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A few sites I've stumbled across recently....
Lots on the Green Blob's not having to tell the truth, see the post below and at Third Sector, OESG and at Michael Robert's blog which includes Ben Websters Times article.
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the Charities Commissioners have taken a dim view of an FoE leaflet that claimed that silica - that's sand to you or me - used in fracking fluid was a known carcinogen.
Not a reality based statement. Is this an ironic post?
[J: read linked posts]
At Michael Roberts' blog, something to make BH regulars chuckle:
I went to a meeting organised by RAFF (Residents against Fracking; Fylde) at Inskip (10 miles from Preston). I was unimpressed with the low level of accuracy in the presentation.
Read the links? Oh I did. Where did the FOE claim that sand is dangerously carcinogenic? The last one is particularly embarassing, with its pictures of sandcastles and self-confessed 'made up quotes'. The best you can do?
Not quite the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, huh? But if the Charity Commission rules against misleading names, I guess the GWPF will have to come up with another name for the GWPF. (That graph on the masthead is looking increasingly like a bullseye on the foot, btw.). Irony, then.
[J: Here is Ben Webster's quote "It sought to justify a claim in the leaflet that fracking used toxic chemicals by stating that it required sand, which contained “significant amounts of silica which is a known carcinogen”. Cuadrilla, which is appealing against the rejection of its applications to frack in Lancashire, complained to the Charity Commission that the leaflet caused “unfounded fear” and resulted in “donations being diverted from more worthy charitable causes”." see Michael Robert's blog]
I know how Friends of the Earth gets its money.
But how does Friends of the Earth ltd get its money? It can't just be given to it by FOE - surely that would be in breach of the Charity Act?
A quote by a journalist is not a quote from the organisation, its just hearsay, now third hand (or did you check it?). It is the fine silica dust given off by the industrial processes that is dangerous, not the raw sand, see the FOE response for its actual position.
Again, Cuadrilla saying donations had been diverted is not the same thing as it actually happening. A little scepticism is indicated.
And, silence on the other concerns raised by the leaflet, air pollution, CO2, property blight......
[J: From the FoE site "Cuadrilla says Friends of the Earth can't say toxic chemicals are used in fracking, because these would not be allowed by the Environment Agency...It’s a good point - we don’t know for certain what fracking would look like in the UK, because it hasn’t really happened yet."
Which makes your point - A little scepticism is indicated ;-) ]
..And, silence on the other concerns raised by the leaflet, air pollution, CO2, property blight.........
What's the concern about CO2? It's plant food. And there's no air pollution from fracking...
Clearly your cage is rattled. This is odd. Since when did the green blob give a damn about being caught lying? As a naive youth I was generally supportive of some of the main 'non-governmental organisations' (what a label - presumably the Cosa Nostra and the Kray twins also qualify?). Then came Brent Spar. Every damned campaign since has been built on utter deceit. So why the feigned shame today? Are you now telling us that the truth has a place in environmentalism?
The BBC program is "not currently available", what a surprise ^.^
The preparation of fracking fluids is not dust intensive. Any reasonably honest and informed person knows this.Phil's rather sad distraction of interchanging sand for silica is just another step in the hall of deceptive mirrors that climate kooks depend on to keep their fibs alive.The twin tools of FoE and their ilk- ignorance and untruth are obviously familiar tools in Phil Clarke's hands.
The leaflet did claim that sand causes cancer, and the FoE doubled down when they got called on it. They pretend that wet sand, a thousand feet under ground, could cause silicosis and cancer.
Of course, they ignore the fact that silicosis only comes with extremely fine silica particles (like those found in grinding operations), not plain old sand. If it did, a nobody would be able to live near sandy beaches or spend any time there.
Fracking uses sand of about 0.5 millimeters per particle. Silicosis comes with 10 micron particles. Fracking sand is about fifty times as wide, and about 125,000 times the mass per particle.
Somewhere in the UN/EU/Government literature I read that there is actually an aim to reduce the atmospheric levels of CO2 (there was no target given).It is not disputed that all life as we know it will die out if the level falls below about 180 ppm. I am sure that new life forms would evolve at lower levels but we would not be around to see it. The desire for a reduction is literally suicidally stupid.
According to Ben Webster's report:
Last year Friends of the Earth was accused of scaremongering to raise money by suggesting that sand used in fracking could cause cancer.
So tell us, Phil, wtf are you on about?
