BBC Radio 4 coverage of fracking – The Report

Last week’s edition of The Report focused on fracking

It made a better fist of it than many recent attempts at covering the subject, and it was interesting to hear local farmer, Andy Pemberton talking in the same vein as he did with Dutch TV station NOS about the risks to agriculture that fracking could bring.

The report was also notable for two other things – the evasiveness of Michael Fallon’s responses to questions about Cuadrilla’s permission breaches (thrown into relief by the news this weekend that they breached permitted noise levels over a protracted period in Balcombe) and the unscientific opinion of Professor Paul Stephens from Chatham House that the environmental NGOs have done a “really good job, a bad job if you have any interest in science , done a good job in getting local people to be very concerned about the environmental implications of shale gas operations

The fact that a respected academic feels able to go on national radio and dismiss the valid environmental concerns of NGOs like Friends of the Earth in half a sentence as being totally unscientific, is really quite appalling.

It’s well worth a listen if you have half an hour to spare, and it can be downloaded as a podcast

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