Tory peer hands anti-Fracking activists huge prize

3:46 pm - July 30th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    

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Lord Howell of Guildford, whose daughter Frances is married to George Osborne, and is an advisor on government energy policy, has handed anti-Fracking campaigners a real gem.

He said in the House of Lords today:

Would you accept that it could be a mistake to think of and discuss fracking in terms of the whole of the United Kingdom in one go?

I mean there obviously are, in beautiful natural areas, worries about not just the drilling and the fracking, which I think are exaggerated, but about the trucks, and the delivery, and the roads, and the disturbance, and those about justified worries.

But there are large and uninhabited and desolate areas. Certainly in part of the North East where there’s plenty of room for fracking, well away from anybody’s residence where we could conduct without any kind of threat to the rural environment.

BOOM!! – as they would say. The negative headlines are already writing themselves.

I have three points to make.

1) I think the dangers posed to households from Fracking are vastly under-estimated and misunderstood. It can cause huge earthquakes and contaminate the water supply.

2) Osborne has hugely overstated the amount of Shale gas we can extract from British soil, and its resulting benefits. This allows him to avoid investment in cleaner energy and passes the buck to future governments.

3) If I was an anti-Fracking campaigner, I would be fundraising to put up massive billboards across Northern towns with Lord Howell’s quote. This not only illustrates the government’s ignorance but unwillingness to care how it affects people in those areas.

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Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments

1. David Gillon

I may live in the South East nowadays, but I grew up in the North East at the very edge of Weardale, and we have names for those “large and uninhabited and desolate areas”. We call them home, or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or National Parks.

OTOH, today’s contribution does give a fascinating insight into how the Tory Grandees see those who live outside their country estates and occasionally forget to tug their forelock in gratitude, doesn’t it.

Nick Herbert tweeted a hint of resistance to fracking. (

Some Tory MPs in safe seats are getting wobbly!

There won’t be any earthquakes because according to Tory Michael Fallon – “Earthquakes won’t be allowed”

…and we all know just how obedient earth quakes are, they always do as they are told don’t they ?
Just like the Lib Dems really, a Tory tells them what to do and they do it.

4. PottyTraining

@ Post 1

Do you know why there are these ‘desolate areas’
It’s cos invading Normans Slashed the population with swords, Burned all the towns and villages, Starved anyone left(who ran/got away) by Salting the fields so crops were ruined – A mass genocide.

(Bit further North – H. Potter Wikka country)
The Percy’s etc have alot to answer for (major parasites on population eg getting massive EU grants(cash stolen from your wages by taxes) to build grandiose gardens for themselves – a nice cash earner!
Bet they never give anything back!

The Normans were in fact settled Vikings (which explains their arrogant cruelty toward subjects/population)
“The name derives from the manor of Percy-en-Auge in Normandy”

The address of RBS ‘headquarters’ is based on Norman Motte and Bailey castle.

Fred the Shred – shredded the population by taking out banking (with enforced ‘Socialised’ public subsidy to keep the bankrupt parasites ticking over!)

5. Paul peter Smith

Climate change aside, the number one threat to continued human survival is the mismanagement and corruption of fresh water sources. Pumping some of the nastiest chemicals known to science into the groundwater system is beyond madness.

@potty training
The genocide you refer too was called the ‘harrying of the North’ and took place because the norrhern earls refused to acknowledge the outcome of the battle of Hastings. Grisley as it sounds, this was pretty a much text book response to anyone getting clever with the new landlord in this period.

Disagree on point 3

Angering everyone in the North East whilst clearly the behaviour of a rich and out of touch idiot will not cause the Tories lasting damage, since there is little further erosion to their supporter base in the north east that can take place (when he says it is desolate, he means just 2 out of 29 seats in the region are Tory – Hexham and Stockton South).

The Tories are more vulnerable in places in the south like Balcombe in Sussex, where their desparate efforts to rig the market in favour of a dodgy technology are easily exposed to their rural and suburban supporter base.

The best political leverage Labour should be getting here is exposing George Osborne’s father-in-law’s links to shale gas industries, and Osborne’s steady dismantling of green industries right where the Nimby’s will see it.

It’s depressing that protestors in the South were of the same mind as Howell – get the dirty stuff away from us and ruin the North instead. It isn’t only the government who are ignorant of and indifferent to those of us who live outside the charmed South East.