Notwithstanding the merits or otherwise of the claims about frac sand, where is the evidence that 'the Charities Commissioners have taken a dim view of an FoE leaflet'?
The Times article just says they received a complaint but were unable to investigate because the leaflet was not produced by a charity, any more than a GWPF publication is produced by the GWPF.
MJ - Do you disagree that linking silica with sand was designed to make FOE look foolish by implying they were claiming that making sandcastles could give you cancer? This Straw Man was certainly prominent in the blog linked to. The FOE went too far when they claimed the stuff pushed down the wells is a cancer hazard, but they were right insofar as the process is hazardous to the workers handling it.
"I was unimpressed with the low level of accuracy in the presentation."
I bet the numbers "proving" the need for panic (if any were actually provided) were very precise though. Maybe something like, "We're 97% sure a catastrophe will result".
Bit cold in that corner Phil? :)
Quite hilarious, the incompetence and innumeracy of Phil Clarke and FoE - as ever.
To a first order, the construction industry used 3.9 *million* tonnes of sand in the UK during 2012. The vast majority of this construction takes place in built up areas, close to large populations. Comparatively, the 440 tonnes of sand to be used by Cuadrilla is used in remote areas far from major population centres. So construction uses *four* orders of magnitude MORE sand per year than this fracking example.
Anyone who has had building or construction work done will know an enormous amount of dust is produced by construction work. This applies every bit to DIY as well. Ever had work done on your house, Phil, beyond simple painting? Ever drilled a hole in a wall? If so, I hope you cleared yourself and your family from the house and got an environmental cleanup team in, only allowing your family back into the house after thorough tests showed that the deadly carcinogenic dust you released was all cleaned up. Vacuuming won't do it - the dangerous stuff will sail straight through your vacuum cleaner.
Indeed, the amount of dust created by construction work renders any attempt to measure the exposure from fracking almost null and void. In fact, I would suggest it is far more likely that any increase in silica dust near fracking sites is unlikely to come from the fracking sites themselves. Fracking will bring an increase in wealth and workers to a region, who will need places to stay, eat, be entertained. This increase in wealth will likely come with an increase in local construction, which is a far more plausible explanation for an increase in silica than the fracking activities themselves.
But let's have some fun. Let's look at a large section of UK construction: wind turbines. According to wind industry figures, 1883 MW of wind turbines was installed in the UK in 2013. It isn't easy to find info on amount of concrete in wind turbine bases from the wind industry itself, and I don't trust the critics to give a straight up answer, but a search suggests a figure of 120 cubic metres per MW of installed turbine (bigger turbines require more concrete, in a roughly linear relationship). Concrete is around 2/7ths sand (from a 1:2:4 mix) so we can calculate the total amount of sand used in constructing wind turbines in the UK in 2013 (assuming a density of 2.4 tonnes per sq metre) is around
120 * 1883 * 2.4 * 2 / 7 = 154,000 tonnes of sand
This sand is used in construction, which exposes employees during transport, mixing stage and machining on site. So when I hear FoE and Phil Clarke up in arms about the 154,000 tonnes of sand used per year in the UK installing wind turbines, I might start to believe they care about the 440 tonnes of sand that Cuadrilla might use in fracking.
(For what it is worth: I'm not a fan of wind turbines, for two reasons: they despoil the countryside and cause energy poverty by driving up energy generation costs. It would never occur to me to flag up the dangers of 154,000 tonnes of sand used by the wind energy industry per year in the UK because it is such an idiotic argument. The only reason I bring it up here is to highlight the stupidity of it being used against fracking)
No one in the debate so far has mentioned the role of the silica in the fracking fluid. I am not familiar with the composition of fracking fluids , but have had plenty of experience in using silica as a viscosity modifier in suspensions and I presume that this is the role played here . If so , it may well be incorporated using a colloidal silica, but that need not necessarily be added as a dust (it can be chemically produced in situ in the solution of interest ) . Furthermore it is unlikely that a complex fracking fluid would be created from raw materials on the drilling site, but would more likely be manufactured under controlled conditions elsewhere, in a factory , and transported in. There are almost as many forms of nano- ,colloidal, - fumed, - crystalline and microcrystalline silica as there are stars in the sky and most are mixed quite safely in suspension form. If anyone is still frantically anguished about the use of silica , it is a common ingredient of many creams and pastes of everyday use . I just checked the toothpaste in the bathroom ; Macleans Fresh mint : ingredients : aqua (water), HYDRATED SILICA;etc . I bet most other toothpastes are the same . It is there to control the viscosity characteristics of the paste. Carcinogenic? Obviously not.
