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« Ridley et al on shale | Main | Far unfit to bear the bitter cold »

Once more unto the breach

Here we go again.

It seems that onshore gas company iGas is about to start work on their site at Barton Moss near Manchester. This entails digging an exploratory well to assess gas prospects in a layer of coal and then to go deeper and see what the shale bed looks like. Like Cuadrilla in Balcombe, no fracking is planned at this point.

And like Balcombe, the work seems set to be disrupted by environmentalists, who have already set up site.

Judging by the pictures in the Manchester Evening News the protestors are already lowering the tone of the neighbourhood too.

Still, it will be interesting to see how things go for the protestors. Unlike the Balcombe protests, this time round it's winter and so maintaining a protest camp will be a struggle. I believe we are expecting gale force winds by Friday.

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Reader Comments (28)

Gales? Maybe the crusty parasitoids* will rig up little windmills to capture all that FREE energy to stay warm with...

*like the other sort except the host always dies...

Nov 26, 2013 at 8:26 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

Check the third one down the Local Labour MP is a Climate Change fence sitter.How very convenient.

Still checking out her MPs Expenses claims .

Nov 26, 2013 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

MP Barbara Keeley: “I have serious concerns about the safety of the drilling process and the proximity of the drilling site to local homes, schools and to the moss lands at [nearby] Chat Moss.

Presumably, she would be quite happy for a windfarm; I mean, what harm do those big fans do, eh? Chat Moss will be so much richer without its peregrines, and the Moss will be safe, with just a few thousand tons of concrete embedded in it. Far safer than a temporary rig and pillar-box sized extraction unit.

…fracking, that has been linked with earthquakes and water contamination.” Well, yes; just as Santa Claus is with the North Pole, and the Tooth Fairy with milk teeth… just get a modicum of reality in your view before making such claims.

In the comments: “The people who talk about ‘safe’ fracking are either ignorant or part of the fossil fuel industry.” We really do have a long way to go to educate people, don’t we?

There are some level-headed people in the comments (Thomas J Bryan, for one), but they are in the minority (thank you, msm, for your dedicated dissemination of dubious data).

Ah, well. As soon as people start to freeze in their own homes, they will find that any gas is good gas.

Nov 26, 2013 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Seems local Labour MP Barbara Keeley can fortunately afford to heat her home unlike some of her constituents but was complaining to the BBC that she was having to use her own money to heat her office after the MP's Expenses scandal.The poor dear.

Nov 26, 2013 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

"...or close the wall up with our English dead" (of hypothermia)

Nov 26, 2013 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterosseo

iGas should prepare itself for several desperate muck-raking articles per issue in Private Eye then. Cuadrilla seems to have appeared - always in a bad light - more times than the page numbers recently.
Private Eye is yet another news source which has plummeted in my estimation over CAGW.

Nov 26, 2013 at 9:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Yet again the BBC are acting with their usual impartiality. The local North West evening news program interviewed Friends of the Earth and never questioned any of the lies. One could have assumed that the ex Balcombe Luddites who have just moved in are our saveiours.

Nov 26, 2013 at 9:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterColin Porter

It must be said, it would be kind of cool if gas really did come out of your tap, just like that.

It seems that we can just append terms like "controversial" "fracking" to anything without worrying about relevance. Then just think of something nasty and add "linked with" - hey presto!

Nov 26, 2013 at 9:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Greenpeace enemies of the people.

Reading a recent article written by a well known correspondent in the Sunday Times, he drew an allusion to greenpeace and "green terrorism".

Observing the release, the visages of the Greenpeace eco-pir8s, an light burnt image passed in front of my eyes and very much like the impression made after a bright camera flash gun. These motivated but wrong headed young men and women radiated a vaunting sense of their own self righteousness, it positively oozed from the gleaming faces of these obsessed warriors of green, I thought it verged on mania in some individual cases.

Camping out in sunny Manchester in November and December will be a challenge but it will not faze those dedicated to the cause.

The pity of it is, is that they target the wrong design. The eco-warriors, their zeal is remarkable but also deeply worrying, like many other 'people protests' [UKuncut springs to mind] they are manipulated to carrying the flag of a resolute crusade which is not only mistaken, it is based upon a false premise and justified by 'facts' which are nothing better than agitprop propaganda.

Such a waste of their time and of our patience, when will their frustration turn to violence - there are signs and murmurings of threats and intimidation - as the unions are now resorting to and worse - where does it end?

Some people in power and who fund, encourage and also wind these guys up - from the Guardian to Bob Ward, Penn State University environmental sciences, NOAA, the Met Office et al, the Labour and Libdem parties and even to the Brussels Kommissars - they have set in train something which may unravel out of control.

Wind them up, watch them tick.

Nov 26, 2013 at 9:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

It can get unpleasantly cold and wet by those marshes. No doubt they'll find lots of peat to burn.

