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« What New Scientist wouldn't print | Main | Still going slow »

Yorkshire goes unconventional

Well this was enough to lull me from my blogging stupor:

Fracking given green light in North Yorkshire

Protesters booed and jeered as councillors gave the go-ahead for the first fracking operation in the UK for five years.

The problem the greens are going to have now is that when the sky doesn't actually fall in, they are going to be left looking pretty dishonest. 


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Reader Comments (487)

We are all forgetting to congratulate the Local Council, Elected Councillors, Planning Officers and other employees for standing up for the rights of a local community, to generate power and income, against the professional harassment specialists of the Green Blob.

It must have been a real David and Goliath fight for the oppressed and underfinanced 'little' people from North Yorkshire to defeat the big bad clueless bullies of the Green Blob, flying in from their luxury homes all over the affluent south.

Taking inspiration from Leicester City, and memories of Dunkirk, I wonder whether a cricket match between Leicester City and Dunkirk could be arranged at Headingley to further mystify a world wide audience, about the motivation of Greenpeace?

May 24, 2016 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Business opportunity for someone to supply humble pie to all the Climate Rioters & they benefactors, once they realise the Grimm Fairy tales are just that.

May 24, 2016 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBLACK PEARL

@Golf ..yep they should not be forgotten
...I hope the services are helping fight against "we know where you live" letters that GP types send out as intimidation

May 24, 2016 at 3:54 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

We are all forgetting to congratulate the Local Council, Elected Councillors, Planning Officers and other employees for standing up for the rights of a local community,

Letters received by the council regarding the fracking proposal

In Support: 36
Against: 4375

So even if you were to make the ludicrous assumption that 99% of the communications from objectors were in some way bogus, still a majority were opposed.

May 24, 2016 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke


I suspect that a geographical filter would even up the score even further - as would any sane cost benefit analysis.

May 24, 2016 at 4:21 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Letters written by Phil Clarke 4374

May 24, 2016 at 4:42 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

@ PC

btw - perhaps you could ask your chums to start using a more realistic infographic of "fracking" - when you get the chance. (h/t stewgreen)

May 24, 2016 at 4:45 PM | Registered Commentertomo

I wonder how many of those letters were actually unPostCoded emails containing proforma texts written by failing Greenpeace and Friends of the Oaf.

It will be interesting to see how failing Greenpeace react to failing to subvert local democracy. I do hope they do not upset the resident Flaming Os, with noise, chemical and Environmental contamination and pollution.

It would be great if Lancastrians and Yorkists could now rekindle their cricket rivalry into a competition to see who are the Fracking heroes, perhaps with a National County Fracking Championship, that would draw in tourists keen to sample reliable electricity in this country being reduced to fuel poverty. Scotland would be welcome to join in, and would probably win, but for Green interference.

May 24, 2016 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Only 4375 Green Blob supporters are in favour of energy poverty and forced powercuts? Is that what 97% looks like?

May 24, 2016 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@Phil Clarke

membership of the round earth society 0
membership of the flat earth society 7,500

May 24, 2016 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Alan the Brit:

Horizontal drilling has been going on for at least 25 years, not least at Wytch Farm, which held the record for the longest lateral for many years (about 11.5km). Modern techniques allow holes to be drilled with extraordinary precision over great distances.

May 24, 2016 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...


I illegally flew a jet at low level out of Leeming to wave to my wife who was hanging out washing in Masham ^.^
I suppose some of the CO2 still lingers in the atmosphere hehe

May 24, 2016 at 6:04 PM | Registered CommenterDung

The number of objectors was thus 12 times the population of Kirby Mistperton!

May 24, 2016 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Capell, you are not suggesting that Greenpeace got all the Flaming Os to write letters? So frightfully clever are Greenpeace in faking public support, it is difficult for rational people to take them seriously. But I expect a contrary view will appear on Wikipedia.

May 24, 2016 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

No, I suspect PC wrote them all.

May 24, 2016 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Phil C. Can you explain just exactly why you are opposed to fracking?
We are all very interested.

May 24, 2016 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&twisted

Only 4375 Green Blob supporters are in favour of energy poverty and forced powercuts?

Oh, perleeze.

Germany Just Got Almost All of Its Power From Renewable Energy

Portugal ran on 100% renewable energy for four days

Not much fuel poverty there.I guess I missed the reports of Portugal's economic crash, hens stopping laying and their milk turning sour.