FoE linksDoes Fracking Cause Cancer And Infertility?andMore recently, the same company complained to the ASA that the charity Friends of the Earth stated in an advert that chemicals used in fracking could cause cancer. Cuadrilla said only chemicals deemed non-hazardous to groundwater would be used in any UK fracking operations.andCuadrilla hit out after a leaflet from the campaign group Friends of the Earth (FoE) highlighted warnings, many made by official US government agencies, about the dangers posed by the toxic chemicals and crystalline silica used in large volumes in fracking operations.
I can't actually find a copy of the document but on the weight of evidence it seems likely one existed, although its content is conjecture at the moment as far as I'm concerned.
MikeWaite, the fracking silica is just silica sand. It is used as a propant to keep the hydraulically fractured cracks open so oil and gas can flow. The main other constituants of fracking fluid are water, guar gum (a food thickener, basis for water color paints) to help suspend sand evenly in the water, and sometimes detergents to facilitate flow. None toxic. Any toxicity comes with backflow, as any contaminants in the shale will leach into the frack fluid. The main one is ordinary salt as these are marine shales. That why briny frackwater backflow must either be disposed of properly (injection well), or preferably reused on the next frack. Just add more sand.Btw, frack sand is 'special' in that rounded grains with a reasonable size distribution are preferable. The opposite of good beach sand, which is more uniform in size and 'blocky' in shape to encourage compaction and deter wave erosion. Most of the US frack sand comes from mines in central Wisconsin, or the dunes along the SE tip of Lake Michigan. We will be glad to sell some to Caudrilla.
Sand is used as a proppant, not as a viscosity modifier. Viscosity modification is done with guar gum or similar - the aim is to make the fluid less viscous, and therefore easier to pump. The sand is designed to hold open the micro fissures in the rock caused by fraccing under high pressure, and thus increasing the permeability of the shale once the frac job is complete, increasing the flow of gas trapped in the formation.
You might find this short video a useful introduction.
As said above, the proppant material, sand or synthetic, is used to *prop* open the fractured formations and sustain improved porosity. The fracking fluids are treated with things like gum agar to increase viscosity and carrying capacity to allow the proppants to be circulated effectively into the fractured formations.The entertaining drivel of players like Phil and FoE is that while they think they are controlling the debate, they rely implicitly on deceit and ignorance to carry the day.
The FOE went too far when they claimed the stuff pushed down the wells is a cancer hazard, but they were right insofar as the process is hazardous to the workers handling it.
Spence UK: Very well said. I enjoyed your comment.
And, Sandys: That link: 'Does Fracking Cause Cancer And Infertility?' made me smile, as I was reminded of the rhetorical shenanigans that the likes of Phil Clarke go through: we were warned that that sort of thing would make you blind.
The BBC show parts of the leaflet. It clearly demonstrates that FOE are liars.
Risky Chemicals25% of chemicals used in fracking could cause cancer
Even if you ignore the water used... you would have to include the sand to get close to that deception.
What a pathetic scare campaign effort from FoE, there are far more scary-sounding constituents of fracking fluid than silica.
One of the other ingredients sometimes used in fracking fluid is xanthan gum. This non-toxic gum is beloved by the food industries because of it's excellent shear-thinning properties. This means that it is viscous enough to be used to support suspended matter in salad dressing, preventing it from settling out, but the salad dressing can still readily mixed with a few shakes of a lamb's tail.The analogy with fracking fluid is probably a very good one in this case.
This kind of educational information is all publicly available, but so-called Friends of the Earth and BBC choose to wholly ignore if and run with the general word of "chemicals" in the hope that it will scare people.
Presentation by a British Geological Survey Industrial Minerals Specialist
Explains the basics in simple terms includes:-
'What is Frac Sand?'
Silica is chemical compound silicon dioxide (SiO2), 61% of earths continental crust
2 or 3 years old but still worth a read, data comparisons with the US etc
Edit, I should add that the nearest equivalent to frac sand is foundry sand. I must have ingested at least a couple of frac sites worth during my foundry days! Hence 'Green Sand'!
Phil Clarke, you are a breath of fresh air, well, I mean, of highly contaminated air, darn, you know what I mean.
