what REALLY happened in the Ukraine- about how our friend intervened there with his ngo’s and caused the division that led to the circumstances we have today.

      Ok I’m rambling- just saying though, a true capitalist industry should be demanded by the people not be forced upon them. Yes it might be good for a person to be in a forced marriage if they are taken care of.. it may in fact be ‘best’ for them… but maybe it is best for them to decide for themselves.

  2. Interesting c, but as TWO THIRDS of the population surveyed recently in England are NOT against fracking, there is no mandate-currently-from the public against existing Government policy-which is to allow controlled trials to proceed, slowly. That may change following those trials but chances are that the change could move in either direction.
    We do have guns in the UK, but we have controls that avoid most of the problems associated with them in USA. I remain to be convinced that the same will be the case with fracking, but I want us to examine it to find out, and that’s what will convince me. One solution does not fit all.

    My dog is on “weed” for arthritis treatment. For him, solved many problems of more traditional medication, and recommended by a vet. Seems to work well with acupuncture. Apart from replacing his collar with a string of beads we have not experienced any problems. (Joke!)

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