Quantcast

The Queen of Punk Tells Archbishop of Canterbury to Ban Fracking

Popular
Matt Crossick

By Yosola Olorunshola

Whether it's through fashion or protest, Vivienne Westwood is not a woman afraid of making a statement.

On May 23, she rocked up to the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury in London with a special guest—the Grim Reaper—to issue a strong statement on the Church of England's position on fracking.


The Queen of Punk delivered a report, Whitehall's Fracking Science Failure, which criticizes the Church of England for declaring fracking "morally acceptable," and for its apparent support of the government's stance on the fracking industry.

Fracking is the technique used to extract gas from shale rock by injecting water at high pressure. In October 2016, the government controversially overturned objections to a fracking proposal in Lancashire, and gave the go-ahead for energy company Cuadrilla to explore the potential of fracking in the local area.

Opponents to fracking argue that the process can contaminate water supplies, damage the countryside, trigger Earth tremors and that fundamentally, it perpetuates a dependence on fossil fuels at a time when the world needs to switch to renewable energy.

"Fracking kills, and it poisons the whole land," Westwood told Global Citizen. "The majority of people in England are against fracking."

According to a YouGov poll from October 2016 , she's right. Fracking is deeply unpopular in the UK. Only 37.3 percent of those polled supported shale gas extraction.

Still, the government argues that fracking can be delivered safely and that emissions from shale gas would be lower than coal if conducted within official regulations.

The report delivered by Westwood, on behalf of Talk Fracking, challenges the government's research, stating that it contained outdated evidence that underestimated potential methane emissions.

"The position that fracking is cleaner than coal and can help us bridge to a renewable energy future whilst helping us reach our climate change reduction targets is a complete falsehood," the report says, calling for a complete moratorium on fracking in England. Both Scotland and Wales have declared a moratorium on fracking due to concerns about its negative environmental and health consequences.

As the Church owns swathes of land across the country, Westwood warned of its responsibility to prevent environmental degradation. In 2015, the Church of England decided to divest from the two most polluting fossil fuels—thermal coal and tar sands. Yet its recent decision to "tentatively back" fracking has left many disappointed.

Appearing alongside the Grim Reaper is a dark symbol, but one that captures Westwood's daring spirit—a rebellious attitude that extends from her eye for unconventional frocks on the catwalk to her outspoken defense of the planet and its inhabitants. As well as fighting fracking in the UK, she is a longstanding supporter of Cool Earth, which works with indigenous peoples to halt rainforest destruction.

"We have to save the world from climate change," she said. While campaigning at a political level, Westwood also believes individuals can take immediate practical action to start a climate change revolution from within their own homes.

"In all my time as an activist, I explain the problem and people say what can we do. It's the first time I've found an answer. Switch to green energy. That's something you can do. It will completely undermine the rotten financial system that we've got. It will really bring in the green economy. The green economy will save us. The green economy is the only chance we've got of a paradise."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials

Simple swaps that cut down on kitchen trash.

Sponsored

By Kayla Robbins

Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most daunting areas to try and make zero waste.

Read More Show Less
Protestors and police stand on ether side of railway tracks. dpa / picture-alliance

Police have cleared 250 climate activists who stayed overnight at the Garzweiler brown coal mine in western Germany, officials said Sunday.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Cecilie_Arcurs / E+ / Getty Images

By Megan Jones and Jennifer Solomon

The #MeToo movement has caused profound shake-ups at organizations across the U.S. in the last two years. So far, however, it has left many unresolved questions about how workplaces can be more inclusive and equitable for women and other diverse groups.

Read More Show Less
Cigarette butts are the most-littered item found at beach clean ups. John R. Platt

By Tara Lohan

By now it's no secret that plastic waste in our oceans is a global epidemic. When some of it washes ashore — plastic bottles, plastic bags, food wrappers — we get a stark reminder. And lately one part of this problem has been most glaring to volunteers who comb beaches picking up trash: cigarette butts.

Read More Show Less

Andrea Rodgers, second from the right, takes notes during a hearing in the Juliana v. U.S. case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon on June 4. Colleague Elizabeth Brown sits to her left, while colleague Julia Olson sits on her right, with co-council Philip Gregory on Julia's right. Robin Loznak / Our Children's Trust

By Fran Korten

On June 4, Andrea Rodgers was in the front row of attorneys sitting before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court. The court session, held in Portland, Oregon, was to determine whether the climate change lawsuit (Juliana v. United States) brought by 21 young plaintiffs should be dismissed, as requested by the U.S. government, or go on to trial.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Seventy Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested outside The New York Times building Saturday. SCOOTERCASTER / YouTube screenshot

Seventy Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested outside The New York Times building Saturday as they demanded the paper improve its coverage of the climate crisis, Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less
Explosions and a blaze at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex on June 21. VOA News / YouTube screenshot

A fire broke out at a Philadelphia oil refinery Friday morning, starting with an explosion so massive it was felt as far away as South Jersey and Delaware County, Pennsylvania, CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

Leeks belong to the same family as onions, shallots, scallions, chives and garlic.

Read More Show Less