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Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet Poll shows Fracking not in Favour!

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Lord MacGregor was saying recently that Fracking in Britain holds many benefits. Recently a report published by The Lords Economic Affairs Committee, whom one or more of the members on the committee is said to have  links to Pro-Fracking corporations, have given their views on drilling for Shale Gas, they have outlined in the report that they back the Government’s decision to go “all out for shale”, however they make a request to do far more to engage the public on the benefits of Fracking in the UK and say it will provide more jobs, and bring about energy security.

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The report published went on to say that “Developing a successful shale gas and oil industry in the UK must be an urgent national priority.”

Although the report may have taken a liking to Fracking in terms of short-term money and making a quick buck, there are many dangers to Fracking and instead of taking a cautious approach, the committee have asked to speed up the implementation for the plans to Frack. If so many people are opposed surely they should be heard and their concerns addressed. Realistically many would now say that Fracking should not happen, as there are too many dangers involved with the focus on the wrong type of energy (fossil) instead of on green and clean renewable energy.

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The Green Party Leader of Croydon Shasha Khan said upon being questioned by Raj News that “The Government should seize the opportunity to embrace energy reduction with renewables not Fracking.

Fracking is an extreme energy source” Shasha went on to speak of Cuadrilla an oil and gas exploration company in the UK who are pursuing Shale Gas in the UK by hydraulic fracturing in the ground, he said “Cuadrilla have already said that energy prices will not come down due to Fracking, so why risk polluting our water.”

The report mentioned the EU’s reliance on Russia for Gas and how Fracking would stop this reliance. They do not however mention the EU’s fine to the UK for not meeting its Air Quality/Pollution requirements, there is a pending case against the UK by the EU, which could see the UK picking up bills worth millions for not doing enough to reduce the pollution and cleaning up the air.

The UK could see these fines dropped if the Government acts now and can show there is an improvement, in air quality. With car traffic jams in areas and things like incinerators, unnecessarily burning waste when it could be recycled, where is the encouragement to the public on these issues.

The Green party have been doing their bit in Croydon, opposing an Incinerator in Beddington Lane by putting in a judicial review, against Mayor Boris Johnson’s plan to have an incinerator in Beddington Lane which would serve Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Kingston, although there is danger of toxic fumes carrying downwind, unfairly building up, to pollute areas, which do not want to be harmed, by these dangerous fumes.

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With all these prominent dangers at the forefront, the Government still want to dangerously fracture the earth in an effort to unlock Shale gas, the dangers of this are creating toxic drinking water as Shasha Khan mentions and instead of trying to promote renewable energy, the Government wants to continue focusing on fossil fuels at the cost of damaging the UK – Fracking has been linked to Earthquakes.

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When it comes to regulation of Fracking the Lord’s have said that regulation should be streamlined, such as in cases where a company may want to drill under people’s houses they can do so without needing a license.

The Lords’ report seems to promote fracking and Lord MacGregor said on a radio interview with the BBC that Fracking will provide the public with lower fuel bills, he also mentions the US taking up Fracking. The radio host points out that “in the USA there are vasts amounts of unpopulated land, whereas in the UK you’re looking to do Fracking in relatively populated areas.” Lord MacGregor says that they’ve looked at this problem and any effects to the environment, yet this is a cherry picked report  which gives us a selected amount of information that is Pro-Fracking.

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Chief scientist Dr Doug Parr of Green Peace UK says of the report: “On one page the Lords are saying public concerns should be taken seriously, on the other they urge the government to strip people of their right to say no to Fracking firms planning to drill under their homes – a move opposed by three-quarters of British people.” They also backed moves by the Government to change trespass laws so that shale companies could drill under people’s property without their permission to ensure development could go ahead “without undue delay or cost”.

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Caroline Lucas of the Green Party also featured in the interview, she made it clear that Fracking is not a solution to anything and pointed out surely the UK are not going to go ahead with this. She mentioned that there are far more jobs in renewable energy compared to that of Fossil fuels. She spoke of having a cap on fossil fuel emissions, and how drilling for shale gas can cause levels in methane to increase which is dangerous, especially as the numbers on methane gas is highly underestimated.

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I would stress that this is a swipe by the Government to make some quick money, rather than educate the public on this issue and listen to the people who are, now, in a poll, overall against Fracking, in the UK.