Pleasing to see FoE ridiculed at last and high time. Some superb comments from the Bishop's congregation on this thread too. Maybe even Bob Ward will appear telling us how useful the piezoelectric properties of quartz are, from scientific instruments to cigarette lighters.
Given your copious posts on this, and the previous thread regarding FOE's misinformation on silica and fracking, please can you clarify whether you are doing this as a private individual? Do you have any direct/indirect personal and/or financial links to FOE and/or its commercial/corporate subsidairies such as FOE Ltd?
Fracking: Man penetrating Mother Earth inserting fluids -- do I have to paint a fresco?Aila knows where I’m coming from (no pun).
If the frackers want big bits of silica to keep the fractures open but silica dust is a by-product, Claiming that silica dust is used in fracking is a lie.It is an unwanted by product and one that is easily dealt with
Josh & Salopian, isn't it time cartoon Green Blobbies were seen with back pockets stuffed full of incentives destined for Professional Climatrollogists?
If the Green Blob are using dodgy accountancy practices in their 'public' work, such that a 'dim view' is taken by the Charities Commission, what would the public think, if they knew what the Charities Commission really suspect?
A 'Dim View' is a bit of a quasi-legal euphemism, for something which at best, is not correct, and at worst, is very, very naughty.
As hunter pointed out on the previous post (7:26pm) "Phil Clarke is now going Sir Robin on us."
I guess Phil is still trying to work out how to extract his feet from his mouth.
Will the Blob be taking over Delingpole's Breitbart franchise soon?
Or is it overqualified ?
Salopian, I wonder whether The Sun ought to engage a Fake Shake a Green Tree ruse, to investigate further. Or maybe the Police still have some 'under the covers' 'sleeping around' Officers doing a bit of infiltrating.
"Follow the Money" is the normal call in investigations of dodgy deeds. It doesn't matter whether you start at the top, bottom or middle. The Green Blob have been so enthusiastic with their 'Big Oil Cheque' accusations, and yet the biggest squealers normally have their snouts in the trough.
I suspect that forensic accountancy, rather than 'ruses' would be the best to deal with these shysters, but it's out of my sphere of expertise.
Chris, your choice of words earns you a biodegradable, dolphin-safe, fully-recyclable, rain-forest-worthy accolade.
Dear Russell, the loons at Breitbart will have to wait for another day.
"What a pathetic scare campaign effort from FoE, there are far more scary-sounding constituents of fracking fluid than silica." --Chris Hanley
Absolutely right, Chris! The Friends of Dirt have carelessly failed to mention that water (yes, dihydrogen monoxide!) is used in all fracking fluid. The Big Oil Enemies of Dirt would have you believe that this water stuff is harmless. But NOOOO! It is responsible for 372,000 deaths per annum! And "water" is an even more powerful greenhouse gas than Carbon Dioxide. Not only that, but people have been known to adulterate perfectly good whisky with this vile substance that fish are known to copulate in! What are they thinking? The disastrous effects of this hazardous material go on and on. We must ban water immediately, if not sooner.
Stephen Schneider wrote in 1989 that people are pushed into making 'scary scary' messages, tho later in 1996 he clarified he was not advocating that
..to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.
@McCourtney is right, all that running around Phil gave us with saying 'they are not talking about the sand' now I look at the back of the leaflet that is all about Cuadrilla as shown the BBC back in October
I am not unsympathetic to Phil stuck in the alarmist wonderland : FoE should have got into talking about sand in fracking fluid as their is no method it's ever going to harm the public, and the workers are protected by the normal safety procedures.- Their argument that natural carcinogens from deep below might somehow contaminate ground water is also weak cos that would involve an industrial accident like the pipe seal breaking. Furthermore it's a question of magnitude vs risk ..like Drax burning wood will emit carcinogens and radioactivity..any big FoE protest about that ?Green orgs shouldn't just throw the word cancer around. Keep it for a significant plausible risk rather than just an almost insignificant possible risk.
Phil said "Where did the FOE claim that sand is dangerously carcinogenic? "The Times article says
Friends of the Earth said: “[Cuadrilla] has used polyacrylamide, which contains acrylamide, a probable carcinogen, and it uses hydraulic fracturing sand, which tends to contain significant amounts of silica. Silica is a known carcinogen.”
but Phil has already alluded to him thinking the journalist is lying."A quote by a journalist is not a quote from the organisation"
The BBC has a similar quote
Tony Bosworth, climate and energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth said: "Mr Bosworth said the Environment Agency had approved the use, by Cuadrilla, of a chemical called polyacrylamide, which he claimed contained acrylamide, a "probable carcinogen".
