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Reform Magazine | August 21, 2017

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Christian activist: Stand against fracking

Christian activist: Stand against fracking

christian_activistWestley Ingram joins the anti-fracking protesters at Balcombe

In a pleasant town in West Sussex, on a sunny weekday afternoon, I was arrested while protesting along with locals and national activists as part of the anti-fracking protest at Balcombe. We were called “rent-a-mob” by Daily Mail, and “hysterical” by notable lone voices in the Church of England. We helped, along with a spirited local movement, thousands of marchers and hundreds of campers, to make fracking front-page news for a couple of days.

Getting people talking about this ought not to have been such hard work. We are hurtling towards climate change which will render life on earth unrecognisable. Our government admits this and we have legally-binding commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would make life merely awful (as opposed to unrecognisable). The International Energy Agency estimated that to achieve awful we must not only stop discovering new fossil fuels but leave two-thirds of known stocks untouched. This makes it alarming when somebody wants to drill an exploratory well – maybe the first of thousands drilled all over the country.

The proposed wells would be drilled through aquifers to rocks below which contain methane. Horizontal shafts would then be drilled, and water (mixed with a cocktail of hazardous chemicals) injected under pressure causing hydraulic fracture or fracking. Methane would then be released and collected at the top of the shaft. Methane is an incredibly potent greenhouse gas when released to the atmosphere and produces CO2 when burned. Both drive climate change. …

Westley Ingram is a medical physicist and member of Christian Ecology Link

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This is an extract from the October 2013 edition of  Reform.

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