Dr Parr criticised the report, warning Fracking was a “non-solution” that would not deliver for many years, if at all. Caroline Lucas points out that Fracking would lock us into the fossil fuel industry rather than working towards a positive renewable clean energy industry.

Dr Parr’s analysis of the report was a realistic one and he said, “The Lords spent seven months cherry-picking the wafer thin evidence that fits a foregone conclusion about the benefits of shale gas. This is just more taxpayer-funded cheerleading from unelected politicians who seem all too happy to ignore the country’s legitimate concerns about Fracking.”

The Dr and Caroline Lucas and Shasha Khan echoed each other when they spoke of the real urgent national priority, which is to push ahead with the renewable technology and efficiency measures.

Although the BBC did not mention in an article about Fracking that the Green Party (whom of late have not even had much media coverage by the BBC in the elections) whose Leader Natalie Bennet is a keen campaigner against Fracking alongside Caroline Lucas who was arrested for protesting against Fracking, after having real concerns about the UK issue of Fracking and alongside Green Peace, WWF, and Friends of the Earth’s concerns – who also did not get much coverage either.

The BBC did highlight the dangers of chemicals in Fracking they said:

“Hydraulic fracturing of shale to extract gas involves pumping water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure to allow the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

There is a worry that chemicals used in Fracking may escape and contaminate groundwater around the Fracking site.

Another environmental concern is that Fracking uses huge amounts of water that must be transported to the Fracking site, at significant environmental cost.”

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The campaigning group, Friends of the Earth, commented: “The report recognises that the regulations aren’t working – but calling for the Government to ‘simplify’ regulations and speed up the process will not reassure local communities and a public unconvinced by this risky technology.”

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The WWF- UK said:

Nick Molho, Head of Climate and Energy Policy at WWF-UK said: “The Lords seemed to have overlooked the many serious analysts who have said that shale gas in the UK is unlikely to have much impact on either gas prices or the UK’s rising exposure to gas imports.

“If we are genuinely going to reduce the UK’s vulnerability to future fossil fuel price shocks, the main priority must be to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels in the first place.

“Moving rapidly towards an energy system that’s more efficient, low-carbon and better integrated with those of our European partners should therefore remain the UK’s highest national priority when it comes to energy policy.”

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In conclusion:

There is a danger in going after shale gas, which is still unknown about in terms of quantity, quality and is most likely under the ground in different layers, making it difficult to access; whereas in the USA there is land which is flat and plenty in unpopulated areas, making the gas easier to extract, the same cannot be said for the UK with its populated areas and complex land structure and layers of the earth.

Fracking has added to the climate change debate, and Fracking will only damage the climate, which Fracking can have serious implications on, nevertheless it has become a part of the debate on climate change as it can cause a huge set back to the climate through air quality, natural disasters, water contamination and earthquakes; there should be a focus on renewable energy rather than using less dirtier fossil fuel (Shale gas compared to Coal), which looks set to harm the UK, residents, and environment just as much, if money was spent on Green renewable energy, this would pay off in the longterm.

There are so many alternatives yet Fracking is what the Government want to pursue. There are many out there protesting against Fracking to put a stop on it before it starts, make sure your concerns are heard write to the politicians and tell them to stop their plans as not many of the members of the public agree with Fracking and it is dangerous and also we cannot afford to miss the opportunity to work now on the future with renewable energy, which is clean, green, job making, and recyclable, renewable, and the future.

The Fifth Night of London Riots 10/8/2011 and 11/8/2011 Parliamentary Session

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Latest Map of riots occuring in the UK:

at 7:44pm – 10/8/2011

The riots are said to  be started by the shooting of Mark Duggan – and a peaceful protest in Tottenham turned violent outside a police station, since then the UK has seen similar scenes of violence. It has seen ministers come home from their holidays and they have been making statements.

Boris Johnson addresses the crowd holding a broom in Clapham

A unique quote from the past few days is from Boris Johnson: who said before he came back from holiday – “I am not going to come back at the moment because I have complete confidence in the police and I think that they are doing a very, very good job … the people who did this were criminals and their behaviour was criminal behaviour and it was in no way justified by the questions that people are asking about Michael Duggan”. (Metro) He had got Mark Duggan’s name wrong – and that’s not been all the news of Boris Johnson – he was heckled yesterday by locals in Clapham who were shouting “where’s your broom!”

