No fracking in my back yard is the latest variant of the Nimby phenomenon that pits local against purported national interests, most notable in battles to prevent wind machines in "my back yard", the construction of a new runway at Heathrow, a high-speed train through the world's most scenic countryside, and other facilities that just might contribute to national economic growth at the expense of inconvenience and annoyance to local residents. Since most representation in democratic Britain is provided by MPs keenly attuned to their constituents' desires, it is no surprise that local impact often takes precedence over the national interest.
Which is the case with energy supply. If Britain desperately needs anything just now, it is more rapid economic growth. It is inarguable that ample supplies of low-cost energy are an important driver of such growth, and that energy shortages, or high-cost supplies, can make a nation less competitive internationally.
Indeed, there is more to play for here than "mere" low-cost energy. One is environmental quality - natural gas is the least-polluting fossil fuel, and anyone who thinks that fossil fuels will not be a dominant energy source for the foreseeable future is kidding himself. Another is independence from the bad guys who unfortunately sit on the bulk of the world's oil and gas reserves - or did until fracking set America on the road to becoming the world's largest producer.
If the beneficial effect of the reduction of the geopolitical power of nasty regimes doesn't persuade Britain's policy makers to allow shale gas development to proceed on a measured basis, monitoring the environmental impact and distributing the benefits fairly, consider this: billions in inbound investment and thousands of new jobs. Better that than a prolonged dose of austerity.
David Fuller's view This is a good, short summary by Irwin Stelzer. Some of his comments may irritate those who are concerned about climate change, specifically the pollution created by mankind and our extensive use of fossil fuels.
These are certainly risks, although their extent and timing is unknown. I maintain that we need luck, in terms of the time required to develop sufficiently our technologies to reduce the pollution of our planet.
What I think we do know, or should know, is that a significant move away from fossil fuels at this time would cause our economies to collapse, with appalling consequences for our populations.
Fullermoney has posted a considerable amount of comment on fracking, which can be accessed by a one word search. Click on Fullermoney's 'Search' facility shown upper left, fourth item down; type fracking into the box provided, and then click on the blue Search button.