May 24, 2016 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

You really believe those stories? You are even more gullible than I thought! And when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine? Well, if you are still running on 100% “renewable” (oh, what a mis-label!), then your meals will be salads, your frozen foods will be mush, and you will miss your fix of Britain’s Get me Strictly On Ice – and heaven help you if you are in need of emergency help! Want to regress to the Dark Ages? Well, you have picked the right road for that.

May 24, 2016 at 8:27 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Ships used to run on 100% wind power - FACT
Some ships STILL run on 100% wind power -FACT

only a Prime-Time Wazzock would suggest that because of these facts ALL ships should still run 100% on wind power

May 24, 2016 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Phil Clarke's numbers put me in mind of another poll of sorts from circa 1930 in Alabama:

Number of people writing letters to the editor in opposition to legalizing blacks and whites marrying: 88
Number of people writing letters to the editor in favor: 1

Gosh! It's just too bad that those nasty miscegenationists got their way, isn't it? How dare the laws permit the selfish desires of the interested parties to endanger the community by ignoring the consensus that interbreeding would destroy society?

May 24, 2016 at 9:03 PM | Unregistered Commentertarran

EternalOptimist: I would dispute your assertion that present-days ships do run on 100% wind. I am sure Golf Charlie will correct me if I am wrong, but I doubt that there are any modern sea-going sailing ships that do not have fossil-fuel backup on board – how will they power the lights (some of which need to shine all night), do the cooking, or get themselves out of deep waters the shallows if there is a lull in the breeze? How do they power their radars, GPS’s or radio systems? Also, I doubt that any would be held in high regard if they attempting to sail in, out or through any marinas with wind-power alone.

May 24, 2016 at 9:05 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Listen rodent. I get my information from a well respected documentary series called 'The Onedin Line'

If you doubt me again, I'll send Baines around with a couple of the boys

May 24, 2016 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Oooh, sounds good! When I’ve finished with them, will you send some more?

May 24, 2016 at 10:46 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Phil Clarke nailed it (not "mailed it", you denier alarmists).

Those letters are the true and only valid parameter by which to judge and decide on the situation.

May 24, 2016 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Radical Rodent to the best of my knowledge, you are correct. European Harbour Masters handling commercial shipping do not want WAFIs (Wind Assisted Firkin Idiots) in their harbours, so many ban or restrict vessels 'under sail', and an engine must be available to be used.

An interesting exception is the Falmouth Oyster Dredger. Local byelaws banned oyster fishing by mechanical means in the 1800s, presumably to conserve the oyster industry. The byelaw still exists, and Falmouth/Truro oysters are still dredged under sail power in boats around 30 foot long.

Greenpeace have their Rainbow Warrior III, a 'motor assisted' sailing yacht. I do wonder how many tonnes of fuel oil it burns a year, but for some reason, that is a carbon footprint story that Greenpeace don't promote.

I do remember images from 40+ years ago of British Fishing Trawlers with a small sail near the blunty end. I presume these were used as a simple 'weather vane' self steering system, rather than propulsion.

The likes of Dame Ellen MacArthur racing around the world do have engines on board, but connected to electricity generators, not propellors. Those vessels are normally towed in and out of harbours.

One of the harsh ironies of JMW Turner's 'Fighting Temeraire' (1838) is that the ship, a heroine of Trafalgar 1805, is being towed for scrap by a paddle steamer.

May 24, 2016 at 11:30 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

One of the harsh ironies of JMW Turner's 'Fighting Temeraire' (1838) is that the ship, a heroine of Trafalgar 1805, is being towed for scrap by a paddle steamer.
No irony.
That was the point.
Turner was a modernist. He painted Rain, Steam and Speed, for example.

He knew that the time of wind-power was over. It was the19th century. Genius can spot these things.
And the slow-witted will catch up eventually.

May 24, 2016 at 11:53 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

One wonders if Phil even read those article's he linked to.

Germany met almost all of it's electricity needs with renewables...for about 2 hours (see graph entitled "Germany’s power supply by hour".) Even then, it had to keep its fossil fuel capacity running and had to export all the excess electrons. No fossil fuels, not enough electricity for the other 21-22 hours in the day. No exports, no use for the renewables. And by the way, the renewables included that evil hydroelectric stuff.


"None of this benefits the consumer however as energy suppliers in Portugal charge among the highest rates in Europe."

