Monthly Archives: November 2011

Support the strike if you can and the strikers if you can’t

Our public service workers deserve your support tomorrow. They put up with years of terrible pay and poor conditions for the promise of a decent pension. This issue is absolutely crucial to the morale and esteem of all those people we rely so much on. The government is picking on the wrong people and we must let them know as much.

Video from UNITE

Beware the Iron Lady

“Economic inequality and social decay. An economy rigged in the interests of the few while the many struggled to cope. £200 billion of privatisation and North Sea oil receipts frittered away paying the benefits bill of the mass unemployment she created.”

Sound familiar?

This is where Cameron and Tory Blair learned it all from.

http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/11/margaret-thatcher-was-every-bit-as-bad-as-we-remember/

Beware the distortions in the forthcoming Thatcher biopic movie.

The blatant lies of the frackers and their friends

They ask us to trust them and their assurances that we have nothing to worry about, but then tell the most obvious and blatant of lies in public places.Nothing illustrates this better than what they try to tell us about the content of frack fluids.Take our old friend Nick ‘Greedy’ Grealy. He was at the Co-op/Caroline Lucas sponsored event for MPs that Lousie Evans and I attended yesterday. Bold as brass, in front of a very clued up audience, he said of Cuadrilla: “They only use one chemical”. As if I would let that ridiculous porky go!!I quickly jumped on him to point out that Cuadrilla themselves tell somewhat different, conflicting lies. I had the following web pages to hand:

http://www.cuadrillaresources.com/what-we-do/technology/fracturing-fluid/ offers the lie that they use just three chemicals, namely: polyacrylamide (frequently contaminnated with or degrades into the nerve toxin acrylamide), biocide (poison) and hydrochloric acid (corrosive to human tissue). This is confirmed verbally by CEO Mark Miller in the video. However, some simple maths – that simple that an intelligent man like Mark Miller wouldn’t make such a crass mistake surely – reveals that all the declared ingredients only add up to 99.955% Careless or what?

So here we have Mark Miller confirming Nick Grealy is a pathetic liar, but how do we know Mark Miller is a liar, and not a careless mathematician? Because his company supplies us with this:
http://www.cuadrillaresources.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Chemical-Disclosure-PH-1.jpg
Mark no doubt had a bout of amnesia (a symptom of exposure to some chemicals) when he forgot to mention the HYDROCARBON OIL listed , or the chemical tracer that is stated as a SODIUM SALT.

So is this data sheet, the complete story? NO it is not. How do we know this?
The data sheet does not pretend to be complete – it calls itself the composition of components of the frack fluid for a start.
But it would certainly have been nice to know exactly which poisons they have selected as their biocide of choice, wouldn’t it? They are not listed.
And there is no mention of the hydrochloric acid Miller mentioned either.

These Cuadrilla sources also serve to highlight another common misconception about frack fluid. The required composition is highly variable. It will vary with different stages of each frack job at each site. There is no one recipe. It is almost constantly varying. Mark Miller himself points this out with his explanation that hydrochloric acid may only be needed in initial stages. The data sheet shows major variations between the stages listed.

So can we collate all this information that Cuadrilla has so kindly supplied us with and assume we have the full picture? I don’t think so.

We know from world renowned Dr Theo Colborn, in Gasland and other places, that she alone has evidence of around 980 products used in the US industry of which 78% are highly dangerous; in some cases even in microscopic quantities. The industry does not, presumably, use these additives for fun. The sequence near the end of Gasland that shows the industry man squirming as he is forced list the chemicals his company uses is fascinating. It corroborates evidence from Australia that shows that the industry regularly needs to use the following:

  • Strong acids to dissolve minerals
  • Numerous poisonous biocides to eliminate bacteria and algae
  • Friction reducers such as polyacylamides and mineral oils
  • Corrosion inhibitors to protect drills and well casings
  • Scale inhibitors to prevent furring
  • Surfactants and crosslinkers to adjust fluid viscosity
  • Acidity regulators
  • Breakers
  • Iron control agents

So if the the industry everywhere else in the world needs all these additional (underlined) components, how is that Cuadrilla can do without them?

Finally, let us nail the myth that there has to be full disclosure of chemicals used. There is no such UK legislation that I can find.
People like the EA have rights to visit and test samples whenever they like, but they can only find what they test for. If they do not know what they are looking for, they are most unlikely to find it! Dr Theo Colborn repeatedly makes this point.
Recently, the EA published its monitoring report of the flow back water from Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall site, near Blackpool, after they had fracked it. There was sufficient cause for concern about the high incidence of salts, minerals and heavy meatls, as well as radioactivity, that the EA are now saying that they will require permits in future. But most worrying, I would suggest, was the complete absence of any data on the chemicals that Cuadrilla admit to using, let alone ones they don’t!! The EA failed to look for any of them it would appear. How reassuring is that?

