Delingpole: Fracking Could Have Spared Britain Its Winter of Discontent, as BoJo Well Knew…

PRESTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: An aerial view of the Cuadrilla shale gas extraction (fra
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The United Kingdom is currently suffering severe gas shortages. And I know just the person who could have sorted it out, if only people had listened to him.

In a prescient article, written in 2012, this clever fellow accurately warned of the energy problems his country would soon be facing:

We have pensioners battling fuel poverty. We have energy firms jacking up their prices. We have real worries about security of energy supply

He warned that renewables were no solution to Britain’s baseload power supply problems:

The hills and dales of Britain are being forested with white Satanic mills, and yet the total contribution of wind power is still only about 0.4 per cent of Britain’s needs. Wave power, solar power, biomass – their collective oomph wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding.

He even recognised that Britain’s drive for “clean” energy would render it vulnerable to exploitation by foreign powers:

We are prevented from putting in a new system of coal-fired power stations, since that would breach our commitments under Kyoto. We are therefore increasingly and humiliatingly dependent on Vladimir Putin’s gas or on the atomic power of the French state.

But there was, he added cheerily, a perfect solution right on Britain’s doorstep. Or, underneath it, rather…

And then in the region of Blackpool – as if by a miracle – we may have found the solution. The extraction of shale gas by hydraulic fracture, or fracking, seems an answer to the nation’s prayers. There is loads of the stuff, apparently – about 1.3 trillion barrels; and if we could get it out we could power our toasters and dishwashers for the foreseeable future. By offering the hope of cheap electricity, fracking would make Britain once again competitive in sectors of industry – bauxite smelting springs to mind – where we have lost hope.

The extraction process alone would generate tens of thousands of jobs in parts of the country that desperately need them. And above all, the burning of gas to generate electricity is much, much cleaner – and produces less CO2 – than burning coal. What, as they say, is not to like?

What indeed, Boris Johnson. What indeed!?

Absolutely nothing of any material significance has changed since Boris Johnson wrote those words in 2012. The barrels are still there, underground, and recoverable. Britain still needs cheap energy. And is still painfully reliant on imported fuel. And even more excruciatingly vulnerable to supply issues.

Yet even though every word of that article remains true, the author of it (now unfortunately Britain’s Prime Minister) has performed a complete U-turn.

The effects of this will undoubtedly be disastrous. Indeed, the disaster has already begun. According to the Mail, Britain is heading for a Winter of Discontent:

Downing Street today signalled it is bracing for a ‘winter of discontent’ after BP and Tesco were forced to ration fuel and shut stations, supermarkets warned of food shortages and more energy firms went bust amid rising gas prices.

Number 10 said this afternoon that ‘we acknowledge there are issues facing many industries across the UK’ as the nation heads into the colder months.

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman insisted there is no shortage of fuel and urged people to continue to fill up their vehicles ‘as normal’.

Care homes, the Guardianwarns, may be especially hard-hit:

Care operators’ gas and electricity bills could double this winter as a result of the energy crisis

Care operators facing 100 per cent increases in their energy bills to keep residents warm this winter have demanded urgent government intervention to avoid home closures.

A typical care home of 50 residents already spends about £50,000 annually on gas and electricity but price hikes could mean operators paying double that, according to one energy broker. Care homes are not covered by the price cap which protects domestic consumers.

Even the Ecommunist (the globalist Cabal’s journal of choice), thinks the Johnson regime’s insane greenery might all prove to be a bridge too far:

Turbulence on the global energy market is drawing unflattering attention to British energy suppliers, which are struggling with the transition from coal- and gas-fired plants to renewables. The more the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, says about there being “absolutely no question of the lights going out”, the more consumers will worry.

And other environmental policies on the horizon will also hit them hard. From 2030 the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned. The electric cars that will replace them are rapidly improving, but not yet as cheap or as convenient. For city-dwellers it is hard enough to find parking without having to look for a charging-point too, and long journeys require planning.

None of this will come as a surprise to any half-way sentient person. If the star columnist of Britain’s biggest broadsheet newspaper was writing this stuff in 2012 then these arguments were most definitely in the public domain — and open to refutation by anyone who wished to refute them.

But no one ever did successfully refute them. Or rather, no one ever honestly refuted them. Instead, successive Conservative regimes allowed themselves be bullied by green lobby groups and eco-celebrities such as Emma Thompson, and kicked Britain’s nascent fracking industry into the long grass by pretending to agree with the Guardian that a barely noticeable tremor is the same as an “earthquake”.

As a Spiked article explains:

The trouble is that there has been a moratorium on fracking in England since November 2019 because of worries about earth tremors. Concerns intensified after a tremor in Lancashire measured 2.9 on the Richter scale. This ‘quake’, as the Guardian hyperbolically referred to it, could be felt in neighbouring towns.

What terrible catastrophe resulted? One resident of nearby Lytham St Annes, quoted by the Guardian, said there was a ‘very loud rumbling’, the ‘whole house shook’ and a ‘picture fell off a shelf’. It was ‘quite scary’, apparently. In the history of seismic events, this registered low on the Does Anybody Really Care scale.

As Cuadrilla, the company which ran the fracking site, pointed out, the rumble caused only a third of the ground motion that is allowed by law for construction projects. A report commissioned by the government, published in December 2020, suggested that a tremor of similar magnitude to that in Lancashire ‘may cause sparse cases of low superficial damage’.

In other words, a potentially important industry – one that might have even saved us from the current gas crisis – has been banned for relatively trivial reasons.

In other words, all the energy misery Britain will experience in the next few months — the price rises, the shortages, the inconvenience, the inevitable deaths of the elderly trapped by fuel poverty — every bit of it is entirely unnecessary and could easily have been avoided. The Prime Minister knew this in 2012. There is no reason why he suddenly does not know it in 2021. Nor, frankly, is there any reason why anyone in his Cabinet should not be aware of the truth either.

Which does invite the question: why are they doing this?

The United Kingdom’s current drive for a Net Zero energy policy is the complete opposite of what is good for the country or its people or its economy. Anyone with half a brain knows this, yet still it’s full steam ahead onto the rocks of green disaster. I don’t believe that any of this is accidental. I just wish I knew who was really behind it.

Not Boris Johnson, that’s for sure.

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