Easy to have renewables meet your energy needs when suppliers can charge huge rates. And no wonder there was no discernible negative impact on the economy. How can you detect weakness in a persistently weak economy? An economy that is weak in large part because of high electricity costs.

And what's counted as renewable? Waste-to-energy (trash burning anyone?), and again, the evil hydroelectric stuff.

May 25, 2016 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

Oh no, no rebuttal post from SkS for thick Phil to quote from? Things are falling apart. Where is Swampy when you need him?

May 25, 2016 at 12:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

I do not see any economic case for fracking in the UK.

Browse the business pages and two figures are commonly quoted.

The UK wholesale price of natural gas is currently varying around 49p per therm and expected to remain so.

The break even price for UK shale gas is expected to be 70p per therm.

May 25, 2016 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Pre-Industrial Revolution, most sailing ships used whale oil to provide their navigation and internal lighting. But right back to the early mediaeval period most relied on coal ovens for cooking, so sailing ships have been partially fueled by fossil fuels for at least a millennium.

May 25, 2016 at 12:09 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian


That Portugal article gets even more interesting:

"With the Paris CO2 agreement ratification process in disarray, the country has an opportunity (sic) to lead the way in the renewable energy market despite the unwillingness of many EU partners fully to engage"

Too bad about Paris Phil.

May 25, 2016 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

if we have a dispute about whether some ships are 100% wind powered or not, and the threat of Baines is not enough to enforce discipline, I suggest we go to arbitration. Can we invoke a council of the 'Ocean Elders'

May 25, 2016 at 12:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Salopian, the Mary Rose had a substantial brick oven. It was part of the ballast to stop it capsizing. Unfortunately it was not enlarged, or other ballast added, to cope with the extra cannon that were added at high level.

May 25, 2016 at 12:51 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I do not see any economic case for fracking in the UK.

May 25, 2016 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

We've been here before. You are not being asked to risk your own money doing so. Maybe you really do have salient information and understanding that fracking companies and their investors lack.

Maybe you don't.

Neither is a valid reason why you should stop them risking their own money to find out.

May 25, 2016 at 1:00 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

M Courtney, the Fighting Temeraire has been voted the UK's favourite painting, but I do not think everybody appreciates what the painting really represents.

The further twist or irony, in terms of one age making way for another, is that Turner's bitter rival, the very tradional J. Constable, died in 1837.

I am no art connoisseur, but I do like the works of both Turner and Constable.

May 25, 2016 at 1:08 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Does anyone know of any economic case for Unreliable power? Those who want Unreliable power are welcome to it, providing they do not expect others to subsidise it.

May 25, 2016 at 1:16 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


At least the Temeraire got a decent funeral. The Victory looks set to turn into a pile of rotting wood now the MOD have turned their backs on her.

May 25, 2016 at 1:30 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian


Oh halo to our moon
You are losing focus

Beware the trap of the majority postal vote
Your cryptic messages are commonly cast out as spoiled
Phil C literally eats your words
Regurgitating them ad nauseam
Adding to the numbers

Leave the pinkos to their fate
Their true colours are inherited from Artemia

Remember you may need the frackers to renew your supplies
Strum on your zither in the meantime.

May 25, 2016 at 6:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Harra's line : ""Resistance from the public who SURVEYS suggest favour wind and solar power, NOT nuclear and shale gas."

@IDAU pointed to a DECC survey in the Guardian..but the first thing I see is

"The survey also revealed that 36% of people support nuclear power, while 21% oppose the technology. "
See that directly contradicts Harra

- I seem to recall that I have checked these DECC surveys before and found them non-robust ...sample size, tricky qns etc
... and that you can't just cherry pick one months and ignore the rest.

- One year ago Greenpeace had to hide their survey results when mot people came out in favour of fracking
Result : about 45% support, about 32% oppose, about 23% don't know
- Note how you can spin the result by adding the "don't knows" to one side
e.g. 67% of people have no strong opposition to fracking

- Robin Guenier on Unthreaded Sep 5, 2013 at 1:04 PM drew our attention to "Campaign against Climate Change website"* and their "Time to Act!" PR campaign line "the population has been demanding a shift to renewable energy" Robin then said

DECC's own survey shows that their claim is untrue. Question 12 asked respondents if they "would be happy to have a large scale renewable energy development in [their] area".
- Only 26% agreed "strongly" that they would and 30% agreed "slightly". That (56%) hardly reflects a "massive public demand for renewables".
* AKA Monbiot’s Zombie Blog

May 25, 2016 at 6:49 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

In the last link Geoff Chambers points out That CACC "Time to Act!" is an astroturf campaign who despite claims of them being a grassroots campaign of thousands ..can't even raise members to comment on their own blog, where 8 skeptics comments in his example were met by 1 feeble one from a warmist.

