“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
One of the commonest questions we heard during our November, 2014 public meetings was ‘what can we do?’. The government is moving quickly to make fracking easier. They are hoping to slip through changes in the law and tax regime before we can get organised and stop them. As Margaret Mead said, the only thing that will stop this is public action. Discuss the risks with your friends and neighbours. Let the government know you object. There is a General Election next year. We will be giving the government a mandate for another five years. We have a window of opportunity to highlight key issues. So, where to start?
Four things you can do this week to help campaign against fracking in the Mendips:
- Keep informed. Like ‘Get the Frack out of the Mendips’ on Facebook or follow @FrackFreeSom on Twitter to get regular updates. Useful web-sites include Frack Off and Frack Free Chew Valley
- If you are a landowner, register your objection to drilling on your land at www.wrongmove.org
- Change your energy supplier. Some energy suppliers are committed to supplying frack-free energy. Visit the web-site unfrack.me to find out more.
- Write to your MP objecting to the Infrastructure Bill and the recent amendments introduced to make fracking easier.
Three thing to do in the next three months:
- Talk to others in your local community about the issues to raise awareness. Start a local group that will help monitor activity in your area. You just need two people to start a group!
- Many energy companies are public companies with shareholders. Do you own shares? Or do you have investments or a pension scheme that are share based? Petition your investment or pension scheme provider to divest from fossil fuel companies. A divestment from fossil fuels campaign is growing around the world. Taking the money out of the oil, coal and gas industry will ensure its end.
- Write to your parish, district or county council stating your objections to fracking in Somerset and asking them to declare a frack-free zone
The energy industry is well-organised and employs public relations professionals to lobby government and mollify the public. More action from more people is the only way to make our voice heard. It is working in other countries and it can work here.