No fracking, drilling or digging: it’s the only way to save life on Earth

29 09 2016

“Do they understand what they have signed? Plainly they do not. Governments such as ours, now ratifying the Paris agreement on climate change, haven’t the faintest idea what it means – either that or they have no intention of honoring it” writes George Monbiot in the Guardian…… but does George himself ‘get’ what he’s writing….?

Any regular visitor to this blog will know I entirely agree with the title of Monbiot’s thesis. But at least, I know it also means the end of civilisation as we know it.

Using the industry’s own figures, it shows that burning the oil, gas and coal in the fields and mines that is already either in production or being developed, is likely to take the global temperature rise beyond 2C. And even if all coal mining were to be shut down today, the oil and gas lined up so far would take it past 1.5C. The notion that we can open any new reserves, whether by fracking for gas, drilling for oil or digging for coal, without scuppering the Paris commitments is simply untenable.

Too right. Especially as we have pretty well already reached the 1.5°C threshold according to several sources.


The only means of reconciling governments’ climate change commitments with the opening of new coal mines, oilfields and fracking sites is carbon capture and storage: extracting carbon dioxide from the exhaust gases of power stations and burying it in geological strata. But despite vast efforts to demonstrate the technology, it has not been proved at scale, and appears to be going nowhere. Our energy policies rely on vapourware.

All this nonsense is a substitute for a simple proposition: stop digging. There is only one form of carbon capture and storage that is scientifically proven, and which can be deployed immediately: leaving fossil fuels in the ground.

So far so good…..

[governments’] choices are as follows. First: a gradual, managed decline of existing production and its replacement with renewable energy and low-carbon infrastructure, which offer great potential for employment. Second: allowing fossil fuel production to continue at current rates for a while longer, followed by a sudden and severe termination of the sector, with dire consequences for both jobs and economies. Third: continuing to produce fossil fuels as we do today, followed by climate breakdown. Why is this a hard choice to make?

But George…… if we are at 1.5°C already, not even choice 1 is viable….


The Arctic ice death spiral has lost no momentum, with current volumes at the lowest they have ever been recorded, and cruise ships actually being sent to the North West Passage for the filthy rich to see the product of their handy work……

Only an economic collapse can fix this ongoing insanity. At least it’s interesting to see Monbiot making no mention of nuclear power in this Guardian article. Has he changed his mind, or was it a mere omission..?




4 responses

29 09 2016
Arthur Robey

Equally pernicious is our wilful blindness about the empirical evidence for radically different forms of energy of which Cold Fusion is but a subset.
Because we cling to scientific dogmatism. And Scientific Dogmatism is an oxymoron. One cannot be both scientific and dogmatic.
I have watched Pari Spolter debating science gurus. It is not a gratifying sight rampant with sexism, dogmatism and ad hominems.

29 09 2016

Governments certainly don’t get it. I’ve been listening to the kerfuffle over the interruption to S.Aust’s electricity supply caused by a massivestorm that has to have been exacerbated by climate change. So many of our Coalition spokespersons have denounced the swiftness of the South Australian government’s move to alternative energy. Why is it they don’t seem able to connect the exacerbation of storms with increased CO2 emissions, and why do they not see that if anyone is to blame it is themselves for their reluctance to act?

29 09 2016

If as you say, the only way to save life on Earth is to stop fracking etc, then the situation is beyond a solution. Fracking etc is just plain not going to stop until it is plain to see the need in everyday life. For now it’s a forecast and that is not the same as seeing it.
Humans have a bias towards optimism. It explains the reluctance to act. We are doomed.

1 10 2016

I didn’t read the original article, but I can only assume this question was rhetorical – “Why is this a hard choice to make?”

If you hadn’t noticed George, it’s not.

We/they/us/Govt/Citizenry/et al (lay blame wherever you like) have and will continue to choose Business As farkin Usual (by & large, minus the odd token ‘green’ initiative).

I read some of the above commenters basically asking why this is our choice?

Very simply, because were Homo farkin Sapiens! And (the VAST majority of) Humans are masters of filtering bad news/threats to their identity/world view and substituting reality with their own rose-coloured version of the world and primarily themselves, as a post hoc rationalisation for all the shitty things they do and that go on around them.

It’s people’s unique ability to bullshit themselves and others around them that enables them get up each morning and comtinue their shitty routines, day in, day out, and not visit the roof of their office building…

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