Environmentalism 101: Destroying the planet is bad

by Elias Blum

I might come across as a wee clueless here, but what is the point of the elite in continuing to scar, damage and destroy our environment in order that that small group of people can continue to hoard their millions? Surely, there will come a point when they will be living in some gated community, surrounded by emblems of wealth, staring out to the remains of a barren, scorched and smouldering planet. Does not seem like a lot of fun.


This is from Angela Constance MSP (SNP, Almond Valley):

The right to plunder the land beneath the homes of millions of Scots is being sold to the highest bidder by Westminster where the power over such matters is greedily retained. It is a democratic outrage. And Westminster politicians wonder why they aren’t trusted.

What is the justification for fracking? Energy security they say. Well the last time I looked, Scotland’s energy supply was looking pretty secure to me.

Our oil, which was allegedly running out prior to the Referendum, will last for decades based on recently reported discoveries – and there is plenty more waiting to be found in our Atlantic waters. Then there is the oil that was found years ago in the Clyde basin but which Westminster says can’t be recovered because it might risk Trident operations.

So, at the same time as proposing that fracking could be carried out beneath your house without your consent or knowledge, Westminster is telling us that the oil that lies beneath the operating routes of nuclear submarines is off limits. That tells you all you need to know about where you lie in Westminster’s priorities.

The case for fracking is already looking pretty flimsy and I haven’t even mentioned our second energy lottery jackpot – renewables. We’re already generating a large proportion of our energy through hydro and wind based systems and we are only scratching the surface of the potential offered by solar, wave and tidal sources.

It is telling that Germany, already committed to phasing out nuclear power within a decade and with only a fraction of our oil resources, currently has a moratorium on fracking in place and is considering an outright ban.

But there’s more. The evidence from the USA and elsewhere demonstrates that fracking poses a great pollution risk to that most precious natural resource of all; our water. Of course it is argued that everything will be regulated but, the world over, the record of regulation to protect the environment is far from comforting. And once that water table is polluted, all bets are off. We’re not just going to stop drinking water, right?

Some cite jobs as a justification. Jobs will be created all right but they will be akin to those of the navvies that built our canals years ago. They will come, they will dig and when their work is done they will go. Some local businesses will benefit temporarily but, in the long run, all that will be left behind is a hole in the ground and the hope that our health has not been sold as part of the bargain.

Fracking is not needed in Scotland. Fracking risks ruining our water supply. Fracking will have no lasting economic value to the communities that suffer it. And Scotland, clearly, does not want fracking. But we’re getting it because Westminster says so. If you are starting to feel a little exploited, I don’t blame you.

I believe that this will be a touchstone issue at the coming General Election. No sooner was the Referendum over than Westminster announced plans to remove homeowners rights to object to fracking beneath their property. I don’t recall that being included in ‘the Vow’.

So, if anyone wondered what Alasdair Darling meant by sharing risk and reward, now they know. We get all the risks and someone else reaps the rewards. I don’t think that is what the people of Scotland voted for in September and they will make that clear in May next year.

© 2014 Angela Constance for Deputy