Fracking v renewables? This is dumb electioneering dressed up as policy

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Anglia dar și de mare interes local: falsa opoziție dintre fracking și energie verde.

Public opinion on fracking is divided 50:50, or rather, 40:40, with 20% reserving judgment. This week the Church of England has come out against it, saying that it presented a “choice between economic gain and a healthy environment”, reminding its parishioners of their duties as the Earth’s stewards. I don’t agree with this; the implication seems to be that it’s fine to use gas and wreck someone else’s landscape so long as we’re not making any money out of it ourselves. Nevertheless, I find my lack of faith ever more tested by a church that acts more like an opposition than the opposition. It seems very muscular, considering its whimsical foundations.

So where is the Labour party? How have the Conservatives gone from attacking the Labour government for failing to decarbonise fast enough, in 2009, to being these gas-crazed frack-evangelists? The energy debate has been sacrificed to political expedience. It’s time to work out how to wrest it back.

A set of priorities here would be easy to establish: nobody wants to screw the environment for future generations; nobody wants the lights to go out; nobody wants to spend more and more on energy, in markets that are ever more unstable, and increasingly impossible for national governments to do anything about; nobody wants to destroy the countryside; nobody wants to cede the nation’s mineral rights to large corporations that won’t compensate the communities affected. Clearly, there’s some dissent on the first matter, but if we waste the rest of this parliament – or indeed any more time at all – arguing about whether or not the climate is changing, the lights really will go out. Then we’d have to continue the argument in the dark, which would be metaphorically fitting but really annoying.

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