The arguments against fracking on public health and ecological grounds are overwhelming. And Medact believes that a moratorium should be put in place to allow time for a full and comprehensive health and environmental impact assessment to be completed.
But in addition to this, shale gas is not a clean source of energy. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and its use is incompatible with global efforts to prevent global warming. There are clear grounds for adopting the precautionary principle and prohibiting fracking entirely.
Help us add weight to the growing call for a UK wide moratorium on fracking by adding your signature to the letter on the right, originally published in the British Medical Journal in support of Medact’s report Health & Fracking: the impacts & opportunity costs.
You can add your signature to the letter by filling in the form below, scroll down to see a list of the current signatories.
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We write as concerned health professionals who seek to draw the public’s attention to the dangers associated with hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and shale gas extraction in the United Kingdom, as highlighted by a recent report published by Medact.
Fracking is an inherently risky activity that produces hazardous levels of air and water pollution that can have adverse impacts on health. The heavy traffic, noise and odour that accompanies fracking, as well as the socially disruptive effects of temporary ‘boomtowns’ and the spoilage of the natural environment are additional health hazards.
Such risks would be magnified in the UK where fracking is projected to take place in closer proximity to more densely populated communities; and where there are concerns about the effectiveness of the regulatory system for onshore gas extraction.
But in addition to this, shale gas is not a clean source of energy. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas in its own right, and when burnt, produces carbon dioxide. Shale gas extraction would undermine our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and be incompatible with global efforts to prevent global warming from exceeding two degrees centigrade.
The arguments against fracking on public health and ecological grounds are overwhelming. There are clear grounds for adopting the precautionary principle and prohibiting fracking.
Not a Health Professional? There’s still a huge amount you can do:
1. Search online and you will find a number of actions for non-health professionals calling for a moratorium or ban on fracking.
2. Please share Medact’s action with any medical workers you know on facebook, twitter or e-mail, and make sure you tag them.
Dr Robin Stott, Co-Chair, Climate and Health Council
Professor Sue Atkinson CBE, Co-Chair, Climate and Health Counci
Professor Hugh Montgomery, UCL
Professor Maya Rao OBE
Professor Martin McKee, LSHTM
Dr Clare Gerada, GP and former Chair of RGCP
Dr Christopher Birt, University of Liverpool and Christie Hospital, Manchester
Professor John Yudkin, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, UCL
Dr Sheila Adam, former Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Professor Klim McPherson, Chair of the UK Health Forum
Dr John Middleton, Vice President UKFPH
Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, KCL
Helen Gordon, Board Member, Climate and Health Council
Dr Frank Boulton, Medact and Southampton University
Dr Sarah Walpole, Academic Clinical Fellow
Professor Allyson Pollock, QMUL
Dr Julie Hotchkiss, Acting Director of Public Health at City of a York Council
Professor Jennie Popay, Lancaster University
Dr Daniel Campion
Ms Hermans Sarah
Dr Hannah Patrick
Mr Nicolas Blondel
Dr Monica Bolton
Dr Jennifer Gibson
Dr Sue Well stood-Eason
Dr Francis Rugman
Dr Shirley Potts
Dr Jeff Slominski
Dr Elisabeth Murray
Dr Sarah Lou Bailey
Dr Klaus Melf
Mr Michael Ashman
Dr Maggie Eisner
Dr Ronald Faulkner
Ms Stefi Barna
Dr Emma Croager
Miss Geraldine Ring
Dr Jeremy Wight
Dr Amanda Williams
Dr Natasha Posner
Professor Imti Choonara
Dr Elizabeth Waterston
Ms Rachel Edwards
Dr Margaret Jackson
Miss Hannah Cowan
Dr Tim Thornton
Miss Amanda Ault
Dr Paul Teed
Ms Caroline Richards
Mr Arfon Jones
Mrs Jane Mullins
Reverand Meg Undertown
Ms Jackie Miller
Mrs Adrianna Tucket
Mr Steven Bagnall
Ms Rhona MacLeod
Mrs Rosaline Causey