Climate Solutions: Fracking Our Democracy

July 4, 2015
by phil
Play

We are proud to present the first programme in a new mini-series focusing on Climate Solutions. This is actually the first of a two-parter on democracy. This first show takes a look at fracking as a case study which lifts the lid on the corrupting influence of fossil fuel corporations (and the banks that finance them) on our democracy. The imposition of fracking in the UK threatens our basic human rights, hampers our ability to tackle climate change and makes a mockery of the democratic process.

Featuring:

  • John Ashton who served as the Special Representative for Climate Change 2006-2012
  • Tina Louise Rothery of Residents’ Action on Fylde Fracking, The Nanas & Frack-Free Lancashire
  • Kathryn McWhirter and Charles Metcalfe from Frack Free Balcombe Residents’ Association
  • Rose Dickinson, campaigner at Friends of the Earth

Next week, we’ll follow up by looking at the newly emerging campaign for a 21st Century Great Democratic Reform Act which would kick the corporate influence out of our government so that it starts to work in the public interest once again.

Notes and references: Several days after this programme was broadcast Paul Mobbs attempted a citizen’s arrest of Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg for Misconduct in Public Office in relation to fracking. He was holding copies of his frackogram – an info-graphic which illustrates the numerous links between government and the fracking industry. This is a much more detailed account than Frack Off’s Gas Mafia Infiltrates the Greenest Government Ever mentioned in the show which gives thumbnails of some of the key players involved including Lord John Browne.

Browne’s ruthless cost-cutting drive at BP is outlined in Loren C. Steffy’s Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit (pp.58-61). How that led to the Texas City Oil refinery disaster is detailed in the The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board Investigation Report: Refinery Explosion and Fire (15 Killed, 180 Injured), March 2007. Browne’s responsibility for drawing up the shortlist for corporate appointments to the board of the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change and his ability to hire and fire the department’s Permanent Secretary was revealed by Click Green.

The report that documents how the push for fracking undermines human rights is Extreme Energy, ‘Fracking’ and Human Rights: A New Field for Human Rights Impacts Assessments? is due to be published in The International Journal of Human Rights.

In January John Ashton gave a speech outside Parliament about how the attempted imposition of fracking is an insult to democracy. Shortly after this programme was broadcast he also gave an important speech criticising the CEO of Shell for saying that the company should be more involved with climate change policy: Shell’s Climate Change Strategy is Narcissistic, Paranoid and Psychopathic.

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