IS THE fracking method of extracting Shale Gas dangerous? Some say it is, the industry assures the world it isn't. Both miss the point.
Climate change is affecting food production and water scarcity in parts of the world and may be irreversible given the amounts of carbon dioxide we have already pumped into the atmosphere.
Our insatiable demand for carbon to burn has made previously uneconomic deposits available, such as the tar sands in Canada and Shale Gas across the world – including the UK.
Shale Gas emits less carbon when burnt than oil, about half as much, so it should be welcomed, but the problem is that it still adds to the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and the fact the US, UK and others will import less oil in future as it is extracted doesn't correlate to any reduction overall in global carbon emissions, in fact, quite the reverse.
This is because there are customers queuing up for the coal, oil and gas in the developing world the developed world has previously priced out.
Governments have recognised the dangers of climate change and at the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009 formally agreed that we need to hold the increase in global temperature below two degrees Celsius.
We have raised the average temperature of the planet almost halfway to two degrees Celsius so far with regular disasters reported on the news from melting ice caps in the Arctic, heatwaves across Europe the US and parts of Asia, landslips in China, devastating tornados and hurricanes in the US, to bush fires in Australia, Southern Europe and the West Coast of America.
There may well be worrying side effects from extracting shale gas, but the real issue is how much more carbon we can risk burning before the climate spins so far out of control the survival of our species on earth is threatened. This is the debate we should be having because however difficult and unpleasant life could be without fossil fuels because we left them in the ground, there would be no life at all if we can't grow enough food and access clean water. This isn't going to be a problem in my lifetime but if we can't can find a reliable and economic way to capture carbon and store it, future generations are going to have a very uncertain future.
IT WAS a great pleasure to address the winners and present the prizes on the final day of the British Chess Championship with UKIP Councillor and Chairman of Torbay Council, Julian Parrott, at the English Riviera International Conference Centre.
Our area has many proud links to chess with one Grand Master, Keith Arkell, and an International Master, Gary Lane, hailing from Torbay, and 2013 was the 5th time Torquay has hosted the championship in 100 years of competition.
The overall winner was David Howell who scored the most points ahead of the 1,200 competitors who took part in the 12-day championship, many accompanied by family and friends who stayed in the area during the competition.
Matches were relayed around the world via the internet and reported on each day.
There's an opportunity to build on the encouragement the Council Chairman and I gave the organisers to make Torquay a permanent venue for the competition with a guaranteed thousand visitors plus their supporters every year.
WITH a year to go until we mark the centenary of Great Britain entering the First World War interested organisations should consider applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for community projects to learn more about what is often referred to as 'The Great War'.
The Heritage Lottery Fund is making available at least £1million a year until 2019 as part of its First World War programme for small community grants.
The kind of projects the Fund is looking to support include researching, identifying and recording local heritage; creating a community archive or collection; developing new interpretation or heritage through exhibitions, trails, smartphone apps etc; researching, writing and performing creative material based on heritage sources; conserving and finding out more about war memorials.
More details and application forms can be obtained via www.hlf.org.uk
NO SOONER have you got into the swing of the recess – not commuting each week to Westminster and sleeping in the same bed seven nights a week – it's time to go back for two weeks before the conference recess.
The conference recess used to be part of the long summer recess before it was decided that the House would sit for two weeks in September before breaking up again for the Lib Dem, Labour and Conservative Party conferences.
I have come across people who think we attend all three conferences, it's not so, MPs attend their own at their own expense and in my experience one week at your own Party's is more than most mortals can take.
Almost makes you feel sympathy for the journalists who have to attend all three. Well almost.
Next Surgeries: Saturday, 14th September, 10am to 11.30am, Chelston Methodist Church Hall, Old Mill Road, Torquay. Friday, 20th September, 4.00pm to 5.30pm, Preston Baptist Church Hall, Old Torquay Road, Paignton. Advice line 200036. Sign up for regular updates or quarterly mailings on International Development, Animal Welfare or Environmental issues at www.adriansanders.org Also on Facebook and Twitter.