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James Smith

Building a better future out of code

Energy illiteracy

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Earlier this week more licenses were handed out for oil and gas extraction under the UK, and if you live in the Horsham area, it’s very likely that Celtique Energie or Cuadrilla now have a right to extract the resources under your home. Also, the government are currently in the process of changing the law so that you won’t have the right to object to this if it happens.

There are many reasons to object to fracking - some good, some bad - but the one that concerns me most is that proven fossil fuels reserves are way higher than the amount we can use while having a chance of staying within a 2 degree rise in global temperatures. We simply can’t burn what we already have, so finding more seems a wilfully ignorant course.

Perhaps someone can explain to me why we seem so obsessed with propping up the energy status quo, rather than moving forward? The other day, UKIP councillors in Sussex voiced strong objections to the new Rampion wind farm which will be built off the south coast, while at the same time their party welcomes fracking for gas and oil all across the Weald, which would be much more invasive. Having said that though, their climate beliefs are absolutely laughable, so we shouldn’t be surprised at such anti-scientific, pro-business posturing. How they are considered “anti-establishment” is beyond me.

It seems to me that the conservative side of British politics is not concerned with conserving our countryside, our society, our future, or anything else, but instead with conserving the ways that they and their friends got their money and power.

I’d much rather the country followed the model of Balcombe, right here in Horsham constituency. When presented with the threat of fracking, they didn’t just say NO (though they did), they then created Repower Balcombe to provide 100% of their own energy from renewable sources.

This kind of thinking is how we move forward to the future, not by propping up the profits of outdated energy production industries and hedge fund managers for a few more months.


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