Polyacrylamide is used in a massive range of products like soil conditioner,toys etc. as Arthur Dent mentioned yesterday in the other thread
Oh and on the link Bish gave Michael Roberts points out that Tony Bosworth made the claim about sand the cancer danger on TV more detail
In October Breibart also quoted FoE \\Friends of the Earth responded: “We understand that Cuadrilla used a significant amount of sand to frack the well at Preese Hall [in Lancashire in 2011]. Frack sand tends to contain significant amounts of silica which is a known carcinogen.”//
@Dung went into conspiracy mode above \\The BBC program is "not currently available", what a surprise ^.^//em...BBC local news is only kept for 7 days on Iplayer, so it just expired that's all
A discussion of the various processes of hydraulic fracturing and the fluids necessary for facilitating the drilling and extraction of gas from shale plays is all very interesting but it wildly drifting off the point.
In the first place, we are only talking of exploratory - wells, until we know how much is gas is down there the current debate surely is, moot.
The salient point however is;
FoE and in all its forms and through its propaganda campaign is, quite deliberately disseminating spurious guff concerning things of which they do not fully comprehend. All done with insidious insinuation and thus by mendaciously playing on people's misplaced fears to, winding up groups of the well-to-do, middle class 'NIMBY's' who should really TRY to know better but refuse to open their minds to the possibilities for: 'the greater good'.
Then, in typical eco warrior insouciance, FoE attempting to claiming tax breaks for such wanton anti social mischief riding on the gravy train of the faux charidee transport. Ha! and what a transport enormous public money scam that it all is! Oh the irony, of paying the green chuggers to prevent exploration of a natural bounty - resources right under our feet and one which COULD, would, be of undoubted great benefit to the nation.
It's way, way past time the taxpayers representatives..... what some may term 'Government' - stamped down very, very hard on the green sock puppets, a good start would be to withdraw all charidee status for green advocate organizations - why the hell should we pay for 'em?
Jan 29, 2016 at 4:04 PM | Phil Clarke===============================
No less an an authority than the BBC can relate that fracking is just fine...
"Fracking confusion: How UK has been 'fracked' for decades
Protests by environmental campaigners have increased awareness of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", but the process has been used in the UK's oil and gas industries for decades.
But 160 miles (260km) north, in the Nottinghamshire village of Beckingham, 71-year-old John Foster walks his dog next to fields which have been fracked for oil and gas for decades."I've been here since 1969 and at one time there were nodding donkeys [machines used to lift oil out of a well] dotted all over the place," he said.But he and his neighbours agree the oil and gas extraction has not affected them.The occasional passing tanker is one of the few clues that oil is being extracted from under the ground.Next to the fields is Beckingham Marshes, a wet grassland habitat managed by the RSPB."
As you can read, just fine.
50-year-old fracking site that makes a mockery of the Balcombe zealots: It's next to a nature reserve - and has fracked enough gas and oil to power 21,000 homes every day... with no complaints from localsThere has been fracking near Beckingham Marshes since 1963The site employs 35 people and pumps 300 barrels of oil a dayLocals say there have been no environmental problems from the site"
Jan 29, 2016 at 4:52 PM | Phil Clarke============================================
No, but the ASA can and does deal with representation by anti-fracking hysterics.
The ASA began their investigation, but the issue has now been resolved as FFS have agreed to withdraw the offending literature without rebuttal (Informally Resolved Cases, Date 7th May 2014). By doing so, there is no requirement for formal investigation.
As far as I see it, this represents tacit acceptance that all of the original complaints are valid. However, by withdrawing rather than making a challenge, FFS have managed to avoid the media fanfare associated with a full ASA investigation.
The howling nut jobs at Friends of the Earth are being paid to tell exaggerated lies and scary stories. Their supporters continue to be as gullible as ever.
Some of them even stand to lose out on juicy Big Green Blob Cheques as their ruses are rumbled.
Radical Rodent, I think "massive scale" is Unprecedented Exaggerated Alarmism, UEA for short.
Interesting return of the omega-man. I wonder if Phil Clarke has been to Torquay?
Anyway, seems we're in need of a definition of 'massive scale': Is that, I wonder, as massive in scale as a useless windfarm? Rather like this picture of 11 gas wells among a load of windmills. Which would be called 'massive scale'?
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