Monthly Archives: July 2011

“Fracking Hell? What will shale gas mean for the UK?” London Meeting – review

Andy and Gareth represented South Wales at this high profile event in Central London. Andy got to address the gathering after the four advertised speakers:

1. CAROLINE LUCAS MP – Caroline gave a brief synopsis of the main issues, acknowledging the greater expertise of others present. She re-stated the Party position of calling for an immediate moratorium on fracking.

2. Prof. KEVIN ANDERSON – Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research that produced the recent report: Shale gas: a provisional assessment of climate change and environmental impacts, which recommends a moratorium on drilling shale gas in the UK. His presentation was rather academic but seemed to convey an inescapable message – we are pretty much peeing in the wind in terms of achieving emmission cuts that will avert very serious climate change consequences.
He was, nonetheless, categorical in insisting that shale gas should have absolutely no part in the energy futures of developed (rich) countries. He has revised his view with regards to developing (poor) countries; claiming that there is logic it letting them exploit their shale gas as long as it is instead of, rather than in addition to coal reserves.

3. MICHAEL MEACHER MP – was Minister of State for the Environment May 1997 to June 2003. I have largely been a fan of his over the years, but he pulled a shameless stunt here. He obviously woke up and realised he had not prepared a speech for this event. His breakfast read of the Guardian came to the rescue. This article, from yesterday’s Guardian by George Monbiot, is 90% of what he said – at least 50% of it word for word!!

4. PHIL MITCHELL – Chair of Blackpool Green Party. Not sure what to say about his speech. He was clearly very nervous. Some anecdotal evidence of some complaints of heightened respiratory problems near the fracked site was perhaps the most interesting element.

I was then invited to the rostrum and gave a quick synopsis of the evolving campaign in South Wales – the short lived NIMBY campaign around Llangeinor that quickly saw household name Centrica pull out of Bridgend County – the Vale Says NO campaign that achieved so much around the Llandow application – the evolving No Fracking UK campaign and the involvement with the Co-operative.

There followed a Q & A session which gave me reason to point out the web address on the back of my t-shirt on several occasions. I will be interested to see how the hit count goes.

Some good networking followed:

A couple of guys from the area that our ‘friends’ from Coastal Oil & Gas are targeting in Kent (‘Deal With It’ Transition Group) came for a chat – thanking us for the info provided and with a view to perhaps linking up at some point in opposition to CO&G and Eden.

An interesting young guy came and took my email address with the promise of providing information on training for direct action – so that sounds very interesting!

A lady from Artists Project Earth (APE) – the event sponsors – came for a chat, saying she regularly follows our blogs/websites and is a fan of what we are doing. She is excited by the prospect of getting TV coverage for us if we get involved in any direct action. She promises to be at Camp Frack with cameras. (Check out the excellent work and excellent CDs the APE do: – note the Fracking Campaign tab.)

Phil Mitchell then came over to offer his opinion that we are wrong to be calling for a Moratorium – he insists we should be calling for an outright ban. Thanks Phil.

Justin Woolford, Head of Campaigns at The Co-operative Group, (Sarah Woods’ line manager, I believe) came to introduce himself. He seemed impressed with what Sarah Woods had reported of our activities, and seemed conscious of criticisms I had made of the lack of fracking related material on the Toxic Fuels campaign website and literature. I hope we will work together on rectifying this. He is keen to address it.

Finally, we had a chat with event organiser Phil Thornhill, from the Campaign against Climate Change, thanking him for the opportunity to speak and assuring him of as much support we can muster for their next big fracking event – CAMP FRACK.

FOOTNOTE ON OUR RAIL TRAVEL EXPERIENCE: Train left Bridgend bang on time. Makes unscheduled stop at Didcot Parkway. Transpires there had been a fatality at Hayes & Harlington Station and all services suspended! Our train terminated there at Didcot. Move to another train – but only accommodation left was in First Class. Nevermind! Eventually arrive in Paddington 90 mins late. Make the Fracking Meeting with 10 minutes to spare. Time to stroll across the West End after the event before catching the last train out of Paddington home. Again departs on time. Fluctuates from fast out of stations to slow 20 mins later as it keeps catching and being slowed by a freight train ahead of it! Get to Bridgend 30 mins late at 1:45am!! It would not happen in Japan!!!

