What the fracking Shell is going on in the Karoo?

  • Dave Shedman
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6 years 9 months ago #48636 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman created the topic: What the fracking Shell is going on in the Karoo?
I have just been informed by an online petition site I subscribe to that Royal Dutch Shell has applied for permission to explore for natural gas under 90,00 km/sq of the Karoo using a process known as 'hydraulic fracturing' more commonly referred to as 'fracking'. In brief, this involves pumping millions of gallons of water laced with sand and toxic chemicals into wells in order to cause the rocks to fracture, thereby allowing the gas to flow more freely into the wells. Whilst this maximises profit for the oil companies, the environmental impact, which has not yet been fully researched, can be catastrophic. Air pollution and pollution of the ground water and drinking water supplies with toxic and carcinogenic chemicals are just some of the effects caused by the process and 20% - 40% of the fracturing fluid, which contains the lethal chemicals, is left underground.

If the government and Royal Dutch Shell have their way, the pristine Karoo landscape will become littered with refineries, power stations, substations and kilometre after kilometre of powerlines. Farmers will lose their livelihoods, water will be undrinkable and people and animals will become ill or die. If, like me, you see this as just another attempt by the government to line their own pockets regardless of the cost to the people and the environment, I would urge you to sign the petition to ask them to reconsider allowing Shell to destroy yet another area of our rapidly dwindling natural environment.

I'm including some links to information about the fracking process so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not to sign. My name is already there!

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_fracturing:2ofthuo4]Hydraulic Fracturing Process[/url:2ofthuo4]

[url=http://www.karoospace.co.za/karoo-space-magazine/talking-point/100-fracking-the-karoo-the-people-say-no:2ofthuo4]Karoo Space Magazine article[/url:2ofthuo4]

[url=http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/whats-fracking:2ofthuo4]Gasland - a film by Josh Fox[/url:2ofthuo4]

[url=http://www.thepetitionsite.com/295/--if-gte-mso-9xml-wworddocument-wviewnormalwview-wzoom0wzoom-wpunctuationkerning/:2ofthuo4]Care 2 Causes - petition site[/url:2ofthuo4]

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  • waldens@faerieglen
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6 years 9 months ago #48645 by waldens@faerieglen
waldens@faerieglen replied the topic: Re: What the fracking Shell is going on in the Karoo?
Dave, this is the latest regarding the above:
http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditi ... G120110421
UPDATE 1-S.Africa imposes "fracking" moratorium in Karoo

http://www.news24.com/SciTech/Cabinet-e ... 20110421-2

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  • Dave Shedman
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6 years 9 months ago #48646 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic: Re: What the fracking Shell is going on in the Karoo?
Yes, I read one of those articles earlier and it is good news indeed that the government is at least making the right kind of noises now. OK, they haven't ruled it out completely but at least they're buying us some breathing space to muster enough public support to put a stop to it all together. Having only just visited the Karoo for the second time in my life last month, I would hate to see the area devastated buy the impact of this process. Mind you, if the birds become radioactive, at least they'll be easier to see and photograph in low light conditions!

Joking aside though, this can't be allowed to happen.


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  • Jacques P
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6 years 9 months ago #48765 by Jacques P
Jacques P replied the topic: Re: What the fracking Shell is going on in the Karoo?
Hi Dave,

I'm also not happy about this fracking project, but at least there is hope. Below is a speech that Lewis Gordon Pugh gave in Cape Town posed against the project (it was posted on SABirdNet by Dalena Mostert):

'Ladies and gentlemen, thank for the opportunity to address you. My name is Lewis Pugh.

This evening, I want to take you back to the early 1990's in this country. You may remember them well.

Nelson Mandela had been released. There was euphoria in the air. However, there was also widespread violence and deep fear. This country te etered on the brink of a civil war. But somehow, somehow, we averted it. It was a miracle!

And it happened because we had incredible leaders. Leaders who sought calm.. Leaders who had vision. So in spite of all the violence, they sat down and negotiated a New Constitution.

I will never forget holding the Constitution in my hands for the first time.

I was a young law student at the University of Cape Town. This was the cement that brought peace to our land. This was the document, which held our country together. The rights contained herein, made us one.

I remember thinking to myself - never again will the Rights of South Africans be trampled upon.

Now every one of us - every man and every women - black, white, coloured, Indian, believer and non believer - has the right to vote. We all have the Right to Life. And our children have the right to a basic education. These rig hts are enshrined in our Constitution.

These rights were the dreams of Oliver Tambo. These rights were the dreams of Nelson Mandela. These rights were the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi, of Desmond Tutu and of Molly Blackburn. These rights were our dreams.