Don’t tar all protesters with the same brush. And don’t forget it’s the NIMBYs who vote Tory.

9. Shinsei1967

@David Gillon

Odd and prejudiced views.

Why do you think “Tory Grandees” don’t think the NE is beautiful. After all isn’t most of the rural NE full of grouse moors and landed estates. The fact that the UK’s grandest Duke lives in the NE is probably well known to most Tory toffs. Even if they aren’t Harry Potter fans.

“We call them home.” But that’s exactly the same argument used by Nimbys. The Nimbys who don’t want HS2 or more housing in the SE or new runways at Gatwick or Stansted or Heathrow. So are all these Tory voting SE nimbys in the right because after all its their home ?

Regardless of ones views on fracking, if there is to be fracking it surely makes more sense to host sites in under-populated areas than near major urban centres.

In much the same way as similar decisions are made for military bases, nuclear power stations and wind farms.

And if you seriously think “Tory Grandees” don’t want industrial sites on their estates then you really should read the C19th history of coal mines. The rich toffs were the ones with a coal mine on their estate.

I don’t know. Tories are still being blamed for stopping a form of carbon extraction that causes earthquakes and contaminates the local water supply in the North. And now they start talking about bringing it back, the same people shout at them.

There’s a bit of a joined-up thinking problem going on too. The left has been pretty vocal recently about: i) the need to rebalance the economy in favour of manufacturing; ii) the need to bring jobs and growth to the north, not just London. And here’s a proposal to bring substantial investment and employment in manufacturing in the north.

The only manufactured product lefties are in favour of these days is outrage.

Lord Howell of Guildford, whose daughter Frances is married to George Osborne, and is an advisor on government energy policy

Just for the sake of accuracy here (ha, in Sunny’s Sidebar of Shame, as if) it ought to be pointed out that Lord Howell isn’t an advisor on energy policy. He quit in April.

Rt Hon Lord David Howell was personal adviser to the Foreign Secretary on Energy and Resource Security from September 2012 to April 2013.

” I think the dangers posed to households from Fracking are vastly under-estimated and misunderstood. It can cause huge earthquakes ”

That’s just wonderful. You’re using evidence that geothermal power plants can cause earthquakes to attack fracking?

BTW, a 4 or 5 makes the buildings shake a bit. It’s 7 s and above that do serious damage.

And yes, please do recall that it’s a log scale….

Your ‘huge earthquakes’ story appears to refer equally to the spotlessly Green geothermal energy technologies, so I look forward to LibCon scare pieces on that, and demands that the Icelanders shut down their dangerous renewable energy plants. Also you might want to check on the generally-accepted definitions of ‘huge’.

Your ‘poisoned groundwater’ story, meanwhile, is straight out of an ‘anti’ campaign site, though at least you resisted the temptation to link to comprehensively busted ‘flammable tapwater’ fictions. If you want something a bit more plausible and up to date, you could do worse than read the recent, very thorough, empirically based report from the National Energy Technology Laboratory. Summary: it’s a bit of a red herring.

And ‘hugely (that word again!) overstated yield’? Your C4 link is almost entirely speculative and in any case mainly about the regulatory hurdles.

Your readiness to use any and all arguments, however shaky &/or contradictory, in order to take a cheap opportunistic pop at Teh Tories is entirely understandable, but it does on occasion make you look a bit one-eyed. eg now.

“But there are large and uninhabited and desolate areas.”

That’s merely a statement of fact. How is stating it a gift to anti-fracking campaigners? As noted, it makes sense to site industrial plants away from population centres where possible.

And that is not a comment for or against fracking or about earthquakes. I freely admit I am no expert on the subject of fracking. It’s just that the supposed gift of a quote seems in itself to be quite reasonable.

“This not only illustrates the government’s ignorance but unwillingness to care how it affects people in those areas.”

Right. The people living in, er, ‘uninhabited areas’? Brilliant.

15. Paul peter Smith

@ Richard T
I would love to be reassured about the danger to groundwater supplies from fracking, can you direct me toward any non-partisan evidence?

16. Daley Gleephart

Where are these large and uninhabited and desolate areas? Do you have map references for the areas in the UK?

