Thursday, 5 May 2011

In praise of shale gas - James Delingpole at his best

                                                          The first shale gas well from 1980

James Delingpole at his best:

What I simply want to do here in my first blog back (and no, my health thing hasn’t got better yet, I’m afraid, so please don’t expect me to be too Stakhanovite in my production rate) is remind you of the horrendous socio-political crisis we in the free world are facing today: one in which economic progress and commonsense threaten to be undermined at every turn by an insidious, mendacious and terrifyingly powerful global green movement which has its tentacles in almost every pie from the Obama administration to David Cameron’s Coalition to the EU to the UN to the MSM to the schools, universities and NGOs. The ideology of these Watermelons has virtually nothing to do with saving the environment (if it were, they’d be embracing shale gas wholesale) and almost everything to do with an instinctive loathing for economic growth combined with a bullying, puritanical urge to impose energy policy by diktat rather than by allowing the market to decide the most effective method.
Shale gas won’t die: the economic arguments in its favour are too powerful for it to be ignored (especially in countries like Poland, which has massive shale gas reserves and, like most of the former Eastern Bloc really has no desire to be blackmailed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia any longer than is necessary). But what we are going to see in the next few months and years are very concerted efforts by green campaigners and their sympathisers in the EU to besmirch the name of shale gas in favour of their preferred (and – of course – disastrously expensive and environmentally destructive) power source, renewable energy.
We mustn’t allow them to get away with it. Our economic future – not to mention the size of our fuel bills – depends on it.

Read the entire article here

In his column Delingpole describes the Global Warming Foundation´s new report "The Shale Gas Shock", written by Matt Ridley and with a foreword by Freeman Dyson.

An excerpt from Freeman Dyson´s foreword:

It is not a perfect solution to our economic and environmental problems, but it is here when it is needed, and it makes an enormous difference to the human condition. Matt Ridley gives us a fair and even-handed account of the environmental costs and benefits of shale gas. The lessons to be learned are clear. The environmental costs of shale gas are much smaller than the environmental costs of coal. Because of shale gas, the air in Beijing will be cleaned up as the air in London was cleaned up sixty years ago. Because of shale gas, clean air will no longer be a luxury that only rich countries can afford. Because of shale gas, wealth and health will be distributed more equitably over the face of our planet.

From Matt Ridley´s own introduction:

Cheap And Abundant Energy Is On Hand
Shale gas is good news for America and China (which probably has even more of it than America), consumers (cheap fuel means higher standards of living) and farmers (fertiliser is made from gas). It is bad news for Russia and Iran (which hoped to corner the gas market in coming decades), for coal (until now the cheapest fuel for electricity) and for the nuclear and wind industries. The last two had expected to be rescued from dependence on subsidies by rising fossil fuel prices. They may now not be.
The losers are formidable enemies, so there is a movement, whose fans range from Gazprom to Greenpeace, to strangle the shale-gas industry at birth, by claiming that drilling for it contaminates water with carcinogenic and even radioactive chemicals. This turns out to be true only in the sense that coffee is carcinogenic, bananas radioactive and dihydrogen monoxide (water) a chemical.

You can download Matt Ridley's report on the shale gas revolution and its implications here

What Ridley says about Gazprom, Greenpeace and the other losers is, of course, true. They will do their utmost in order to strangle the coming shale gas revolution. It is now up to sane people to make sure that they will not succeed.

Here, and here is what we have previously written about shale gas in Europe.

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