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« A cartoon week - Josh 361 | Main | Hiding your light »
Friday
Feb052016

Now what were those arguments against shale gas again?

Next week, the long-awaited public inquiry into Cuadrilla's planned shale gas developments in Lancashire kicks off. Witnesses from Cuadrilla will face off with representatives of green groups and protestors. Weeks of fun will ensue.

Readers at BH will no doubt be looking forwards to Friends of the Earth trying to convince m'learned friends that builder's sand is a dangerous carcinogen.

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Reader Comments (105)

James Evans

Gardening for the NT sounds idyllic. If only I didn't suffer from hayfever ....

Maybe in the fullness of time .... I use my real name and am a Company Director so anyone with medium Google-Fu could find out quite a lot about me if they so wished.

Over-sharing can be risky of course.

Feb 5, 2016 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

"Feb 5, 2016 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete Austin "

They'll be banning people going to the beach next. Especially going to the beach in hot countries...

Feb 5, 2016 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

@ Phil Clarke at 7:59 PM

"Hunter, the fracking process produces silica dust from the sand. Not difficult, surely?"

Very difficult, actually.

Fracking sand isn't mere building sand, but a high-purity quartz sand, that's round & very durable. It is a crush-resistant material. But you knew that anyway, didn't you.

And as the fracking process occurs thousands of metres below ground in a dust-suppressed (i.e. waterborne) environment, dust generation is minimal.

Feb 5, 2016 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

NIOSH identified seven primary sources of silica dust exposure during hydraulic fracturing operations:

Dust ejected from thief hatches (access ports) on top of the sand movers during refilling operations while the machines are running (hot loading).
Dust ejected and pulsed through open side fill ports on the sand movers during refilling operations
Dust generated by on-site vehicle traffic.
Dust released from the transfer belt under the sand movers.
Dust created as sand drops into, or is agitated in, the blender hopper and on transfer belts.
Dust released from operations of transfer belts between the sand mover and the blender; and
Dust released from the top of the end of the sand transfer belt (dragon's tail) on sand movers.

From the hazard alert linked above. But, as I've said, the silica is a side-issue, people just bring it up to try and make the Greens look bad.

Feb 5, 2016 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

@
Feb 5, 2016 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered Commenter Phil Clarke
Is that the test well that caused the earthquakes?

Remind me not to employ you for any bricklaying work ;-)
Phil You don't know what earthquakes are. Try living in Christchurch NZ (where I come from) and you will know. Bricklayers? ha ha Whole reinforced concrete structures were destroyed in that little episode.

Feb 5, 2016 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas

Phil Clark, who only recently realised the band-wagon that was F-F subsidy (then beat it to death), has now found the "silica-sand in fracking causes cancer" band-wagon (and is beating that to death), and does not give a stuff for either of these arguments. He has form. He is thread-bombing. And stroking his enormous, err, ego at the same time. I think we should give him room to clean up his act. But he'll never ever change. He's committed.

Feb 5, 2016 at 8:42 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Douglas, if you have to explain the joke .....

Feb 5, 2016 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, if you have nothing of substance to contribute...

Feb 5, 2016 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

As all human activities are potentially dangerous to health, perhaps we, as a race, should voluntarily commit suicide.

There: explained the Climate Alchemy Death Cult in one shot! Brilliant........even if I say so.......:o)

PS @Phil Clarke: are you going to show the way for us less frightened individuals. If we read no more of your posts in say 72 hours, to whom should we send flowers?

Feb 5, 2016 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

@Feb 5, 2016 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered Commenter Phil Clarke
Douglas, if you have to explain the joke ...

In a word Phil - You!

You are the joke.

Feb 5, 2016 at 9:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas

Good to hear that Phil thinks it's not the silica dust that's the problem but the CO2. That's a problem for a guy who flies off to go scuba diving in the Canaries once a year.
No doubt you will say you only ever fly short haul and make sure you pay your carbon offsets.

Feb 5, 2016 at 9:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Menorca this year actually - I have friends out there. I could offset for less than a fiver but I am not convinced ….

It is not a problem, if we were to calculate a safe level of global emissions and divide it up amongst everyone, the resulting 'personal carbon budget' is more than enough for a few short haul or one long haul flight a year.

But thanks for caring.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraction_and_Convergence

Feb 5, 2016 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Readers at BH will no doubt be looking forwards to Friends of the Earth trying to convince m'learned friends that builder's sand is a dangerous carcinogen.

Joe Public : Fracking sand isn't mere building sand

That's very disloyal and undermining of you JP, you are meant to repeat the meme that GREENS BELIEVE LYING ON A BEACH GIVES YOU CANCER at every opportunity.

Feb 5, 2016 at 10:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke

"Greens believe in lying"

Nuff said

Feb 5, 2016 at 11:16 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

PC and Non PC

Oi, butt out! My family is one of the four horsemen that make up almost 90% of the Earth's mass!

