Submitted by Karen Rademeyer, Treasure Karoo Action Group
Dear South Africans
This letter is important to you, your family and the South Africans that you know – please read it and forward it to people that you know.
Should I care whether or not South Africa is fracked?
This précis is aimed at people who have the privilege of choice: a choice to make a financial commitment to standing up against fracking; a choice to use their position and influence in society to inspire others to do so.
1. Fracking (Hydaulic fracturing)
- is banned or restricted in more than 90 places and five countries worldwide
- has only been practiced in its current form in the Unites States for about 12 years
- is enormously water thirsty – 640 million litres to frack the wells on one ‘well pad’ once
- is known to have caused pollution of underground water aquifers
- releases natural gas, a fossil fuel that significantly contributes to climate change
- has been proven to cause earthquakes
- has many more negative effects above ground, such as air, light, noise and dust pollution: disruption of agricultural activities, damage to the environment allied jobs such as the tourism industry
- is characterised by high input, rapidly depleting wells which means that they consume many resources like diesel and water and that neither the well, nor the short-term work allied to it is sustainable: the jobs don’t last
- is limited by the simple and inescapable facts of where the gas lies: it is about 5000 metres under the ground – the only way now – and in the future to release and extract that gas will be through fracking.
2. What Shell and others (don’t) want you to know
- shale gas will provide all of our energy needs – this is nonsense: they don’t know how much gas there is, and if they can extract it (see this article by our chairman on the Rhodes web site http://bit.ly/x6Bj3Z)
- shale gas is cleaner burning and therefore much better than coal: they don’t tell you that all of the emissions of diesel, methane and fugitive gasses during the exploration, drilling, fracking, extraction, flaring, refining and distribution are excluded from their calculations and has scientifically been challenged on its climate impacts (http://bit.ly/pHmfYG)
- shale gas will provide the answer to South Africa’s employment problems – not true – jobs in the United States are overstated, for relatively skilled workers and unsustainable; 400 shell wells in Wyoming are supervised by 66 Shell employees (see this report on the false jobs promise http://bit.ly/xts5fn).
3. Who and what is Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG)? www.treasurethekaroo.co.za
- established in February 2011, TKAG has emerged as the undisputed and effective opposition to fracking in South Africa. This has been achieved with private funds and the daily efforts of an unpaid team
- TKAG is a Non Profit Organisation
- our legal document prepared by the only attorney in Africa with a specialist focus on oil and gas drilling and international law – Dr Luke Havemann, is known internationally as the Havemann Report. This document is a critical review of the Shell Environmental Management Plan. The second critical review – presently under embargo – is a highly technical document, developed by our legal team and 22 scientists and environmental specialists, which will, if required, be applied as part of our litigation in the event that the minister of minerals issue any exploration licence for fracking under the current circumstances
- it was TKAG who secured an internationally publicised victory against Shell’s adverts – Shell were found to have used false and or misleading advertising in four cases in connection with their statements about fracking
- it was TKAG who stood up to the minister of minerals and secured a court order – with costs – on 9 January 2012, compelling the minister to perform in terms of the rules of court and our ongoing application in respect of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) with reference to the mystery task team
- it is TKAG who is invited by universities and institutions around the world to join conferences and to exclusively represent the opposition to fracking on platforms where Royal Dutch Shell executives appear for the oil industry
- it is TKAG who is invited to address industry seminars to represent the anti-fracking lobby it is TKAG who is invited by ETV and SABC to address its prime time television audiences it is TKAG that needs YOUR support.
4. This is what you CAN do, and what you MAY do, and what we request you TO do:
- visit www.treasurethekaroo.co.za: on the front page is a big red button (click here) that says ‘make a donation to support TKAG’ – this leads to a very simple and secure interface to make a monthly or once off donation
- create a recurring monthly payment to us: it is secure
- our bank account is managed exclusively by our accountant who handles all disbursements
- you may request and receive a bank statement of TKAG as often as you like
- make a point of sharing this document with your friends and ask them to do the same: many people standing together to support TKAG will keep us in this fight at a minimal cost to everyone.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT – WE NEED MONEY NOW TO GET TO COURT
Thank you for reading this. We have truth and logic on our side. We have no financial interest in fracking – one way or the other. Our chairman, Jonathan Deal (076 838-5150) will welcome the opportunity to address any interest group in any forum to answer more detailed questions.
Please help South Africa to avoid what has happened in the United States. There are millions of Americans who wish that they had stood up to fracking before it started.