Even if the industry were legally obliged to divulge all their little secrets, would they? EA’s sampling methods are totally inadequate. If the companies keep their secrets, they are likely to get away with it, unless caught red-handed, as they are banking on getting in, cutting and running before the slow, insidious affects of their poisons have done their damage and been able to be proved. The EA recognise these companies ability to get away with it here:

“For example, at present company directors can legitimately walk away from environmental liabilities they have caused (e.g. Polluting groundwater and public drinking water supplies) by forming a new company and leaving a financial liability with the insolvent old company (Hunts Refuse Ltd at Helpston). This has resulted in public funds having to be used to clean up the pollution and protect public health.”
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Business/modernising03_919412_1758802.pdf

I rest my case.

Andy Chyba

Additional information:
https://bridgendgreens.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/collated-fracking-notes-on-earthquakes-frack-fluid-and-wellhead-density/
https://bridgendgreens.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/lessons-from-cuadrillas-pr-gambits/

GUARDIAN fracking poll

Do you think hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas should go ahead?’ Another poll by The Guardian. Get voting people!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/poll/2011/nov/18/forward-with-fracking-poll?CMP=twt_gu&fb=native

The ‘No’ votes are currently winning by 3 to 1 – just 11 hours to go. 4 to 1 by the end is possible if you all act quickly!

Wales Green Party Conference final details

19th November – Aneurin Bevan Room, Cardiff Student Union
From:
Matt Townsend
Secretary, Cardiff and Vale Green Party
Conference Organiser, Wales Green PartyFrom this link you can download the minutes of the previous conference and
the final agenda including details of motions, etc.
I recommend you print off all these things to bring with you to help you
follow proceedings if you are staying for the AGM.
http://my.greenparty.org.uk/event/wales-green-party-conference-and-wgpc-agm

If you have problems accessing the link please let me know and I will
happily email them to you directly or print off copies for you.
Also if you have any special requirements or need help finding the venue
please let me know and I’ll do my best to help.
Please pass this on to anyone else you know who is attending but you think
has not notified me.
If you can make a small donation of a couple of pounds to help with costs
of the buffet that will be gratefully appreciated, but not essential if you
are on a low budget.

10:45-11:00 Conference Welcome with coffee/tea – Aneurin Bevan Room,
Cardiff Student Union

11:00 Conference Opens (Open to all)
Leaders Speech (10 mins)
Deputy Leaders Speech (10 mins)
Councillor Felicity Norman
http://www.greenparty.org.uk/region/westmidlands/people/felicity-norman
To speak on being a Green Councillor (15 mins)

11:35-11:50 Break with coffee/tea

11:50 Chris Williams, West Midlands regional development officer who has
successfully increased the number of Green councillors in the area,
speaking on theme of “winning local elections” (40 mins)
Q&A for Chris and Felicity(15 minutes)

12:45 -13:30 Buffet lunch

13:30 AGM Opens (members only)
Receipt of emergency motions, close of nominations for WGPC positions for
which no nominations were received by the published deadline (10 mins).
Issue of ballot papers.
Minutes of previous AGM (15 mins)
Reports from Officers and SOC (45 mins)

14:40-14:55 Break with coffee/tea
Policy debates (45 mins)
Hustings for officers (15 mins)
Motions (Emergency, organisational and policy) (40 mins)
Discussion around equality led by Anne Greagsby (15 mins)
Announcement of winners of council officer elections (5mins)

17:00 Conference close
Social drinks in Taff bar on 2nd floor of student union (open to all)

19:00 Bar close

Action for the record 1 million young people now unemployed

Want to help campaign for a more equal, sustainable and democratic world?
Like minded people are not all in the same political parties.
COMPASS has members from Labour and the Lib Dems as well as the Green Party.
It is an influential ideas and action based pressure group.
Sign up below and join over 50,000 members and supporters in campaigning for the good society.

Compass: Direction for the Democratic Left
Hi Andy —

I’m sure that you are as shocked as I am to hear the news that over 1 million of our young people are now jobless – with little hope of any new jobs being created for them any time soon. It has never been clearer that Plan A isn’t working and we urgently need to pile on the pressure for a Plan B.

Compass warned only weeks ago in our groundbreaking report Plan B: a good economy for a good society that if the Government persisted with Plan A then things would continue to get worse not better. Indeed the Bank of England has today dramatically slashed its growth forecast for 2012 to a mere 1% – further evidence that Plan A isn’t working.

We urgently need the Government to take a more active approach and adopt emergency and common-sense measures that can quickly save jobs and create new ones. The alternative is the very real prospect of a double-dip recession.

This is why we need people to take action now and sign our petition for a Plan B and spread the word:

Firstly, we want you to share the petition page again on Facebook, Twitter and to your personal email list: http://action.compassonline.org.uk/planbshare

Secondly, if you haven’t already, sign the petition yourself: http://action.compassonline.org.uk/planb

On the day the Government broke a new record for youth unemployment, a day when the wider unemployment rate topped a 15 year high and a day when the Bank of England slashed its growth forecasts – we need you to once again spread the word on the urgent need for a Plan B.

In the run up to the Chancellor’s autumn statement we will be stepping up the pressure – please help by taking action now.

Thanks for all the work you do.

Gavin

PS: If you’re not yet a member of Compass, then don’t forget if you join before Saturday 3 December you will receive a hard copy of the new publication Plan B: a good economy for a good society in your welcome pack: http://www.compassonline.org.uk/about/join.asp

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