The mass of Earth’s crust is more than 50 percent silica! Serious clout! Going to be good watching the clean up! I mean how do you dispose of this abundant abomination? There is quite a lot, we are many, I wonder how many? How about drilling a hole and pumping it down, grain by grain?

One thing I do know for sure and probably the only thing I know is that my family (silica) was here long before your species (homo superbus) arrived and will be here long after you are extinct and sadly, with regret, we will also out live your predecessors and betters, homo sapiens - wise and knowing man.

Feb 5, 2016 at 11:22 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Phil Clarke, Feb 5, 2016 at 8:31 PM

FTFY, no charge

NIOSH identified seven primary sources of silica dust exposure during hydraulic fracturing operations windy weather which can all be prevented by using appropriate dust masks or water spray damping.

Dust ejected from thief hatches (access ports) on top of the sand movers during refilling operations while the machines are running (hot loading).
Dust ejected and pulsed through open side fill ports on the sand movers during refilling operations
Dust generated by on-site vehicle traffic.
Dust released from the transfer belt under the sand movers.
Dust created as sand drops into, or is agitated in, the blender hopper and on transfer belts.
Dust released from operations of transfer belts between the sand mover and the blender; and
Dust released from the top of the end of the sand transfer belt (dragon's tail) on sand movers.

From the hazard alert linked above. But, as I've said, the silica is a side-issue used in fracking operations in the US has been shown to pose a silicosis and lung cancer risk - leading the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a hazard alert. people just bring it up to try and make confirm the Greens look bad are against human advancement despite embracing it to make their lives better and communication easier

Feb 6, 2016 at 12:20 AM | Registered CommenterPcar

Phil Clarke:

Please F-off, you've got to the point of being more annoying than the Dick.

Feb 6, 2016 at 12:33 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

You are not convinced enough to get Carbon offsets ???
Well, Phil. You used to be
And your hero Monbiot said that flying was as unacceptable as child abuse.

What changed your mind ?

Do you perchance reduce the number of passengers by booking an extra seat for your ego ?

Feb 6, 2016 at 1:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Of all the chemicals in fracking fluid, Phil Clarke and FoE have forgotten about the most dangerous one of the lot in terms of lives lost. The World Health Organisation estimates that globally 372000 per year die of drowning. Most people drown in H2O, which forms up to 99.5% of the toxic fracking fluid.

Feb 6, 2016 at 1:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Also from WHO we find that pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (the proper name for silicosis) can be largely prevented by isolating people from the particles. That is by either dealing with the substance within sealed units or providing appropriate protective equipment. For sand that is goggles and a mask.
Phil Clarke will have a case for sand causing pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis in UK fracking operations if it is absent from Cuadrilla's risk assessment and/or he has evidence that Cuadrilla will not adhere to its corporate HSE policy if permission is granted to start producing gas.

Feb 6, 2016 at 1:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Phil Clarke, oh waster of time and space:

You've been harping on the dangers of fracking sand.

From your OSHA link:

"Disclaimer

This Hazard Alert is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards [and other regulatory requirements]...

Sand is so much a danger, that it gets a 'may' be hazardous... Along with suggestion on what to watch for and how to protect against.

On a scale of warnings; this falls between "look both ways before crossing a road" and "Wash your hands after using a restroom".

Phil turkey, I'm so worried about the dangers of sand that I built a sand box for my kids. I also let them dig in the garden.

But I'll bet you only pretend to care, Phil. Silica is used to keep table salt free flowing; have you banned salt from your table?

No silica for fracking, no salt for the table...

Feb 6, 2016 at 6:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

@PC
You've mentioned "carbon budgets". You really mean "carbon rationing".
If greenies such as yourself think you can stop me flying long-haul to Texas to visit my family because I've used up my "ration" you can f#ck right off.
My grandparents suffered the horror of rationing during WW2 just so people like you have the freedom to say what you want, no matter how ridiculous.
[Snip - venting]

Feb 6, 2016 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterdavid smith

CBA basically. I guess I've mellowed with age.

Monbiot wrote, in 1999, 'A car is now more dangerous than a gun; flying across the Atlantic is as unacceptable, in terms of its impact on human well-being, as child abuse.'

From <http://www.monbiot.com/1999/07/29/meltdown/>

I thought at the time that this was OTT, and he also seems to have mellowed, as this year he tells us :

You might not have imagined, in the 21st Century, that we would still need to hoist 180 pounds of human flesh 30,000 feet into the air every time we want a conversation. I’ve been limiting my own flights to one return ticket every three years. Yes, it has sometimes cost me opportunities and income, but this restraint has made me no less happy or fulfilled. 

