The Secret Environmentalist: all out for shale gas



“We’re going all out for shale gas”, the shiny man says.

All out for a technology whose availability is unproven and undefined, its impacts unclear and its benefits debated.

All out for a process whose safety depends upon rigorous monitoring of safety and the environmental performance of private interests by regulatory mechanisms branded as ‘red tape’, and a regulator whose funding and staffing is being systematically slashed by the day.

All out for shale gas, the man proudly announced, whose claims to lead the greenest government ever are smeared by the stain of dirty fuel. An ill defined aspiration which was stillborn when spoken and made more ludicrous by the day as our hopes for the future vanish into ever more carbon laden skies.

All out for shale gas, a stopgap at best, mortgaging any long-term energy strategy for a short-term hit to the coffers of the few at the expense of the many. 

All out for shale gas, preventing the possibility of investment in technologies which have no end in sight until the dying light of the sun dims our view forever. 

All out for shale gas, which creates a job “bonanzathree times smaller than that of solar or wind. 

Selling our country by the cubic metre; burning its capital rather than reaping its harvest of freely given and cheaply taken wind, sun and wave. 

All out for shale gas.

Soon it will be all out and what will we be then?

Nothing but all out for naught.

The Secret Environmentalist has been in the business for more than two decades and has worked at all levels of sustainability. They have ranged from the chalk-face of kids’ education and the coal-face of small business support to the nightmare of drinking coffee in some of shiniest boardrooms on the planet. Experienced in the real world of the private sector and the realer one of not-for profits, The Secret Environmentalist is mad as hell, and is not going to take this anymore.

Further reading:

‘Incentivising’ my local authority to support fracking

Energy giant Total to invest £30m in UK fracking

Government to offer fracking ‘bribes’ to local councils

Three facts on fracking

Fracking poses ‘serious threat’ of water contamination, says report


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