Anti-fracking protestors host a ‘fracked future’ carnival outside a London shale gas conference featuring speakers including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and comedienne Josie Long.
The Shale Gas Forum will be the site of a ‘Fracked Future’ themed carnival emphasising what campaigners say is the very real prospect of an environmentally polluted future if the fledgling UK shale gas industry takes off. Hundreds of protesters are expected at the event, which invites participants to dress up in a way that they think represents a toxic future. There will be a samba band, music from dub step artist Jamie King along with speeches from fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and comedienne Josie Long.
Campaigners want to draw attention to the Shale Gas Forum . The £1,000 per person event was originally scheduled to be held at the lavish Jumeriah Carlton Tower in Knightsbridge. On Friday, the organisers of the event moved the conference to the HAC Armoury in Old Street citing security concerns. However, this did not deter protestors who also moved to the new location.
The conference is hosting officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Environment Agency as keynote speakers alongside the chief executives of Cuadrilla and IGas – two companies whose drilling sites have been the focus of protest camps in Balcombe and Salford. They plan to discuss regulation, a new tax regime, as well as new ways to sell fracking to the British public.
‘In light of the recent flooding, it’s clear we we urgently need to tackle climate change. It is wholly irresponsible for the government to continue locking us in to a fossil fuel future by pursuing fracking. The IPCC reports are very clear. We can not continue to extract new fossil fuels. We need to move to a sustainable energy future and invest in clean, safe, community-owned renewable energy projects,’ said Hannah Jones of Frack Off London.
Designer-campaigner Vivienne Westwood said:
‘It is clear that we are not being told the whole truth about fracking in the UK when we are told that it is safe. In fact, there are several potential threats to our countryside, our water and our health. We are running headlong towards climate change and more fossil fuels is not a solution.’
Hydraulic fracturing also known as ‘fracking’ involves blasting huge quantities of fresh water, sand and highly toxic chemicals into rocks deep in the earth to release gas. The controversial process has been credited with bringing down US gas prices but has also been linked to water contamination in four US states.  It was also blamed for causing earth tremors in Blackpool. 
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