Monthly Archives: December 2014

Fracking could carry unforeseen risks as thalidomide and asbestos did, says report | The Guardian

Fracking in Texas : toxic chemicals used for production of natural gas in the Barnett Shale

The world could tackle climate change with energy efficiency and renewable energy alone but vested interests in the fossil fuel industry stand in the way, says report. Photograph: Julie Dermansky/Corbis

 Historic innovations that have been adopted too hastily with grave unforeseen impacts provide cautionary examples for potential side effects of fracking, says report. Fracking could carry unforeseen risks in the way that thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos did, warns a report produced by the government’s chief scientific adviser.

A chapter in the flagship annual report produced by the UK’s chief scientist, Mark Walport, argues that history holds many examples of innovations that were adopted hastily and later had serious negative environmental and health impacts. The chapter is written by Prof Andrew Stirling of the University of Sussex. The controversial technique, which involves pumping chemicals, sand and water at high pressure underground to fracture shale rock and release the gas within, has been strongly backed by the government with David Cameron saying the UK is “going all out for shale”.

But environmentalists fear that fracking could contaminate water supplies, bring heavy lorry traffic to rural areas, displace investment in renewable energy and accelerate global warming. The chapter in the report produced by the chief scientific adviser appears to echo those fears. “History presents plenty of examples of innovation trajectories that later proved to be problematic — for instance involving asbestos, benzene, thalidomide, dioxins, lead in petrol, tobacco, many pesticides, mercury, chlorine and endocrine-disrupting compounds…” it says.

“In all these and many other cases, delayed recognition of adverse effects incurred not only serious environmental or health impacts, but massive expense and reductions in competitiveness for firms and economies persisting in the wrong path.”

Fracking provides a potentially similar example today, the report warns: “… innovations reinforcing fossil fuel energy strategies — such as hydraulic fracturing — arguably offer a contemporary prospective example.”

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is fracking safe

Anti-fracking Posters: Available to Download

Requests for posters continue to increase, which has led to the introduction of some new designs this month. Displaying a poster in the window of your home, your car, or your work place is an effective and easy way to highlight the dangers and risks associated with fracking and also prompt people who might otherwise not know a single thing about the topic to research fracking, consider the evidence and come to their own conclusions.


FFW3Jpeg  FFWXmaspub   FFW2jpeg

To download:

Click on your chosen design to open the image as a jpeg file which you can then save to your computer and print via the program or app of your choice. Alternatively, click on a link below to open the poster as a PDF version.

A version of each poster without the ‘Frack Free Walkden’ website address is also available for you to customize or add your own website or group’s name on – click the link named as ‘blank version’ in your chosen design for these.

‘Fracking/Health – Pick One’ PDF Poster

‘Fracking/Health – Pick One’ Poster – Blank Version

‘We can say ‘no!’ to Toxic Fracking’ PDF Poster

‘We can say ‘no!’ to Toxic Fracking’ Poster – Blank Version

‘It’s our water, it’s our future, stop fracking’ PDF Poster

‘It’s our water, it’s our future, stop fracking’ Poster – Blank Version

‘Knowledge is Power, Research Fracking’ PDF Poster

‘Knowledge is Power, Research Fracking’ – Blank Version

‘Merry Christmas & a Frack Free New Year’ PDF Poster

‘Merry Christmas & a Frack Free New Year’ – Blank Version

Yes, we can say No to Toxic Fracking PDF Poster

Yes, we can say No to Toxic Fracking – Blank Version


To view more poster designs, please click here to go to the original poster download page.



Fracked-up water supply? THIS is the ‘Gold Standard’ of safety promised by IGas

fracking igas safety

The original source of this photo is from a BBC North West Tonight news report which you can view by clicking on the below video. Let’s remind ourselves of the BBC’s landlords – Peel Holdings. Let’s remind ourselves of Igas’ landlords here in Salford and Ellesmere Port, where this footage was recorded…yes, Peel Holdings! The report is described as ‘misleading’ and ‘biased’ in the following description:

A completely misleading biased report on fracking in Ellesmere Port by BBC Northwest Tonight on the 15/12/2014. There is a media blackout on reports on fracking. Its amazing this report was aired the day after hundreds of anti-fracking protestors from around the UK attended a solidarity day at the only UK live fracking site. IGAS the site owners have obviously had an overwhelming influence over the control of the content and its intention is to lead the public into a false sense of security over fracking. There is no reference to environmental impact or pollution or the risk associated with fracking. Please Google ‘fracking’ to build an unbiased opinion.