The Mayor subsequently picked up a broom and approached the crowds saying you are the “real spirit of London”.

He also went on to say: “I want to say first of all to everybody who owns a shop, to everybody who owns a business here, how very sorry I am for the loss and the damage that you have suffered.”

Mr Johnson was out and about today and was in Enfield and he said to the inflamed community ” “Obviously we cannot be complacent. We cannot guarantee anything because you never know, but we think we have got it on the way to being sorted out.”

The Police have responded to their soft tactics against the looters – although yesterday saw a rioter in Manchester being hit several times with a baton – a police spokesman said it was sometimes too “risky” to make an arrest. The spokesperson went on to say:

“It is simply wrong to suggest officers were initially told not to actively arrest those involved in disorder,” and further said

“As always the decision to make an arrest is down to the individual officer on the ground who must weigh up whether it is appropriate bearing in mind risks of further inflaming the crowd, wider operational requirements and our ability to gather evidence to arrest later.”

The problem that the locals all across the UK have is that they should have been protected against the looters and the police’s softer tactics are seen as being the result of extensive damage to property which could have been avoided if they were more “robust” as their operations are now going to be.

In court today for looting was an eleven year old and a man who works as a teachers assistant – the boy and man admitted charges to looting. The clean up has been happening all over the country and boarding up of damaged buildings and shops.

The Prime-minister said today “We will take every action necessary to restore the order on our streets.”

Tim Godwin – The Acting Chief Commissioner of The Metropolitan Police said of yesterday nights rioting scene in London as “far quieter” compared with the riots on Monday, he said “there will be many more arrests to come” and “we will catch them all.” He talked of the support received from the community “who are standing up and saying this is outrageous”.

David Cameron has announced that “every action will be taken to restore order, with contingency plans for water cannons to be available at 24 hours’ notice.”

The latest is that Keith Vaz the Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee has said “his committee will decide on Thursday whether to hold an inquiry into what has happened” if an inquiry is held it will look at the causes of the riots. (21:30pm)

An image from Croydon on Monday (8/8/2011) which has become prolific in the riots media coverage shows a woman jumping from her flat:

The image made the front pages of many newspapers including: The Guardian, Times, Sun, Daily Mirror and Daily Telegraph and it also made the inside pages of all other national titles.

An A4 sized leaflet has been making the rounds amongst many apparently, it was found outside an Argos store in Dalston, which informs rioters not to panic if they think they may be identified from photos in Tottenham and provides advice:

The leaflet apparently gives a further insight into the fact that their is a certain amount of organisation amongst the rioters.

The latest is that a Sikh place of worship (Gurudwara) is on fire in Derby and this is in the aftermath of a mosque apparently being burnt a few days ago – RUMOURS FOR NOW – YET TO BE CONFIRMED (A Sangat TV reporter reported this via a tweet) (1:41am) The Gurudwara on fire turned out to be a car on fire nearby from further reports. As for the Mosque it is said to have had missiles thrown at it by two teenager boys – who are now being questioned – this happened on Monday 8th August.

Sangat TV made the BBC news for their broadcasting of exclusive footage of the riots globally; the BBC said of Sangat TV “SANGAT TV, which was unheard of by most people just a few days ago, has taken viewers right to the heart of the disorder with its own unique style of reporting and plea for calm.” The footage was re-broadcast by News channels in India and also by SKY, CNN and the BBC the footage was of riots in Birmingham.

There have been many arrests and this has seen some courts open throughout the night.

Three teenage boys have been arrested in relation to the Sony Warehouse in Enfield; Indie labels music was stocked there and the fire has left Sony without their artists’ CD’s including one of their signings Adele also the UK film industry will be at a loss as many film companies had their stock within their warehouse, which was due for distribution. The burning of the building began on Monday 8th August.

The fifth night saw less violence, and from reports a car was on fire – Birmingham and the Midlands were the areas which were being looked at carefully by the Police – Eltham also saw some incidents and missiles were thrown at the police.

“Britain’s fifth night of rioting has passed with less violence but no clear end to the problem. The Prime Minister David Cameron is under pressure to reverse cuts in welfare, including such services as youth clubs in deprived areas.” (ABC NEWS – Australian)

Last night is being reported as calm in most cities. Eltham and many other places have had non-looters patrolling alongside the police – the following is an image from Eltham last night.

