Seeing those who claim to be so much sharper and brighter than those with whom they disagree revealed as not so sharp and bright at first yields a warm feeling, before one realises that we’re talking about those whose arrogant and loud self promotion brings them an authority before which the more easily led will readily yield. And far too many yield to James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole.
Del Boy has at long last learned that, following the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of the shale beds near Blackpool by Cuadrilla Resources, there were two earth tremors, which the British Geological Survey characterised as having a similar mechanism. It has now been confirmed that fracking was responsible for the tremors, but Del says it’s not a problem.
Whether it would be a problem if he were living closer than 200 miles away is not told, and Del Boy does not allow the thought to enter. Instead, he rubbishes the idea that the earth tremors following from fracking are in any way significant, while not mentioning that in one area of Arkansas, there were 1,000 tremors within a six month period, with one registering a magnitude of 4.7.
And residents in Texas have shown that these supposedly trivial earth tremors are on occasion serious enough to damage buildings – you know, like houses. There was also a magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia recently, for which the shale gas industry is, not surprisingly, denying responsibility. Moreover, Cuadrilla has thus far only drilled a test well near Blackpool.
In any case, Del has no truck with talk of earthquakes: instead he backs Spectator editor Fraser Nelson (who doesn’t believe in man-made climate change, or that there is a link between HIV and AIDS, or in Darwin’s work on evolution) and likens the documentary Gasland to Nazi propaganda. Cuadrilla’s claims for the amount of gas in the shale beneath Blackpool are not seriously contested.
Nelson claims that Government would see the light, if only those rotten lobbyists could be removed from the equation, but fails to notice that the so-called Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), much loved by himself and Del Boy, is itself another Astroturf lobby group, and one that refuses to tell who is paying its bills, despite repeated requests.
It is no coincidence that those screaming loudest for shale gas drilling are also those claiming that man-made climate change is not occurring, are politically opposed to Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne being allowed to get out of bed in the morning, and live a long, long way away from where the fracking would take place.
And drilling because it would be someone else’s problem is not good enough.