17. Derek Hattons Tailor

I don’t see what all the fuss is about – large parts of the North have no one living in them, you can’t give houses away there. And why are they complaining about fracking being “dirty” ? There used to be coal mines and heavy industry all over the north and they haven’t stopped moaning since they were all shut down.

18. tigerdarwin

Fowler threatened me with legalaction once for suggesting his role in Nigeria concerning oil production was less than clean both finacially and environmentally

Heis a nasty piece of work, for once the Tories mask has slipped

19. PottyTraining

“There used to be coal mines and heavy industry all over the north and they haven’t stopped moaning since they were all shut down.”

I don’t blame them having a moan.

Well paid (for dangerous work)unionised jobs decimated/thrown on dole by large-scale closures(a repeat of the Norman ‘slash and burn’ method!)and replaced by Servile bottom of heap, Govt cleric work!

The area still hasn’t recovered from Tory (CUTS) over 30yrs later

20. Paul peter Smith

Same Normans mostly.

14 Lamia
“As noted, it makes sense to site industrial plants away from population centres where possible”

with the notable exception of North Sea Oil rigs, and Wind Farms, can you give me an example of any large industrial plants that are away from population centres?

I seem to recall Tessides petro-chemical works, Nissan car plant, Pyrex glassworks, various former steel works, engineering firms like Armstrong Whitworths at Elswick, the Hebburn and Wearside shipyards the Monkton Coke works, all needed workers, so they were sited near population centres or became population centres themselves.

Baron Howells’s son in law said “I want Britain to be a leader of the shale gas revolution – because it has the potential to create thousands of jobs”. Will these be home workers in Blaydon or based in the desolate Chew Green New Town?

22. PottyTraining

@ Post 9

Ever tried equating “Harrying” with the percy family Harry-Potter Castle
(a pagan-satanist takeover with Potter-Wikka brainwashing of masses)

Exactly what Satan would order – (Fairground + Magic distractions) Ever read A Pilgrims progress? The pilgrims on their journey thru life are constantly ‘tempted’ by the devil by fairground + Magic etc Devil is also known as “The Trickster”

Ever noticed the Satanised, stooge leaders ranting on and on & lying about “Fair_ness”
– whilst putting their socialist/communist (Russian-Stalin-Zionist style) system in place!

From Alnwick castle website boasting their satanised ‘attractions’ (for kids(goats-in-training)
Bible “goats to left, sheep to right” Anything to do with royal motto “dieu et mon droight”?

Scenes filmed at the castle include the first Quidditch lesson in Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone and the crash landing of the flying Ford Anglia in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.

“Alnwick Castle is a perfect day out for all Potter fans, young and old! Visit our What’s On page to find out more about our Potter-themed activities, from Broomstick Training to magic shows featuring characters inspired by Harry and Hagrid.”

Hebrew Gematria #33
(top masonic/Pyramid degree (as printed on reverse of dollar notes)
various meanings including

to seize or raven;

William THE Conqueror(Viking-Norman) seized and wiped out most English Aristocracy, killing or replacing)

Invasion base = Based at Barking Abbey, east Lundon (essex triple-sword flag=cuts “Only way is Essex” > Normans = “East-Enders” of autonomous rule)

He built the ‘Mocking’ White Tower (of Lundun) and over-time rulers made the story up of “the Ravens” (see hebrew 33 above)

esp the MERCIAN KINGS who previously united most of England – Why Staffie Bulldog (linked to Bull-ring in Mercia Bru’mm’ie land
John Bull, Mason, elitist pisstake
zionist-jew churchill, misleading war propaganda imagery
– is used as English symbol
(cos it was area of Mercian ruler’s headquarters)

Present attack on population is the arrogant ‘symbolism’ of STAFFS HOSPITAL killers!

The Industrial Revolution was dreamt up by elites who practised Satanic stuff(mills) meeting on full moons in underground chamber/tunnels in lichfield (lichfield means “field of Slaughter”) where romans slaughtered over 1,000 town citizens)
So the satanists in tunnels were amongst the skeletal bones of 1,000 plus mudered Christians)

The Mercian ‘black-country’ is what lords of rings was based on eg Sauron = black ‘satanic’ mills + chimney pollution

OZZY (married to a Jewess) of “BLACK SABBATH” origin-ates from that area.