New York bans fracking over ‘significant health risks’ | Reuters

New York state will ban hydraulic fracturing after a long-awaited report concluded that the oil and gas extraction method poses health risks, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration said on Wednesday.

New York Environmental Commissioner Joseph Martens said at a cabinet meeting he will issue an order early next year banning fracking, which has been under a moratorium since 2008. Once that happens, New York will join Vermont as the only states to completely prohibit fracking.

The decision ends what has been a fierce debate in New York over the benefits and pitfalls of fracking, a process that involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into a well to extract oil or gas. Many in the state saw gas drilling as a key economic resource while others argued it was too dangerous.

The state’s health commissioner, Howard Zucker, said there is not enough scientific information to conclude that fracking is safe.

The potential risks are too great, in fact not even fully known, and relying on the limited data presently available would be negligent on my part,” Zucker said.

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Political Policing: Senior Police Commanders train for future Anti-Fracking Protests #POLICESTATE

A Freedom of Information request submitted by Netpol has confirmed that training for senior police officers on public order strategy now uses a fictional anti-fracking protest based specifically on camps at Balcombe in West Sussex and Barton Moss in Salford.

Local campaigners from Blackpool raising awareness about the dangers of fracking

The College of Policing, which is responsible for police training and development, has refused to release most of the course material from the ‘Public Order Gold Commanders’ training that took place at Bramshill in Hampshire on 9 October 2014. However, the facilitator guide (word, 257K) for the ‘Hydra’ simulation exercise undertaken by participants on the course does reveal an imagined scenario called Operation Hamilton, “a proposed Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) operation” that is “likely to be the subject of an environmental protest”.

This adds further weight to Netpol’s prediction that the police see opposition to fracking as the most significant public order issue they face in the coming year and are actively preparing for it. It also reinforces the need for campaigners to start sharing experiences and learning from the way police and private security personnel respond to individual local campaigns and different protest sites around the country.

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A reminder of the policing at Barton Moss which occurred between 2013-14 can be found on a previous post:

GMP and Barton Moss – Disgraceful policing which will NOT be forgotten

Congressman Introduces Bill to Ban Fracking on Public Lands | Food & Water Watch.Org

fracking contaminates water and damages health

Drilling and fracking come with many problems, including water contamination, air pollution, earthquakes and massive amounts of methane leakage – something that could have catastrophic impacts on the climate. Workers on fracking sites are also subject to accidents, exposure to toxic chemicals and terrible working conditions. These issues are largely impossible to regulate, as evidenced by a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, which found that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to inspect more than half of the specified “high priority” wells, which required more attention to prevent water and environmental contamination, drilled from 2009 through 2012.

“Federal lands should be preserved for the public good,” said Representative Mark Pocan. “There are serious safety concerns around fracking and it should not be allowed on our pristine public lands specifically set aside for conservation. As we learn more about fracking’s impact on the environment and people living near fracking wells, one thing is clear, the process can be harmful and the effects are not fully understood. We should not allow short-term economic gain to harm our environment and endanger workers.”

“I share Rep. Pocan’s serious concern about hydraulic fracturing, which has been shown to contaminate water sources, increase methane emissions, and even to cause earthquakes,” said Representative Jan Schakowsky. We owe it to our children and grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren, to ensure the protection of public lands. This bill – in banning fracking on those lands – helps us follow through on that important promise.”

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Fracking without consent underneath our homes | VIDEO

Infrastructure bill, trespass, fracking and observations from Beki Adam.

About the Infrastructure Bill..If you are likely to chat with your MP soon, or friends with farms, or actually anyone with property or a care for preserving land, this should be useful. The bill, and certainly Part 5 (it’s moved), can still be stopped.’

”When they reach 500 wells, we won’t have any land for our animals. They stole what is ours.” |

Oil driller in General Roca, Rio Negro, Argentina.

Oil driller in General Roca, Rio Negro, Argentina.

Shale Oil Fuels Indigenous Conflict in Argentina

Campo Maripe, Argentina - The boom in unconventional fossil fuels has revived indigenous conflicts in southwest Argentina. Twenty-two Mapuche communities who live on top of Vaca Muerta, the geological formation where the reserves are located, complain that they were not consulted about the use of their ancestral lands, both “above and below ground.”“More or less 160 wells have been drilled here,” Campo said. “When they reach 500 wells, we won’t have any land for our animals. They stole what is ours.”

“They say fracking and everything aboveground doesn’t pollute…maybe it’ll be a while but we’ll start seeing cancer, skin cancer, because of all the pollution, and we’ll also die of thirst because there won’t be any water to drink,” said Mabel Campo.

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