There is concern that the EDL – and the BNP will use what is being described as vigilante turnouts to their own advantage for inciting racial tensions.

David Cameron is to speak to Parliament (11:30am), which is being recalled today to discuss the riots in the country. He said: When there are important events in our country, it is right that Parliament is recalled and that we show a united front.” He also went on to say: “More than 1,500 people have now been arrested across the country” and said we are “a year away from the Olympics, we need to show them the Britain that doesn’t destroy, but that builds; that doesn’t give up but stands up; that doesn’t look back, but always forwards”.

 

Croydon’s House of Reeves furniture store : the aftermath of one of the largest iconic fires throughout the London riots

A debate  has begun from 19:00pm at Parliament which will see statements from ministers on the riots it is expected to last until 11:00pm.

186 Police officers have been reported as injured since Saturday 6th August when the riots began in Tottenham and spread across the UK.

Latest reports from yesterday and today (11/8/2011) about the riots, are that apparently, some journalists in Leicester paid youths to riot in Leicester:

The London Riots 9/8/2011

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The London Riots seem to be ongoing at the moment, the fires are too; the police are around London even now 1:10am;  The places being mentioned since today: have been Clapham, Croydon, Birmingham, and even Liverpool.

The latest fires are at Croydon within a furniture shop called Reeves Corner and Ealing Broadway where the shopping centre is said to be on fire. Yesterday saw  Croydon’s shopping centre looted and in Birmingham the Bullring shopping centre was looted, also a police station in Handsworth, Birmingham, was set on fire. Liverpool is seing their shopping centre swooped upon by around 300 people; the police are there and trying to deal with isolated outbreaks of violence and looting.

A report on the shooting of Mark Duggan is to be available today and is being provided by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The IPCC has said there is no evidence that any shots were fired by Mr Duggan.

As for the football matches West Ham and other London clubs have been told to call of their fixtures due to the dangers the riots pose. The England and Netherlands football match will be cancelled on Wednesday.

The rioters have not only been looting and damaging property, they have been clashing with police, throwing wood, bricks, and stones, at the police and all this has certainly happened yesterday and is still happening now throughout the night, the third night of violence.

The latest is that there are clashes happening with the police in Hackney. On Saturday, 26 police officers were injured, eight requiring hospital treatment, whilst the riots took place in Tottenham. (1:20am)

The scenes have been shocking to see – with a Furniture shop ablaze called House of Reeves which has been around since 1867 in Croydon making most of the headlines.

Riots in Bristol being reported which has kicked off after midnight.

David Cameron is due back today and will be chairing the Government’s Emergency meeting COBRA to discuss The London Riots. The clashes started on Saturday in Tottenham which saw the high street left devastated.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said it was “needless opportunistic theft and violence” which he said had “absolutely nothing to do with the death of Mark Duggan.” Nick was today booed and told “your a little too late.”

The Scotland Yard Commander Christin Jones has said that “Tonights acts are simply inexcusable.” Armoured vehicles have been used in the Metropolitan Police’s operations in protecting locals and their property. 525 People have been arrested since Saturday’s riots. 6,000 police officer were in London last night (Monday 8/8/2011); of these officers 44 have been injured.

The riots have been ongoing since the night all across England – and daytime today is still seeing ongoing violence, similar to yesterday.

David Cameron has said that Parliament will be recalled on Thursday. The Prime-minister has today (Tuesday) visited Croydon. The Prime-minister has said “We will do everything necessary to restore order”

In Croydon a 26 year old man was found in his car with gunshot wounds, and he later died in hospital. The Metropolitan Police operation Trident is launching an investigation.

Thornton Heath in Croydon is still having ongoing violence towards its local shops – police are on the scene and assessing damage. Boris Johnson has been talking to the local community in Clapham along with Theresa May and have been pressing the point that there will be more police tonight.

Recent updates (midday) after the arrival of David Cameron in the UK are that 16,000 police officers will be on the streets of London on Tuesday night.

18:32pm – Scotland Yard have said that 111 officers and five police dogs have been injured – the number of police officers injured is rising – Theresa May yesterday paid tribute to the officers on the riot scenes across England saying “Once again I would like to pay tribute to the brave police officers who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public.”

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