BULL-RING shopping centre (Malls of Mammon) was an old Stone-Henge too.

Rings, circles, wheels, ouboros(snake eats tail) are all symbols of time/seasons, re-Birth/Death of civilisations etc
One archi-dig of a henge ditch/circular mound even revealed the exact outline/figure of an ouboros when layout was drawn !

Three flag symbols of Mercia (MER(!CIA!) is old word for ‘PYRAMID’ by the way!
“The hieroglyphics that were used to describe these structures in Egypt are translated as the word ‘mer’.”

We are in a World-Wide,
financial+Power grab(double-headed) 33 ‘ponzy-pyramid’ scam at present!

An occult ‘X’ Saltire (Scottish masons link)
Coat of Arms = Double-Headed Eagle Symbol
Exact same as Scottish Masons “Eagle Of Lagash” (double headed)

A two legged Dragon (London East India Company(in command of British Empire) LEIC-ester,
They sailed out of Orient docks, Lundun (under flag of dragon)
(well known haunt of famous Pirates who were given commissions by the Aristocracy to carry out plundering/murder on the high seas)

The Autonomous country “City of London” is guarded by their dragon heraldic symbols – even the Queen/royalty has to ask permission to enter (so they say)
The St george+Dragon = east-european(caucuses) origin
ie Jewish Ashkenazi – GAZA_ria(Khazaria)
(GAZA where the Zionist Faux-Jews vex(33) the semitic Arabs!)
Genghis ‘Mongol hoarde’ kings known as “dragons” too

This is all fascinating as Biblical Prophecy unravels.

GREEN is another hebrew 33 meaning(apparantly)

And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

Tribe of DAN

22. PottyTraining

…erm, not sure I follow you. Have you confirmed Poe’s Law?

24. Mr Turmoil

I remember watching a documentary about fracking in the United States and how people became seriously ill from the burning off and also water contamination. In America the distances from the fracking areas to local towns was vast and still people became seriously ill. This should be a real wake up call because Cities, towns and villages are not that far away from these fracking sites to be in the United Kingdom. The problem of people becoming sick and water contamination in the ground is going to be far worse in this country. In addition to this the burning of will get into the soil that crops are grown. Don’t suppose the companies in question have told everyone this !

No, I thought not because we are all irrelevant and our health is of now concern in their bigger picture. Power to the people is all gas.

25. Mr Turmoil
26. Mr Turmoil
27. Mr Turmoil

There is plenty of evidence that fracking should not go ahead in a small country like the United Kingdom.

28. Derek Hattons Tailor

I’d be interested to see how many of these protestors, many of who by their own admission aren’t even from the local area – would be opposed to far more visible and intrusive wind farms in the same locations. The fact is fracking is no more dangerous than any other industrial process. Opposition is therefore based on:

Southern metro liberal fear of a return to industry and therefore prosperity in the North. If London doesn’t benefit the metro liberal left aren’t interested

A move away from the failed services industry model which again only ever really benefits London and the S/E

The re-invigoration of the skilled manual labour class – eroding the metro liberal ipad in Starbucks “freelance multi media freewheeler” labour market model. Frackers will drink tea and won’t even know what a panini is FFS

It increases fuel reserves thereby reducing energy bills which are hitting working/lower middle class living standards. Again, metro liberals who have never worried about a gas bills in their lives don’t care about this. All they care about is being able to show off their green credentials over tapas at a Notting Hill dinner party

The only question is when to invest – now as speculation of capital growth, or in a few years times when the dividend stream is guaranteed

29. Paul peter Smith

You make some very good points, especially the reconstruction of a skilled working class and a prosperous North. But polluting groundwater with nasty chemicals isnt something you can get wrong now and then fix later. I’m not an eco warrior or a Luddite but water is the foundation of all life, dont you think we should be sure we’re not pissing in the village well?

30. Edward Jenkins
31. Edward Jenkins

Here is a useful United Kingdom link on fracking to get involved and connected :

We never had to worry about gas bills when there were millions of cubic metres of natural fuel under the North Sea did we?
Gas was so cheap it was burned in order to generate elecricity and we could pay our electric bills from spare coins down the back of the sofa.
Oh the good days when millions of British workers could retire early from heavy industries and live off gold bars supplied every week by the government.
Those hardworking ministers doing stressful meetings with small businesses like US cable TV companies trying to persuade them into signing low return contracts on regions that British Telecoms could possibly cater for. I wonder what happened to them.
It’s a good job that we can still trust Her Majesty’s Government to do the right thing for the benefit of ordinary folk.

