The shale gas industry-commissioned white pape, The Global Anti-Fracking Movement: What it Wants, How it Operates and What’s Next, makes for some very interesting reading.
It was produced late last year by Control Risks, an “independent, global risk consultancy specialising in helping organisations manage political, integrity and security risks in complex and hostile environments”.
The white paper focuses on shale gas, but it also discusses coal seam gas. Shale gas is what features in the film Gasland by Josh Fox, which details the destructive effects of “fracking” on communities in the US.
A global movement has emerged to combat the risks to water and air quality, health and farmland that shale gas mining poses. Australia has both shale and coal seam gas reserves.
The white paper begins with an image of what the world looks like through the eyes of the industry. Big blue splodges mark the shale gas reserves on a global map.
The splodges cover the whole of Latvia and Hungary, almost all of Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Paraguay and South Africa, half of Poland, a third of Libya and Argentina. It includes significant stretches of the US, Canada, Australia, the British Isles, Mexico, India, Bolivia, Colombia and China.
The opening sentence reveals how the shale gas industry sees itself: “Unconventional natural gas is often described as game-changing and transformative, a revolution heralding a golden age of cheap, plentiful energy for a resource-constrained world. But only if it makes it out of the ground.”
This is the story the industry likes to tell itself. Corporations, seeking only to make the world a better place, are unfairly victimised by the masses who are too uninformed to know what’s best for them.
The ruthless quest for profit and the irreversible destruction of the environment and people’s livelihoods are things they prefer to leave out of the story. More