The presentation will be about hydraulic fracturing and unconventional oil and gas – developed so far mainly in the USA and Australia but also a possible threat in the UK, Poland, the Ukraine and Latin America. This industry is dependent on high prices as well as easy and cheap credit. Its likely failure will have tremendous implications for the stability of the finance sector. This is important to the faiths of the growth economy – the idea that depletion of fossil fuel can always be resolved by technological advance, that there is a future for fossil fuels that is low carbon and that economic growth can be pursued without risks. The contrary is true. Attempting to resolve growth limits with techno-fixes creates new problems. The struggle against fracking is a struggle against a coalition of fossil fuel and financial interests with friends in government, aided and abetted by a dishonest PR sector, over-specialised academics and a co-opted regulatory bureaucracy. The delusionary world view of this vested interest coalition is the same growth ideology that the Degrowth movement is trying to transcend. To resist it is necessary to organise communities who are well informed and committed to protecting clean local water, uncontaminated soils and clean air. There is a need for participatory governance systems working against the co-option of state regulation which cannot currently deliver the security that local communities need.
This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Degrowth and Fracking“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.