We arrived at Port Elisabeth today. A long journey finally brought us to our the first stage of out visit. There is a lot of information to be studied, discussed. A lot of reports need to be interpreted and a lot of practical issues need attending to.
What is the problem then? Company want to frack, citizens start to inform themselves, citizens get ignored by government, citizens organize and demonstrate, start to deploy all the activistic and judicial means they have at their disposal, and so on… and so on….. end of story for the frack companies. A lot of the factors seem similar to the resistance in other countries. But there are also differences that complicate things.
It’s not the first time that we see that companies are corrupting the most fundamental principles of democracy. If you have seen the sequel of Josh Fox’s movie, you have seen that the traditional US political parties are corroding at high speed due to giant lobby campaigns and super pacs, thus destroying all credibility amongst citizens in out current system. The republican voter finds himself fighting the same republican politician he voted for because the politician sold his sole to the gas companies…
In South Africa a similar trend seems to be developing. Sad enough this is not the only problem. The lack of information and the grim future outlook for a big majority of the South African people, makes that they give up on politics and grasp everything the can. So along comes Shell…… Shell, with a smooth and slick propaganda campaign to convince this, mostly coloured, majority, that shale gas will bring the Walhalla on earth: plenty of jobs, “clean gas”, more jobs, refrigerators, schooling for children, infrastructure, more jobs, etc, etc, etc.
And like the CEO Jan Willem Eggink said: “100 percent save by tracking in the Karoo..”.
The perversity of using this kind of propaganda to drive a wedge between two groups in the South African society is appalling. I know that I cannot hold him personally responsible for these kind of cloak and dagger ops, but it’s time that people start “naming-and-shaming” the tactics that are used.
The last point I’ll make for today is that Shell knows that financially seen shale gas ops are a ponzi scheme. That’s the reason they selling their assets in the US as fast as they can. They way to make money is to be the first drilling in this shalegasfield to sell it with huge profit afterwards. And in 20/30 years, Shell will be the one having profited the most without having to pay for the damages….
Well, Shell is in for a rough ride in South Africa. They just don’t know it yet.
And lets be frank, it’s a weird situation to arrive in a county in the middle of the winter to find that it’s 22 degrees centigrade and the sun is shining like it were summer. I made a pic of the newest solar powerplant. The solar energy industry is developing at a staggering rate here in South Africa. There are alternatives and these will carry the real solutions and real jobs for the South African people. I didn’t pick this fight, but till then:
“We shall defend our (is)land, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the …….”