What Are We Fracking For?

Review – Cheltenham Science Festival, Tuesday 3rd June 2014.

Hosted by Radio 5’s Richard Bacon and featuring in debate, Professor Paul Ekins – Director UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources and Andrew Quarles – Technical Director of Cuadrilla Resources.

Last night’s debate began by first Andrew Quarles and then Professor Ekins presenting their views on the subject. They dwelt upon the economics and the practicality of fracking. The debate therefore considered the main strengths of the pro-fracking argument.

The downsides of fracking were otherwise hardly mentioned. Some were touched upon and others ignored completely. The moral, social and ultimate survival factors of life on Earth were not included. Questioners were mostly declared as members of the fossil fuel industry.

The debate therefore fulfilled its scientific prerogative, but unfortunately did not open up into a wider debate beyond science. Since this is a Science Festival, we have to accept that limitation. There are alternatives to fracking; alternatives that don’t destroy the life bearing capability of our amazing planet. The fossil fuel industry is powerful and influential, but there are other voices out there!

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