From a technical perspective, one minor quibble aside, I would fully agree with you that fracced wells are perfectly safe. And that would especially be so in the UK because of the regulatory regime we have.
The minor quibble has to do with the increased seismic activity which does occur. Whilst it often would be at the imperceptible and/or perceptible but safe levels, there are areas where the sheer amount of fracking combined with pre-existing prediliction for seismic activity would make a unhappy combination. However I don't think that is at all likely in the UK context.
AIUI the issue is not that the fraccing produces the seismic event, so much as the induced fracture releases stresses present in the nearby rocks, but at comparatively shallow depths. The whole of the UK is stressed by the collision of Africa with the European plate, acting against the opposing forces from the mid Atlantic spreading ridge. These stresses mainly died away 10-15 MM yrs ago in the mid Miocene, but there are occasional earthquakes caused by the tail end of these stresses. These tremors have an origin in deep seated faults (c.10 to 15 km) completely unaffected by shallow drilling activity. The most recent significant natural event was the Market Rasen earthquake in 2008, which was 5.2 on the Richter scale, i.e. over 2 orders of magnitude greater than the 2.9 recorded from fraccing. The effects were felt widely across the UK, and caused damage of £30 million, mainly to church steeples and chimney stacks.
The UK may have signed up to the Paris accord, but as I see it, countries like the UK have no way of ever decarbonizing their economies without accepting draconian changes to lifestyle and the destruction of GDP. The electorate will not accept this - they haven't even been presented with what would be needed. Global warming may or may not be occurring. In the last 2000 years there is excellent archaeological evidence for periods significantly warmer and colder than present - evidence which climate scientists have deviously been at pains to massage from their data, affecting their total credibility.
It is frequently claimed as established fact that sea levels are rising, and currently rising very rapidly. Yet data from the UK coastal records of North Shields and Newlyn, probably the best there is in the World, shows a small steady rise in sea level, continuous for the last 100 years at least, which can be attributed to the warming of the World since the Little Ice Age. The is no evidence of it speeding up. As I see it, climate scientists are twisting their data and theories in increasingly tortuous knots to explain away these facts. The World has entered a period of pseudo-science and climate religion replacing rational thought and analysis.
dspp wrote:Fully disagree re the science aspects, you are being highly selective in your presentation of the known data.
Re the economic/lifestyle aspects draconian changes will happen in any case, these are just another package to lay on the pile.
Theories should explain phenomena, and not leave loose ends. Smaller than expected sea level rises, and warm/cold periods in the last 2000 years are loose ends which need to be explained. AIUI climate scientists have been reluctant to discuss these phenomena.
Eventually it is just conceivable that we could generate all our present needs of electricity from renewables (mainly wind), if there is suitable storage. Eyeballing the Gridwatch graphs for the last 2 years suggests that we would need 10x the current levels of renewable generation. Then there is transport fuels to replace, and space heating (both mainly fossil fuels presently). Perhaps an immediate ban on central heating might focus the public's mind on the sacrifices which will need to be made in future.