I see they have a cheat sheet for Phil and his mates to use to be able to quote references.
That explains why they often post links to things that they don't seem to have read or understood.
- Oh They have a google forum

May 25, 2016 at 7:01 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Oh and from yesterdays phone-in on 5 Live and facebook it did in NO WAY appear that the public are passionate against fracking ..There were about 3 public voices in support of fracking, 1 against ..the rest were either professional protesters, and experts.

May 25, 2016 at 7:10 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


You can't be lulled out of a stupor, only into one*

* Pedant alert

May 25, 2016 at 7:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson

With Greenpeace, third world premature death rates can be restored to the developed world

97% of cat owners preferred Greenpeace statistics due to their fishy smell.

In tests, 9 out of 7% of Greenpeace statistics were made up.

New Improved Common Sense kills 99% of Greenpeace logic. Dead.

May 25, 2016 at 8:07 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Roger Tolson, one of the current objectives of EU Directives, is to reduce the importance of English.

May 25, 2016 at 8:23 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

When the sky doesn't fall, the Greens will not be embarassed in the slightest, they will ignore it and move seamlessly onto the next thing.

Greenism is a religion, it has nothing to do with facts or data. You may as well debate with the Pope about the physical impossibility of virgin birth or resurrection: such things have no hold on their minds, the force and power of their beliefs simply doesn't depend on logic or science, so your argument just bounces off.

May 25, 2016 at 8:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin

Perhaps EM is right about the economics of shale but the beauty is that public funds need not be used to find this out.

As for the supposed environmental concerns, at last some folk (eg the Labour & Liberal party leadership) are finally saying their objections to fracking are entirely to do with CO2 reduction objectives. Of course banning shale makes zero difference because we need gas for 85% of our heating and most of our dispatchable electricity generation and that will remain the case until a miracle breakthrough in renewables arrives. Hence the only question is where it comes from.

Perhaps the Marxists prefer it comes from Russia while the neo-luddites think we just need to move into yurts heated by dung but if serious politicians should know that the gas has to come from somewhere. Too much listening to the greens (whose ultimate agenda is openly stated as economic growth reduction) tends to wither the brain it seems. Then again, if they know the truth about gas demand (and they should because real experts are telling them all the time) then an anti-gas stance is not just stupid but outright evil.

May 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

"The UK wholesale price of natural gas is currently varying around 49p per therm and expected to remain so."
The UK wholesale gas price is 26p/Therm (£8.84/MWh - 0.8p/kWh; yes you read that correctly, less than a penny a unit).
It hasn't trebled in value as Ed Davey predicted - what a surprise.

It's a wonder US shale is still going.

But it is.

Fracking has a business model similar to pig farming. The entry costs are low, the entry time is short, the exit can be swift, the exit can be cheap. It'll follow demand quite happily. The effect of its presence is to peg gas at low prices.

What the UK needs at the present moment, in fracking terms, is confirmation of the size of the resource.

May 25, 2016 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

"Oh, perleeze.

Germany Just Got Almost All of Its Power From Renewable Energy

Portugal ran on 100% renewable energy for four days

Anyone who tries to make a case for wind and solar renewables based on short-term observations should not be doing so on these pages.

May 25, 2016 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Anyone who tries to make a case for wind and solar renewables based on short-term observations

That was not the point I was making; veritable army of Straw Men around here,

May 25, 2016 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Whether the sky actually falls or not, is quite irrelevant. It is only necessary to continue repeating "The Sky is falling!" (or, if you are sensitive to being corrected by facts, "The Sky is about to fall!"). In politics a proposition is proved by repeating it 87 times ("Mathematics Made Difficult", Linderholm, 1972).
The irrelevance of actual facts - an example upthread. GM rape on motorway verges in the 1980s? No GM rape had been planted in UK at that date - and I very much doubt if there has been any since - our 'Fiends of the Earth' have seen to that.

May 25, 2016 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterosseo

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