From <http://www.monbiot.com/2016/01/20/mumbo-jumbo-jets/>

People's views can change as new facts emerge, when the CRU stolen emails were first published, George called for Phil Jones to resign, he later acknowledged that he < href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/jul/07/russell-inquiry-i-was-wrong">got this wrong.

Feb 6, 2016 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

"people just bring it up to try and make the Greens look bad"

I think it was one of your chums, Phil, that brought it up! Not that the Greens need any help...

Feb 6, 2016 at 11:05 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Until economies introduce money that requires no repayment investment decisions will become ever more problomatic.
Today all investments are conduits as one never knows the true demand signal.

One must get in early and leave soon after or at least get out when one receives some inside knowledge of future price movements.

Feb 6, 2016 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

'Ever more problomatic', eh Dork?

Sounds terrible, whatever it is you're on about.

Feb 6, 2016 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterShindig

One must understand the time value of money (its the greatest deception of all time)

Read this and get back to me.

http://psalmistice.com/2015/06/18/on-principal-and-interest-hermetic-magick-and-the-lords-of-time/

Feb 6, 2016 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Dork,

Read this (take your time - say, a year or two) and then get back to us:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Essential-Grammar-Use-Answers-Self-Study-y/dp/1107480558/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454776664&sr=1-3&keywords=english+grammar+in+use

Feb 6, 2016 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterShindig

Salopian, You are too rude to Phil Clarke.

I disagree with PC but I acknowledge he is consistent and not impolite.
He certainly isn't a monomaniac with a tendency to irrelevance.

Feb 6, 2016 at 4:39 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

The Clarke character may be polite, but he ruthlessly dissembles then twists and turns when collared.

A dangerous parasite, as are most of the foE, Greenpeace crowd.

Feb 6, 2016 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Perhaps a decade ago a visiting astrophysicist gave a lecture in UCC.

He had very fancy computer graphics and very fine diction
Well I punctured a big gaping hole in his grand model by asking a very simple question.
He knew how to deal with me
He asked if I has formal education
He never dealt with the simple question.
Being young and naive I was suitably embarrassed.
It was indeed a effective tactic.

Deal with the f£#king question

Feb 6, 2016 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

The capitalist system needs to preserve the illusion of motion .
This tactic has very real physical economic effects .
The most outstanding is the great skew toward transport inputs as a % of TFC.

When the music stops such as 2008 / 09 and today the price of oil drops like a stone.
"Investments" such as tight oil get stranded .
People realize it was wasted effort.
The illusion of the magicians subterfuge is highlighted.
The banks revert to Tommy Cooper like jokes
People find them funny but the tricks are no longer taken seriously.

Feb 6, 2016 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

If I could understand the f£#king question, I'd deal with the f£#king question.
But all you do is spout garbage.
I'm with the poor astrophysicist - especially if your spoken 'question' is like the written one! There he was, trying to inform and entertain, and some syntactically-challenged weirdo starts an incomprehensible tirade. My heart bleeds for him. Were you one of the cleaners at UCC at the time, who just happened to stumble into his lecture?

Feb 6, 2016 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterShindig

The Clarke character may be polite, but it is the only character you will ever meet whose ego is so massive, it has it's own event horizon

Feb 6, 2016 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

If I remember correctly is was a simple observation of his data inputs.
It was short comprehensible and sweet (it needed to be)
The computer model had everything nicely segmented between observable matter and the dark stuff.
I simply asked was low surface brightness galaxies imputed into the model given that they are unobservable over long distances.
They had not.

It was that simple.
I remember feeling quite chuffed with myself but annoyed also .
I could have went for the juggler.
But the good professor was a accomplished dogfighter.
He knew when to evade.

I learned my lesson.

Feb 6, 2016 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

From the above article

"Intriguingly, after leaving Italy in 1509 Erasmus wrote his famous satire, In Praise of Folly, in which he mocks scientists who use maths to bamboozle their audience. His description of these boffins rather accurately parodies the methods used by Luca Pacioli in his talk on Euclid: “When they especially disdain the vulgar crowd is when they bring out their triangles, quadrangles, circles, and mathematical pictures of the sort, lay one upon the other, intertwine them into a maze, then deploy some letters as if in line of battle, and presently do it over in reverse order – and all to involve the uninitiated in darkness.” In his book, Erasmus set out to deflate the pretensions of anyone who claimed special knowledge or importance, whether they were philosophers, merchants or clerics"

Feb 6, 2016 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

"I could have went for the juggler."

Oh yes, Dork, you could have went for the juggler....you could so have done.

Feb 6, 2016 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterShindig

Whatever dude , I could not give a toss.

Now the truth , there is a lofty objective.

Feb 6, 2016 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Dear Dork,

" I could have went for the juggler "

This is an English language web site. If you have a point to make - I have no idea what you are on about, like most - perhaps you could provide a translation?

