South West Extreme Energy Gathering, 30th March 2013, 10 – 4pm
A gathering is taking place at Hamilton House, Stokes Croft in Bristol to bring together people interested in or active around resisting extreme energy developments in the South West.
The day will be an opportunity to:
*Find out about different campaigns in the South West
*Understand the concept of Extreme Energy & connect local campaigns to the bigger picture
*Build relationships & solidarity between groups
*Share strategies and skills
The event takes place a month before the national Extreme Energy Gathering that is taking place in Manchester 26-28th April.
What is Extreme Energy?
Extreme Energy is the process whereby energy extraction methods grow progressively more intense over time, as easier to extract resources are depleted. The process is driven by unsustainable energy consumption and is important because extraction effort is strongly correlated with damage to both society and the environment.
Examples of new extreme energy methods include Tar Sands, Deep Water and Arctic Drilling, Open Cast Mining and Fracking, but even conventional fossil fuel exploitation is becoming more extreme. The intensity of extraction effort needed translates pretty directly into the fraction of the economy that must be devoted to energy extraction, and therefore dictates what is left over for the rest of society.
The course our society is on leads to a world where energy corporations (Exxon, BP etc.) hog an ever growing fraction of human activity while everyone else is starved of resources. The local and global environmental impacts of energy extraction are also growing at a frightening rate and these new methods are also often accessing fossil fuels which would previously not have been left in the ground.
What about the UK?
In the British Isles a large number of new extraction methods threaten to devastate communities and the countryside, while increasing our contribution to the global ecological crisis.
In addition to a surge in open cast coal mining and onshore conventional oil and gas extraction, entirely new methods such as fracking for shale gas and coalbed methane (CBM) looks set to coat large areas of the countryside with thousands of wells.
Beyond that underground coal gasification (UCG) threatens to bring vast industrial devastation, similar to the tar sands in Canada, much closer to home. A new batch of even more dangerous nuclear power stations and large number of biomass power stations are also on the cards.
However there is a silver lining to these forbidding clouds. Across the globe communities are organising to counter extreme energy extraction. Where once such threats seemed distance (other people’s problems), now they are creeping into people’s back gardens. Empowering and connecting communities to resist this destruction is crucial.
Who is involved in the Gathering?
Groups are coming together from across the South West, including Biofuelswatch, Frack Free Somerset, Bristol Rising Tide, Frack Off, South West Against Nuclear, Stop Hinkley, Frack Free Wales, Frack Free Dorset and more. The gathering welcomes anyone resisting harmful energy developments in their community. To get more involved before the day please email firstname.lastname@example.org or one of the groups listed.