28 January 2015

Hydraulic fracturing: it’s a controversial subject and ironically it splits opinion like the very rocks it seeks to crack. I spend a lot of time in the countryside and make it a priority to get as many of the UKFast team as I can out there too. There’s something about rolling mountains and fresh air that is conducive to creativity and I for one am keen to protect this amazing environment.

fracking_scalesIt’s no surprise when you walk through rural British villages to see anti-fracking signs outside the majority of houses. The fields and forests nearby are natural and beautiful, yet some politicians are happy enough to risk scarring those landscapes, promising money and jobs for local communities. You might argue this is simply attempting to force fracking on people who don’t want it and who don’t view money as a good enough reason to take the risk.

However, it’s not just rural communities raising their concerns and their voices about shale gas. I read recently that a group of MPs in the Environmental Audit Committee called for a halt on fracking. In a report published online they said there were “huge uncertainties” about its environmental impact and it was “incompatible” with the nation’s responsibility to slow climate change and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. They also argued that fracking should be banned completely in protected areas and areas of national importance.

Personally, I couldn’t agree more. We have to think long term and find better ways of doing things that don’t impact negatively on the environment. We’re playing our part as a business by making sure our data centres are carbon neutral. It would be great if we were able to generate all our energy from the rain falling in the Welsh hills someday.

Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves, is fracking really in line with our responsibilities as a nation under the Climate Change Act, and do the potential benefits really outweigh the risks? Surely, it’s safer and more sensible to work on finding cleaner, greener alternatives that cause people much less distress than fracking.

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