We Greenjackers used to enjoy a walk around the remains of the coal fired power station at Thorpe Marsh, near Doncaster.
There’s something highly satisfying about wandering around the decaying monoliths of the industrial age as they slowly succumb to nature’s sweet caress. Unfortunately it was another power altogether which eventually put pay to the cooling towers…
The site is being cleared to make way for… you’ve guessed it, another f@*%ing power station!
The new model is being hailed as a ‘green’ solution because it is gas fired (the same model as the proposed Kingsnorth power station which has since been shelved thanks mostly to the 2008 Climate Camp), but gas is far from green…
“[T]he Government’s advisors in the Committee for Climate Change have said that, in order to meet its climate change targets, the UK should effectively decarbonise its power system. This means reducing per-unit carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by 90% by 2030. The level of new gas-fired capacity projected by the Government would put meeting this target in real jeopardy.” ‘Enough is enough: new gas fired capacity in the UK’ FoE, 2012.
Unlike us Greenjackers (who believe that rapid energy reduction is the *only* way to stop the worst excesses of climate change – more walkable communities, not more wind farms!), Friends of the Earth believe that there is a place for gas in our transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable sources energy, but they can see that building new gas power stations simply isn’t the way to go. So it is reasonable to argue that the plans for Thorpe Marsh are majorly flawed to say the least.
What is really worrying however is the fact that the company which now owns Thorpe Marsh, the Israeli consortium Acorn Energy, also has intricate ties to – and is responsible for major investments in… - fracking in the US!
Fracking (the ‘hydraulic fracturing’ of rock to release gases… a process which has already led to earthquakes in Blackpool!) is a rapidly growing problem in the UK, but thankfully groups like Frack Off are on the ball (check ‘em out to see what’s happening in your area). The government knows full well that the process is highly dangerous to local communities so Energy Minister John Hayes is even taking advise from Cuadrilla (fracking scumbags) and is proposing to use tax payers money to pay incentives to communities who allow fracking operations in their area. This is an obvious ploy to avoid paying compensation to those communities when the shit really hits the fan…
It looks like Doncaster is going to be getting more than its fair share of fracking operations, but Acorn Energy’s ties to Thorpe Marsh are signs of something even bigger… the governments commitment to making money at the expense of local communities, the environment, and ultimately the planet!
Isn’t it time you told ‘em to FRACK OFF!