Two news stories today offer genuine cause for celebration and hope in the long and arduous battles against the multi-faceted ravages of the dirty fossil-fuel industries.
Caerphilly councillors stick to their guns and reject the application for the opencast mining on Nant Llesg, despite the bully boy tactics of the mining company, Miller Argent, who were threatening to sue the council if it dared turn them down.
I was among the several hundred protestors outside the council offices before the the crucial meeting (see photo). There were representatives from many parts of the country and messages from around the world in support, as the message was repeatedly put out that these sorts of development have enormous negative impacts at every scale for the local to the global.
BBC coverage of today’s events: HERE
Miller Argent’s disgusting attempts to overthrow local democracy : HERE
(A preview of what will happen routinely if TTIP is ever brought into force)
The moment of triumph: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZzdS6KzoYo
DECC Public Attitudes Tracker, latest edition published this week, has found the following:
Three quarters of the public were aware of fracking (75%). Awareness of fracking has remained stable over the last 18 months, following a significant increase between wave 2 (42%) and wave 8 (70%). However, only 14% claimed to know a lot about it, compared to 42% saying they knew a little. Just under one in five (19%) were aware of it but didn’t really know what it was. Awareness of fracking was higher for over 45s (upwards of 85%), social grade AB (90%), and people in rural areas (83%).
When asked whether they support or oppose extracting shale gas, almost half of the public neither supported nor opposed it (46%). Amongst those that did offer an opinion, slightly more opposed (28%) extraction of shale than supported it (21%). This is a reversal of the findings when these questions were first asked at wave 8, when 27% supported it against 21% that opposed. This shift towards more opposition has happened gradually over the last 18 months, with support currently at its lowest since the survey began.
Support for fracking appears to be linked to awareness. Amongst those that were only aware of fracking but did not really know what it was, and those that hadn’t heard of it, over 60% selected the neutral option and therefore didn’t give an opinion. There is more opposition than support amongst those who know a lot about it (54% vs. 32%), know a little about it (35% vs. 27%), and those who are aware of it but don’t really know what it is (23% vs. 13%). The only group to be more supportive are those that haven’t heard of fracking, of whom 12% support it and 7% oppose it.
Support for fracking differs by gender, with men (27%) more likely than women (16%) to support it. Older people also tend to support fracking the most, as 30% of over 65s are supportive.
That third paragraph really is huge, and a thorough vindication of all the hard work that we fractivists have been putting in over the last 5 years. There is still much to do, of course, and there are some good indicators here for demographics that we possibly need to spend more time addressing, but it uplifting to see a government source providing positive proof that we keep winning the battles for hearts and minds, even if the war is not yet won.