31 July 2014

What’s more important, the town or the countryside? Is it fair that one takes precedence over another? With the about half of the country open for exploration, I think it’s fair to say that one thing comes before them both and that’s money. When I heard about the government’s statement about drilling in national parks and other protected areas being allowed “in exceptional circumstances” I was temporarily speechless (and that will shock some of the team to hear).

frackingThere seems to be a complete disregard for British countryside and the people that reside in it. Whether above or below ground, a national park is a national park! They’re places of natural beauty and the point here is that you can never get them back. Look at the forests across the world that have already been turned into deserts, and all the wildlife being threatened. It’s taken millions of years to develop like that yet in the space of one year people can decimate an entire environment.

Personally, I don’t think there should be any fracking on our mainland. It’s an unproven science. We don’t know what damage we’re doing to the earth’s core. Shouldn’t we be more careful before we start messing around with our ecosystem? Honestly, I think people will look back in a hundred or so years and condemn people. All you have to do already is look in areas like North Wales. There are a few big nuclear power stations and they’ve completely destroyed the area. There’s a place when you drive through Anglesey where you come over a hill; it looks like something out of a terrifying sci-fi movie! You could say, well, they’ve created jobs, but at what cost to the landscape?

The truth of the situation is that our national parks should be sacred. Whether you’re trying to protect a butterfly or something bigger, these creatures have to be able to live in their habitat and not have it destroyed by things like fracking and the HS2 development. We’ve already got a line that goes from London to Manchester; why not develop or improve the one we’ve got instead of going through the countryside and through thousands of peoples’ homes. And why are we doing these things? Because somebody somewhere is going to profit from it. It’s a crying shame.

Perhaps, instead of rushing decisions through Whitehall and focussing on the immediate, we should be thinking ahead and planning for the future. There’s nothing wrong with looking to other countries to see what works well and what doesn’t. In this situation, we could even take a leaf out of Switzerland’s book, as they have very strict rules on what you can build above ground. All of the things that don’t need to be in your face, like car parks, are underground. It’s just one example, and I’m sure there are plenty more, of how we could be thinking in ways that will improve the future, not damage it.

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