Feb 6, 2016 at 7:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterjolly farmer

M Courtney, 4:39 pm:

I, and, apparently, others do not consider PC to be consistent or polite. He regularly trolls and derails threads with disinformation and disingenuity, So he, and you, will just have to live with those of us that occasionally get fed up with his tiresome behaviour and express our annoyance in ways that you consider "rude".

Feb 6, 2016 at 7:51 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Phil Clarke - channeling Monbiot - said:

A car is now more dangerous than a gun
If you believe that, Clarke you are a bigger fool than I ever took you for. That is the most ridiculous statement, made by someone (and believed by another) who has probably never fired a gun (I mean one meant for killing), or been expected to. You need to understand something about 'intention'. Pillock!

Then again, you may not believe that, but you had a chance to disown the fool's words - and you didn't.

Feb 6, 2016 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Dork, that was in danger of being comprehensible, so let me help put a bit.

'Whitover nude , I could not gove a tiss.

Now the tooth , there is a lifty abjective.'

Hold on - were you in 'Allo 'Allo?

Feb 6, 2016 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterShindig

Harry,

Which part of 'I thought at the time that this was OTT,' is too hard for you? OTT = Over the Top.

I was just quoting St. George's exact words for context.

Feb 6, 2016 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Philip
you seem to think that Monbiot being OTT is a thing of the past. You think that our children will not know what Monbiot being OTT is, that it will be a rare and exciting event.

I wonder if you might be able to think of any other examples of catastrophists being way over the top ?

Feb 6, 2016 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Re: "A car is now more dangerous than a gun":

I thought at the time that this was OTT
- is not a denial, Clarke, it is a mild rebuke to your friend. In any case, you might remind your friend that with more than 60,000 casualties, on our side - from guns - in 1916, when they didn't have 'global warming' I suspect that the victims would have preferred a potential death from cars than a definite one from a bullet. But then, I guess you and Monbiot are also deniers - of history.

Feb 6, 2016 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

One sure sign of the extremist kook, like Monbiot or PC, is that they focus on alleged negatives and ignore the proven positives of fossil fuels. Add to that the "restrictions for thee, but not for me", and their pathetic posing is rather entertaining.

Feb 6, 2016 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I don't think many polar bears have been knocked down and killed by a car. Aren't polar bears supposed to be in danger or something? Maybe it is penguins that have difficulty with Zebras crossing Pelicans, can't see the red, green and amber lights, and everything gets blurred in black and white.

Feb 7, 2016 at 1:06 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

For what it's worth, I find Phil Clarke a mixture of informative, irritating, and incorrect. I personally wouldn't describe him as a troll, and have seen many worse in action, both here and elsewhere.

As a retired solicitor (shock horror, yes I know I'm not a scientist or an engineer, and must be the spawn of Satan) I would make one observation. Whatever my scientific limitations, I am well versed and well trained in weighing up evidence. I am also well used to observing witnesses during cross-examination. It took me quite a while when I was just starting off in the law to understand all the tricks that witnesses will unthinkingly and instinctively use to avoid answering a question, where a full and honest answer will put them in some difficulty. Just a few are things like replying with a question, instead of an answer; obfuscation; changing the subject; re-wording the question to engage in a war of semantics that distracts from the question; answering a completely different question from the one that was asked; subtly slithering away from what the witness said earlier. Readers of this blog can decide for themselves, but I think I've spotted most of these on display in Phil's posts (but no, I can't be bothered to go back through all his posts to find examples to justify that claim - you can decide for yourselves whether I'm right or wrong).

Anyway, I'm still grateful when he provides links to sites offering facts and information. But I won't ever be convinced by links to Greenpeace articles and the like. Propaganda is never a good argument.

Feb 7, 2016 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark

I stand in awe of solicitors or rather I would stand in awe if I could afford to get close to one ^.^

Feb 7, 2016 at 11:46 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Mark Hodgson:

...all the tricks that witnesses will unthinkingly and instinctively use to avoid answering a question.

The "unthinkingly and instinctively" are key here. I suppose this may be offensive to some who contend here, but I had assumed that responses to challenges were being consciously considered. Hodgson's view would explain why a lot of what we see in troll-like comments seems incomprehensible.

At the same time, i read in your comment an assumption that thoughtful though ignorant questioning on a technical matter can produce a useful answer. As a veteran of more than a few depositions on technical matters, i suppose my responses may often have been frustrating. I was always constrained by counsel's advice to keep it brief and to not expand the answer, where in fact, i really wanted to go to the whiteboard and explain the entire context of the area being questioned, that the discussion might more closely approach how the thing actually worked. I was repeatedly assured by our counsel that nothing would be gained by enlightening the opposition counsel.

I can see sometimes the frustration of the technical people who comment here in how wide of the mark comments can be; on both sides.

Feb 7, 2016 at 1:10 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

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