A Quaker View on Fracking

My dears, much time recently has been spent in reading about and considering the application by Third Energy to frack at Kirby Misperton in the heart of the Ryedale countryside. North Yorkshire County Council Planning Committee recently approved the application despite over 4300 objections.

Quakers in Britain have a commitment to sustainable development and a divestment from fossil fuels.  My local Quaker Meeting in Pickering wrote a letter to the papers, although the local papers have not printed it so far. It was printed in the Yorkshire Post and the York Press.

In addition our Area Meeting (the collection of meetings in the area) have published a statement on their view on fracking. I copy it below for information.

Statement by Pickering & Hull Area Quaker Meeting

Following the decision by North Yorkshire County Council to allow fracking at Kirby Misperton we wish to make a statement on behalf of Pickering and Hull Area Quaker Meeting (representing Quakers in Ryedale, the Yorkshire Coast and East Yorkshire), emphasising our objections, on the basis of our spiritual discernment, to fracking on any scale.

Most fossil fuels need to stay in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. The impact of climate change globally is understood to be the greatest threat facing our generation, and our children’s generation. It is widely recognised that we need to reduce and eventually eliminate our dependence on the use of fossil fuels and that we urgently need to turn to renewable sources of energy which do not contribute to increasing damage caused by human induced climate change.

We believe that the search for new fossil fuels and new methods of extracting fossil fuels is incompatible with the responsible use of the earth’s resources. In 2011 Quakers in Britain made a corporate commitment to become a low-carbon, sustainable community. Local Quakers support this commitment through our management of our meeting houses, our choice of suppliers of goods and services, and in our personal, daily lives. For example, we have invested in sustainable energy with solar panels at Scarborough Meeting House and an air-source heat pump at Pickering Meeting House. The refurbishment of our retreat centre, Worfolk cottage, created the first fully ‘carbon- neutral’ development within the North York Moors National Park

We believe that all people have the right to affordable energy that does not harm the planet. Lack of current technology to support this goal should drive us to greater effort, not endorse technologies which increase the damage confronting us.

We believe in sustaining life before profit. Quakers are not opposed to business, but we are committed to ethical business decision-making and strongly urge companies to adopt best practice in considering the full social impact of their activities.

As Quakers we believe that we do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will. We seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world and work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly, with reverence for life.

Signed on behalf of Pickering & Hull Area Quaker Meeting

Phyllis Wicks, Heather Woolley, co-clerks

Further information:

Pickering and Hull Area Quaker Meeting is the body to which Quakers in Ryedale and the East Coast of Yorkshire belong. Regular meetings for worship are held at Beverley, Hull, Kirkbymoorside, Malton, Pickering, Scarborough, and Whitby.

Quakers have been worshipping in the area since the 1650s.

Quakers in Britain – Sustainability

http://www.quaker.org.uk/our-work/sustainability

Links to Pickering Quakers statement in the press

http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/features/readersletters/14550699.Quakers_dismayed_by_fracking_decision_in_Ryedale__letter_/

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/opinion/yp-letters-quaker-faith-urges-us-to-reduce-fossil-fuel-use-1-7961880

Links to previous news

http://www.gazetteherald.co.uk/news/10726781.New_heating_system_for_Pickering_s_Quaker_Meeting_House/

http://www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk/news/local/green-cottage-in-line-for-award-1-1449766

http://www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk/news/local/historical-quaker-home-goes-eco-friendly-1-1431480

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