People fought ­ and died ­ so that we could enjoy these rights today.

Also enshrined in our Constitution, is the Right to a Healthy Environment and the Right to Water. Our Constitution states that we have the Right to have our environment protected for the benefit of our generation and for the benefit of future generations.

Fellow South Africans, let us not dishonour these rights. Let us not dishonour those men and women who fought and died for these rights. Let us not allow corporate greed to disrespect our Constitution and desecrate our

Never, ever did I think that there would be a debate in this arid country about which was more important ­ gas or water. We can su rvive without gas.... We cannot live without water.

If we damage our limited water supply ­ and fracking will do just that we will have conflict again here in South Africa. Look around the world. Wherever you damage the environment you have conflict.

Fellow South Africans, we have had enough conflict in this land ­ now is the time for peace.

A few months ago I gave a speech with former President of Costa Rica. Afterwards I asked him "Mr President, how do you balance the demands of development against the need to protect the environment?"

He looked at me and said : "It is not a balancing act. It is a simple business decision. If we cut down our forests in Costa Rica to satisfy a timber company, what will be left for our future?"

But he pointed out : "It is also a moral decision. It would be morally wrong to chop down our forests and leave nothing for my children and my grandchildren."

Ladies and gentlemen, that is what is at stake here today: Our children's future. And that of our children s children.

There may be gas beneath our ground in the Karoo. But are we prepared to destroy our environment for 5 to 10 years worth of fossil fuel and further damage our climate?

Yes, people will be employed ­ but for a short while. And when the drilling is over, and Shell have packed their bags and disappeared, then what? Who will be there to clean up? And what jobs will our children be able to eke out?

Now Shell will tell you that their intentions are honourable. That fracking in the Karoo will not damage our environment. That they will not contaminate our precious water. That they will bring jobs to South Africa.

That gas is clean and green. And that they will help secure our energy supplies.

When I hear this ­ I have one burning question. Why should we trust them? Africa is to Sh ell what the Gulf of Mexico is to BP.

Shell, you have a shocking record here in Africa. Just look at your operations in Nigeria. You have spilt more than 9 million barrels of crude oil into the Niger Delta. That's twice the amount of oil that BP spilt into the Gulf of Mexico.

You were found guilty of bribing Nigerian officials ­ and to make the case go away in America - you paid an admission of guilt fine of US$48 million.

And to top it all, you stand accused of being complicit in the execution of Nigeria's leading environmental campaigner ­ Ken Saro-Wira and 8 other activists.

If you were innocent, why did you pay US$15.5 million to the widows and children to settle the case out of Court?

Shell, the path you want us to take us down is not sustainable. I have visited the Arctic for 7 summers in a row. I have seen the tundra thawing.

I have seen the retreating glaciers. And I have seen the melting sea ice. And I hav e seen the impact of global warming from the Himalayas all the way down to the low-lying Maldive Islands. Wherever I go ­ I see it.

Now is the time for change. We cannot drill our way out of the energy crisis. The era of fossil fuels is over. We must invest in renewable energy. And we must not delay!

Shell, we look to the north of our continent and we see how people got tired of political tyranny. We have watched as despots, who have ruled ruthlessly year after year, have been toppled in a matter of weeks.

We too are tired. Tired of corporate tyranny. Tired of your short term, unsustainable practices.

We watched as Dr Ian Player, a game ranger from Natal, and his friends, took on Rio Tinto (one of the biggest mining companies in the world) and won.

And we watched as young activists from across Europe, brought you down to your knees, when you tried to dump an enormous oil rig into the North Sea.

Shell, we do not want our Karoo to become another Niger Delta.

Do not underestimate us. Goliath can be brought down. We are proud of what we have achieved in this young democracy ­ and we are not about to let your company come in and destroy it.

So let this be a Call to Arms to everyone across South Africa, who is sitting in the shadow of Goliath: Stand up and demand these fundamental human rights promised to you by our Constitution. Use your voices - tweet, blog, petition, rally the weight of your neighbours and of people in power.

Let us speak out from every hilltop. Let us not go quietly into this bleak future.

Let me end off by saying this - You have lit a fire in our bellies, which no man or woman can extinguish. And if we need to, we will take this fight all the way from your petrol pumps to the very highest Court in this land. We will take this fight from the farms and towns of the Karoo to the streets of London and Amsterdam. And we will take this fight to every one of your shareholders. And I have no doubt, that in the end, good will triumph over evil.'

Well done Human Polar Bear :) .

Kind Regards,

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