Sunday, September 15, 2013

Oil, gas and fracking Lincolnshire, part 7

But What Can I Do About It?

I've changed my light bulbs, lagged the loft, turned down the thermostat, don't take holiday flights and wear woollen underclothes and have solar panels on the roof. But is it enough? Is it any use at all?

No.  It's not enough and, in a way, it's no use at all.  We live in an energy constrained world where any fossil fuel we don't burn will just be burnt by someone else.  If I don't buy some energy, the world price will, marginally, fall, allowing someone else to afford that energy.  Every drop of oil produced gets sold and burnt and if more were to be produced it too would be used, no matter how frugally we as individuals choose to live our lives.

Of course all this frugality and energy saving is ethically sound and necessary if we are to live sustainably on a finite planet but the way the global markets work ensures that such personal actions have precisely zero effect on global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission.

If we want to actually do something that makes a difference we have to turn away, for a moment, from the demand side of the energy market and look at the supply side.  If we are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions we have to keep the fossil carbon underground.  Carbon capture and storage, if it can be made to work, is just tinkering at the edges.  The only thing that really counts is not digging the stuff up.

So what can we do about that?  Well, there are two things.  Firstly we can push for the only policy instrument on the shelf that could actually work, Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs).  If you don't know about this is or are not yet convinced it's part of the solution then read here.

Secondly, we have to stop oil, gas and coal being exploited. At source. Writing to the King of Saudi Arabia may not achieve much but this could be a case where, having done the global thinking, we act locally.  And locally to my neck of the woods means Biscathorpe in Lincolnshire, where Egdon Resources Plc has applied for planning permission to drill for oil and have and intention to produce gas from the underlying shale by fracking.

By their own estimates, they plan in the first instance to suck up 8 million barrels of oil.  All of which will be burnt and the carbon emitted to the atmosphere if we allow planning permission to be granted.  If we can persuade Lincolnshire County Council to refuse permission we will have done far, far more to mitigate global warming than all our collective efforts at energy saving could possibly hope to achieve.

So this is what to do:  Fill in the Online Representation Form (this form automatically goes to the right place but the planning reference number is PL/0179/13(E)N59/13)  The form allows space for a 3900 character comment but if you want to write more send it in the old-fashioned way to 
Lincolnshire County Council, Planning, 1st Floor, Witham Park House, Waterside South, Lincoln.  LN5 7JN quoting the reference.
The documentation is all at the planning website and of course we put together our own website complete with pretty pictures and lots of reasons why it's all a Bad Idea.  Please feel free to use any of the words on the website in whatever order you choose.  And there's a facebook group!

So now you know what to do about it.


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