‘Conscious Oil’ – Exhibition and Event

‘Conscious Oil – Myth and Mind in the Age of Petroleum’, an exhibition of prints by Emily Johns is currently on display at The Environment Centre, Pier Street, Swansea, SA1 1RY – until 29 July. Well worth a visit.
In addition, there will be an “evening of talks, discussion and song” linked to the exhibition on Friday 22 July, 6-9pm in the Rhossili Room, Building K, Metropolitan University, Town Hill, Swansea, SA2 0UT.
The event will be chaired by Jane Davidson, the former Environment and Sustainability for Wales, and will feature Barrister and Environmental Lawyer Polly Higgins speaking about the Crime of Ecocide.
See poster:

Myth and mind in the age of petroleum

Event 6-9pm, Friday 22 July

Rhossili Room, Building K, Metropolitan University, Town Hill,

Swansea, SA2 0UT

An evening of talks, discussion and song hosted by Diana Marquand, taking

Us forward to a future of sustainability and diversity.

Lawyer and barrister Polly Higgins speaking about the Crime of Ecocide

With Q&A with Aghogho Okpako from the Niger Delta, chaired By Jane

Davidson, the former Environment and Sustainability Minister for Wales and

Director of INSPIRE, a new sustainability institute in Trinity St David University

Singing from Murton Community Choir Contact Diana Marquand, Voices from the Deep: 01994 484 480

Bridgend Green Party Meeting Agenda

Bridgend Green Party Meeting
Thursday 21st July 2011 at the COITY CASTLE INN Lounge.
Bottom of Tremains Road, (by big railway bridge) Bridgend, CF31 1HA . 8.00pm

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Apologies for Absence
  3. Minutes and matters arising
  4. Officer reports
  5. Campaigns update – Fracking/’Power for the People’
  6. Elections – BCBC 2012
  7. Conference – September in Sheffield
  8. AOB
  9. DoNM – and next policy discussion topic

NOTE – new venue for trial period. 2 minutes walk from both the Bus and Train stations. Ample free parking in Llynfi Lane Car Park.
See map:

Insufficient commitment for a Maesteg Meeting at the moment. Will look at it again in the Autumn. I am hoping that, with the more accessible venue, people will travel from Maesteg and other areas.

There is certainly growing awareness of the fracking threat to the Maesteg area, as evidenced on some anti-fracking Facebook sites.


Bridgend Green Party will be meeting at:8.00pm on 21st of July

The Lounge of THe Coity Castle P.H. (3 mins walk from Bridgend Station)

NB – the Pub is actually between Llynfi Lane and the B4181 (Tremains Road)
The arrow points to a chapel. You will not find me there!

Items for the agenda by Sunday evening please.

Power for the People – FREE PV solar panels and a community funding stream!!

I have joined a steering committee for a fabulous new initiative focussed on Bridgend County, that promises immense benefits towards both our environmental and social goals.

Power for the People supports the introduction to households of free PV solar panels and offers a funding stream to charities/social enterprises.

Climate change threatens the basic elements of life and the people most affected will be those that are already the most vulnerable around the world. Average global temperature could increase by 4 degrees Celsius in the next eighty years. Energy and electricity prices are also set to increase dramatically. As such this is as much a social issue as an environmental one.

Our friends at Sustainable Wales have taken the initiative and are currently working alongside a new consortium, called ‘G- Cell’, of social enterprises across S Wales whom are expecting to offer households in their boroughs free pv solar panels and up to £150 free electricity annually. Our ambition for phase one is to help 5000 south-facing low-income households install maintenance-free, pv solar panels.

We are working one strategies to get as many people signed up as possible before the end of March 2012, as the generous Feed-In Tariffs are only going to be available until then. The next steering meeting is on the 28th July.

I will give more details at the Bridgend Green Meeting next week. Or email me or phone me on 078 1066 3241.


Camp Frack – register your interest

Start: Sep 16th 2011 6:00 PM

End: Sep 19 2011 12:00 PM

Where: Near Singleton Village, the Fylde, near Blackpool

Weekend of 17th-18th September.
Put this date in your diary more info soon.

Join the resistance to the fracking invasion! Stop the massive expansion of shale gas extraction in the UK! We need renewables – not another source of fossil fuel!

ImageCamp Frack will be close to the operating rig at Singleton, near Blackpool. It will be organised with the support of a local landowner. It will involve workshops on shale gas, and on planning the campaign against it. It will involve raising local awareness about the problems with shale gas and an action day of peaceful protest against the drilling activities currently in progress in the Blackpool area.

Register your interest by putting your e-mail address on the page link below. They will send you more information as soon as it is available. If you are interested in getting a coach from London then please tick the box. This will give them an idea of numbers and help us plan transport.

Happy Birthday Amnesty International

Of all the things British people have invented, this is the one we should should feel proudest of. It is is something we can all take pride in personally supporting. A letter to all members on its 50th Anniversary:

Dear Andy,

On our 50th anniversary we were delighted to receive a special personal video message from Aung San Suu Kyi. Click here or on the video above to watch now

In it she pays tribute to the work we have done over 50 years and thanks us for our efforts for prisoners of conscience. Please take a few minutes to watch the video and be reminded of what your support makes possible.


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Kate Allen