Thursday 29 December 2011

Oil drilling : Yorkshire Wolds

Letter to Beverley Guardian:      ' Oil's not well on the Wolds '
We wrote  to object in the strongest possible terms to East Riding Council regarding proposals for oilprospecting on the Yorkshire Wolds.  The Green Party,  alongwith  Friends of the Earth (FOE) and other well-respected organisations,  campaign, on the basis of careful research,  for  developmentand  use of renewable energy and fuel conservation instead of the furtherexploitation of fossil fuels.   We havehad a century’s addiction to oil  - and we must now wean ourselvesoff this addiction, as oil becomes harder and harder to find and toextract.  There are excellent alternatives which must be embraced insteadof resisted.

Since the use of oil is clearly contradictory to CO2reduction,  permission for exploratorydrilling should neverbe granted on those grounds alone.  In addition,  the Wolds are andshould be considered  an area of outstanding natural  beauty,and should not be subjected to blots on the landscape such as filthy, noisy,smelly, toxic  and brightly  lit oil extraction plants.  Windturbines would be far preferable in all respects...andat least, with those, you can SEE what is going on.  Mining and drillingunderground is particularly dangerous because it can have unexpectedconsequences:    ‘ fracking’  was apparently responsiblefor an earth tremor in the Blackpool area.  Underground water courses canbecome adulterated .  If this exploration were to be  ‘successful’ the resource would be drained and then the company would move on todespoil other sites, leaving a wasteland behind.  Unfortunately, the lure ofthe huge profits for the companies and their partners leads to them workingvery hard to get agreement for this appalling activity.  Think of mountain top removal for coal  in the United States.  Where will it end?  How can industrial activity of this kind becontemplated in the Wolds?  There ARE alternatives – as usual, we have tochoose.

The ludicrously short timescale of ‘consultation’ in thiscase is yet another cause for concern. It suggests that both the Council and  the company concerned have little regard for local residents’ views.  Residents in nearby villages receivedletters only two or three days before the initialplanning meeting (at which the decision was deferred). 

To allow this proposal for oil prospecting to go ahead wouldbe a gross abnegation of responsibility on the part of ERY Council, both in relationto current citizens and to future generations, so please let your electedrepresentatives (both in the Council and Parliament) know your feelings on thisissue.

Shan Oakes
Green Party
Hull and East Riding

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Letter to Ugandan President Museveni

I am joining Friends of the Earth Uganda (NAPE) in their campaign to protect Uganda's unique heritage.

 We lived in Uganda for a few years (2001-4) and saw how beautiful it is  - although we were aware of how much of it had already been deforested. Please don't be tricked into ruining your wonderful country for another short term commercial modernist 'solution'.

We visited the Ssesse Islands and know that they are a fantastic tourism resource - but not if they are turned into monoculture plantations (the products of which are boycotted by growing numbers of people). Please support permaculture instead.

 Please consider the long term future and the integrity of the age-old respect humans had for the land.  Monocultures are dangerous - we need to protect biodiversity. At last many people are beginning to realise this (but our politicians do not as they are blinkered by vested interests)

We live in the UK and this country has been thoroughly despoiled by too much 'development'.  The grassroots is now trying, through the Transition movement (now taking off worldwide), to relearn the old values which are not just about profit.  

Please also see the international Earth Charter which lists the values and principles we need for a sustainable world.

In Uganda you know what it is to fight against oppression; this commercial oppression must be opposed.  Please stand up for what's right.