Nov 26, 2013 at 9:47 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The comments below the article are absolutely loony. How do they get away with making statements like that in the US, fracking has contaminated the water so badly that people can't even bathe in it, let alone drink it? That's simply a baldfaced lie. And there are plenty more like it.

Still, it is perhaps a sign of their desperation that such easily disproved assertions are the best they can come up with.

Nov 26, 2013 at 10:00 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

johanna....being Green is all about lying till your nose reaches planet Pluto.

Nov 26, 2013 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Lot of local agriculture in the area, right time of the year for winter 'spreading

Nov 26, 2013 at 10:07 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Irlam is a sad bit of the planet. Nearby Cadishead used to be dominated by a stinky old chemical works and although some of it's still there the town no longer smells as you drive through. It's near to the route of the HS2 and the fracking site is framed nicely by motorways and railway lines. At least the Manchester Ship Canal is no longer a sewer.

Nov 26, 2013 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Nov 26, 2013 at 10:07 PM | Diogenes

Unfortunately, Pluto is no longer a planet :-(

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

"fracking has contaminated the water so badly that people can't even bathe in it"

I think that was a typo. It should be:

"green ideology has contaminated minds so badly that people WON'T bathe in the water"

"There are, of course, environmental benefits. In a bid to reduce his carbon footprint to the absolute minimum, environmentalist Donnachadh McCarthy, 51, limits his showers to about twice a week."

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Schadenfreude - here's hoping!

Yup, frostbitten eco-campers would be a hoot.

Nov 27, 2013 at 12:12 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Ah, Manchester. Peter Bocking and Graham Stringer. We have hope.

Nov 27, 2013 at 1:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

At least the Manchester Ship Canal is no longer a sewer.

Not quite as impressive as The Mersey though.
Just a few decades ago it had a permanent 'head' like a pint of Guinness (same colour too).

Nov 27, 2013 at 6:31 AM | Registered Commenterbh3x2

I think we should have an up-to-date map of Barton Moss, showing the motorway less than a kilometre from the site, as well as( hugely popular) Barton airfield. It's a shame the protestors will be kept awake by the noise. I just hope it's not too cold and wet for them.

I don't object to mossy, flat, lowlands, but Barton Moss is no AONB.

Nov 27, 2013 at 8:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;"

"Unto", not "into".

[BH adds: State education eh? Now corrected.]

Nov 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterTomcat

Pluto still exists, though may no longer be referred to as a "planet".

Though, why not? My understanding is that "Planet" is derived from a Greek word meaning "wanderer"; as Pluto is still wandering the heavens, why the pedantry?

Anyhoo... talking of wandering, I wonder what the ecofascists are going to use for heating and cooking in their camp (bottled gas, anyone?). Also, it is interesting to see them turn up in vehicles powered by...? And then to pitch camp in tents made from...? It is not only their rabid resistance to reason that I find tedious, but their hypocrisy.

Nov 27, 2013 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Maybe local residents can keep an eye open for a (2-stroke) petrol generator being used on the eco-terrorists camp-site to keep all those iphones and Macbooks charged up.

Nov 27, 2013 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

Your Grace,

With great admiration and respect for all your work and effort, I cannot restrain myself from pointing out that (among the cognoscenti of oil and gas exploration) one does not "dig" a well; one "drills" a well. The fact of the matter is that I immediately distinguish whether a particular writer for the New York Times or some such similar propaganda outlet knows what he/she is talking about with respect to hydrocarbon extraction by this particular usage. When a writer uses the phrase "digs a well" it's a sure sign of a lack of familiarity.

I'll close by advising you that I've been a tireless and enthusiastic promoter of your books.

Nov 27, 2013 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn W. Garrett

There is a photograph somewhere (newspaper?, I forget where I saw it) of the mob setting up camp at Barton Moss, with a chap in the foreground wielding a saw and it looks like he has sawn off the hedge to make way for their encampment. So, no regard for the local habitation then - their protest overrides that, obviously. I wonder if that Balcombe wheelchair will make an appearance.

Nov 27, 2013 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

I sam this on Sunday at the BBC Manchester site under the headline
Barton Moss: Drillers 'breaching planning permission'

It immediately struck me that there might be parallels with Canonbie complaints, as reported here

Latest on the protests from the BBC
Also from the Manchester Evening News

Nov 27, 2013 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

When a writer uses the phrase "digs a well" it's a sure sign of a lack of familiarity.

Sometimes used in a slangy way in the industry. It's more accurate than "rods" for joints of drill pipe anyway :-)

It still amazes me to see the free and uncritical ride these people get in the media. They should be treated like their fellow reactionaries from the EDL or BNP.

Nov 27, 2013 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Unable to pin down the location precisely on G**gle Earth (beware product placement!) from the map sample given, but it is interesting to note the obvious “habitat destruction” already underway in the area – at 53.42N 2.48W, 53.44N 2.50W and 53.50N 2.44W (cannot embed the actual piccies, sorry).

Why no Fiends of the Earth or Brownwar activists protesting there?

Nov 27, 2013 at 7:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

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