33. Derek Hattons Tailor

@ 29 Yes. But given that most of the population live within a stones throw (in terms of the physics of radioactivity) of a nuclear power station do we need a greater awareness of the concept of relative risk ? Most metro liberals drink imported bottled water anyway.

@ 32 The fact that the past was imperfect is not an argument for making the future even more imperfect. The fact is in real terms fuel costs have risen significantly and if the green lobby continue to skew energy policy it will only get worse. If the green left think (poor) old people dying of cold is it is a price worth paying to “save” the planet for future generations/ameliorate middle class guilt, they should say so, and we should have that debate in public.

All very exiting stuff but I am curious as to the terminology being used. If there are one set of proponents called anti-fracking activists doesnt that mean that the company involved in the operation are pro fracking activists.

This may seem a trivial point but there is a lot of power in how words are used and how situations are framed.

calling the frackers ‘activists’ levels the playing field of debate and reduces the immediate impact of the status quo and issues surrouning the legitimacy of established practices, Corporations and industries

Examples of redefinition might include:-

Oil industry = artic drilling activists etc
Monarchy = Feudal activists
Bankers = ponzi activists
Armed forces = Global repression activists
Police = civil repression activists
Unions = capitalist stability activists

Obviously these need to be contextualised according the issue at hand and are of the cuff ideas. Please invent your own!

Derek Hattons Tailor quotes
"The only question is when to invest – now as speculation of capital growth, or in a few years times when the dividend stream is guaranteed" August 3, 2013
"If the green left think (poor) old people dying of cold is it is a price worth paying to “save” the planet for future generations/ameliorate middle class guilt, they should say so, and we should have that debate in public." August 4, 2013

Big six energy firms accused of ‘cold-blooded profiteering’

36. Derek Hattons Tailor

@ 35 And ? Many on LC will argue passionately against poverty if it can be pinned on the man/the right, whilst simultaneously supporting leftish pressure groups whose agenda is demonstrably going to make poor people poorer. In what objective sense is Starbucks/Apple the acceptable face of capitalism, and BP not ?
I am quite happy to invest in shares in a fracking company as in the long term the local price of fuel *should* come down. I at least recognise that to many, fuel is becoming unaffordable and see that as a bigger problem that some theoretical, generalised threat at some point in the increasingly distant future.

36. Derek Hattons Tailor

The question isnt whether we should look to short term solutions to energy but long term ones IMO. Nor IMO is this a left /right issue ;its been made into this by the oil activists amongst others funded by vast fortunes.

The fact is that fossil fuel is running out through a combination of lack of recoverability,natural exhaustion,being a finite resource, and techological/finacial/global limitations. Added to that emerging economies are demanding more.
So its encumbent on everyone to come up with sustainable alternative energy sources. The US has done something different which is to have invaded or secured those asian/middle east oil producing countries which is not an option not open to most.

It is time to understand that the era of cheap oil based fuel is over and that includes nuclear, which when taking into account clearup/mining/refining costs is probably uneconomic.All this piddling about with Tar and shale misses the point although the activists engaged in its production will probably make a fortune in the interim.

People that conflate age related poverty with fuel poverty dilute the argument IMO. This issue is aboute poverty both in old age and those living in a low/no wage economy.

I know no-one wants to see an old lady freeze but neither does anybody want to see her back garden dug up and her water poisioned, whatever the price.

Polution free technologies are the only way forward.

"In what objective sense is Starbucks/Apple the acceptable face of capitalism, and BP not ?."
What has that sentence go to do with fracking and the profits of energy suppliers?
If you invest in fracking, that’s your choice but don’t claim that you are doing it in order to get lower gas prices.

Investment Tip
Why not invest in the companies that supply the chemicals that are pumped into the ground during the extraction process? It’s a win/win investment because the taxpayers will have to bear the cost of cleaning the water supply. Here are some of the chemicals: –

39. Paul peter Smith

And those are just the ‘off the shelf’ components of fracking juice, the real nasties are trade mark protected proprietry chemicals which have never been disclosed.

