Friday, November 28, 2014

Precautionary Fracking principle

Fracking free beautiful countryside
A government scientist has compared Fracking to asbestos and Thalidomide in a report which does not give the government the support it was looking for on allowing commercial companies to Frack the Frack out of England. The full Walport report is available here.

I've been campaigning against the TTIP for the last few months, under the aegis of 38 degrees.  I have read the report by War on Want which outlines the reasons why we might not want to agree the TTIP and it includes the fact that in Europe we use the "precautionary principle" in relation to food and other additives, expecting a company to prove that an additive or substance is safe before they inflict it on the population.  In the US, the precaution is all the other way:  a benighted consumer or consumer group must prove that the harm that was done to them is related to the additive - they can throw anything they like into their products until someone proves that it is harmful.  This may be why Mcdonald's chips in the UK have four ingredients and in the US more than a dozen.

That's what's wrong in the Fracking decision that the government has taken.  They've used their normal "divide and conquer" approach of making the policy decision - to allow fracking - centrally, but have insisted that local authorities ought to make the local planning decisions themselves.  They have definitely not kept any sort of a precautionary principle in mind:  they've decided to let people Frack until it is proven to have harmed our green and pleasant land... and do not consider that it may be too late by the time we work out what damage has been done.  As with Thalidomide and Asbestos.

I urge everyone in the country who reads these words to use the "They work for You" website to contact your MP and ask whether they are going to urge the government to reconsider their decision on Fracking in the light of the Walport report.  And tell them you are against the TTIP, and most particularly, against it being negotiated in private with the negotiations remaining secret under the 30-year rule, while you're at it.