38. Ceiliog

where did you get this list from?

39. Paul peter Smith

How do you know this?

Sources/ Links please

for starters.
There have been numerous requests for a full list of chemicals used but, in the USA, information has been refused on the grounds of commercial confidentiality etc.

Another Investment Tip for DH Tailor

42. Derek Hattons Tailor

@ 37 Peak oil is always just around the corner isn’t it ? “Peak” means just that, the other side of the peak is not a sheer drop it is a gentle slope. The reality is that as oil becomes more scarce, the price goes up and the viable reseve therefore goes up. It is not as a simple as “we are running out we must do something”. Most people alive to today will not see oil run out. Do you really think airlines would be investing in new generation passenger jets, or car manufacturers in new models if they thought they wouldn’t be able to sell them for the foreseeable future ?
Secondly it is not “incumbent” on us all to look for replacements. There is demand for affordable transport and energy, and the market will therefore supply it, just as it provided us with the internal combustion engine. Research into alternatives was going on long before the greens suddenly decided to panic us all into going back 500 years to inefficient wind power.

43. Derek Hattons Tailor

@39 And many are already used in uncontroversial products like windscreen wash fluid. If people are so worried about contaminated water why aren’t they campaigning against the birth control pill which is turning the water supply into diluted female hormone and causing male cancers.

44. Paul peter Smith

The energy companies in the US lobbied successfully to be exempted from the 2005 clean water act (US). Partially on the grounds that these chemicals were trade secrets. There’s lots of stuff about this on the net including a link @30 above, decide for yourself which ones are most credible.
I couldn’t agree more that people need a realistic understanding of relative risk and that our fresh water supplies are under assault from all sides. But it doesnt follow that just because people dont understand how dangerous low energy light bulbs are it doesnt matter if they dont know how dangerous their water is. Some things are far too important for this imaginary free market thing to get its hands on and water is top of that list.

45. Robin Levett

@DHT #41:

Peak oil is always just around the corner isn’t it ? “Peak” means just that, the other side of the peak is not a sheer drop it is a gentle slope. The reality is that as oil becomes more scarce, the price goes up and the viable reseve therefore goes up. It is not as a simple as “we are running out we must do something”. Most people alive to today will not see oil run out.

Conventional oil production has not risen since 2004 – indeed has declined – and oil prices have quadrupled over that period.

Having said that, I very much hope you are right about oil not running out in our lifetime. If it does, we will have injected so much CO2 into the atmosphere that AGW will indeed be “Catastrophic”.

After all, tea tastes much nicer with windscreen cleaning fluid.
If you were offered a water supply that was 99% safe would you drink it? Hint: Heavy metals and poisons accumulate in vital organs.
I have no information about oral contraceptives contanimating drinking water.

41. Derek Hattons Tailor

Peak oil is just around the corner?

If you take it well by well then no peak oil has been and gone for the majority of the currently exploited wells.The question is how much exploitable oil is left.

When it comes to how long it will last ,this will come down to regional issues. Sure US jets will keep going forever but that doesnt mean the oil price will be low enough not to have significant impacts on food production transport or consumables. Peak oil isnt just the production issue either it involves the consumption by a vastly growing world population.

Oil activists wouldnt seriously spend a lot of time fracking or with Tar sands if they could get it via an easier route.

48. Paul peter Smith

Sadly a person only needs to Google ‘pharmaceutical contaminants of fresh water’ to find an extremely long list of stuff people swallow for medical reasons ending up in stuff people swallow because they’re thirsty. The biosphere is a closed system, what you put in generally stays in, and hormones (in many types of birth control) are pound for pound the most powerful chemicals I am aware of. They have been linked to genital irregularities in fresh water fish such as a greater incidence of hemaphrodites.
A point I’ve made before is that however reduced in circumstance we would be, we can live in a desert or on a glacier but we cant live at all without fresh water. These islands are the Saudi Arabia of fresh water, instead of flogging a dead horse like fracking why take the lead in the the primary resource of the 21st Century.
Oh thats right, only 3 water monopolies are still nominally listed companies (at time of writing, could be 2 anytime), the rest are wholly owned private cash cows.

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