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Badger goes green

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badger_2087377bThere has been a lot of fuss in the national media recently about ‘fracking’; the extraction of gas from shale deposits by forcing water into the rock bed like an underground enema.

A naturally solitary and subterranean type, Badger is not sure he approves of fracking. Badger sees that attempts to cash in on the purported bonanza in America and other European countries have not produced as expected, either in terms of private profit or public benefit.

Badger is certainly unconvinced by the special pleading that suggests trapped gas is a boundless supply of energy that might save us all from freezing in our setts.

If that was the case, County Hall would be festooned with drilling equipment and the excess produced would be enough to provide each Pembrokeshire home with its own Zeppelin.

The evening news is populated by pictures of colourfully be-jumpered people who have woven their copies of The Guardian into yurts. Those camped out on vigil seem determined to prevent preliminary drilling being carried out for fear it might lead environmental Armageddon to be visited upon this apparently very green, very pleasant and very, very prosperous corner of England.

Periodically the protestors stop weaving muesli or playing their guitars to try to prevent something which is not happening. When they do so, they run into the Police, who are – with varying degrees of force – seeking to prevent damage to private property or, as the Police put it, ‘maintain public order’.

When the fracking protestors attempt to enter private property to carry out ‘direct action’, they appear to suggest the law of the land should allow them free entry. When they are prevented from entering and potentially damaging private property by the Police, the protestors claim to be unlawfully restrained.

If the protestors’ actions are legal, then the Police have no business stopping them from carrying out their proposed ‘direct action’. If the protestors’ actions are illegal, they appear to be claiming the protection of a system of laws parts of which they feel able to ignore when they feel like it.

Badger is confused. He suspects he is not alone in his confusion.

The idea of populating tracts of open countryside with drilling equipment and industrial plant is widely regarded as outrageous. On the basis that keeping something beautiful, well, beautiful is a good, Badger agrees.

But what are the viable alternatives?

Attempts to harness the tidal power of the Severn seem doomed to founder on concerns about its effect on wildlife. Wind turbines are widely alleged to be inefficient subsidy magnets that disfigure the landscape. Solar energy’s ability to deliver meaningful amounts of energy to the UK’s population is unclear. Biofuel crop growth restricts food output in countries that can ill afford to have less land available for growing food crops.

Years ago, Badger remembers a scheme to burn orimulsion at the old Pembroke Power Station. The CEGB (remember them?) said they would close the plant as unviable if permission was not granted. Cllr Brian Hall led a stormy public meeting at the Pater Hall, Pembroke Dock, at which few, if any, voices against the proposed development were allowed to be heard.

There was a furious campaign against orimulsion – dubbed ‘the world’s filthiest fuel’ – led by Friends of the Earth Cymru. Part of that campaign suggested the CEGB was bluffing when it said it would close Pembroke Power Station.

The campaign against the CEGB scheme was aided by fears raised by the Sea Empress disaster in the Haven around the time of the application and controversy.

Sure enough, the plans were called in by the Welsh Office.

The CEGB immediately gave up the application and closed Pembroke Power Station causing significant loss to the local economy.

And shortly afterward it was reported that one of the leading campaigners against the development had objected to siting a wind turbine next to a field containing his cattle.

Whichever option is canvassed has its detractors and opponents and consensus seems unlikely. Sometimes you just have to settle for whichever is the least bad option.

It’s a pity hot air cannot be harnessed as a viable energy source. It seems to Badger that, in the environmental debate, there is plenty to spare on all sides.

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Police investigate ‘Chinese government vehicle’ spotted near Puma Oil Terminal

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POLICE have confirmed that they are conducting “the appropriate enquiries” after a suspicious vehicle was spotted in the vicinity of Puma Oil Terminal on Saturday afternoon (Aug 8).

Following a tip off a Herald reporter was dispatched to the area, and saw a black Volvo SUV with three IC5 (Korean, Japanese or Chinese) looking males inside the vehicle. The vehicle had diplomatic number plates identifying that it belonged to the Chinese government.

However, a DVLA check suggested that the plates were registered to a BMW and not the Volvo they were displayed upon.

South Hook LNG security was notified as a precaution.

A police spokesman said: “Members of the public are advised to contact the police to report any suspicious activity or incidents.”

Both the UK and US governments are currently on alert following incidents of spying relating to key infrastructure, computer systems and state secrets by the Chinese authorities.

[The image used in this report is a computer generated artist’s impression.]

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Milford Haven Street Food Festival Returns To Waterfront This August

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MILFORD Haven Street Food Festival will be setting up camp at Milford Waterfront for the third year running to continue their Summer of street food tour, and with a brand new sponsor joining for the ride! Jubel Beer will be on hand fully loaded with refreshing fruity beers to serve all weekend long.

Street Food Warehouse and their team of feeders are heading back into town this bank holiday weekend, 28th – 30th August.

Cooking up a storm between noon – 10pm, the festival is split into three mouth-watering portions and is the only way to get you in the mood for summer and of course, fill you up to the brim on all of your favourite foodie delights.

You’ll need to grab your tickets beforehand, just make sure you come with an empty belly ready to taste new flavours – the world will really be your oyster. From smokin’ souvlaki to naughty nachos, mouthwatering Malaysian to chocolatey treats. Carnivores, veggies and vegans alike will be able to get their hungry hands on a range of Insta-worthy grub from all over the world!

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten that you’ll need something to tingle your taste buds and wash it all down with! Luckily, The Pop Up Bar Hire Company has got the whole weekend covered, offering all of your favourite beverages ranging from zesty Mojitos to ice-cold pints of Jubel Beer.

Two Lads Kitchen, Spicer’s Meat Wagon, Makasih and Chock Shop are just some of the street food vendors that will be attending the weekend, with many more both local and national vendors to be announced.

Come rain or shine, the event is completely free and family-friendly where you can get your hands on the most vibrant and high quality street food Milford Haven has to offer.

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Tenby: Police investigate overnight burglaries and theft

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POLICE are investigating two burglaries and a theft which occurred sometime overnight 9th/10th August in Tenby.

At approximately 2am this morning the RNLI lifeboat station, on Castle Hill, was broken into and money taken from the charity donation box.

Sometime overnight the padlock on the charity box for the Shipwrecked Mariners Society on Castle Square was broken and money taken from within.

Also overnight a window was forced open at the Denis Café, Castle Beach, and the till was missing. The till was later found with the money removed.

PC Garland said: “The three incidents are currently being linked. Having to close to deal with the clean-up of this type of incident is difficult for any business but especially so at this time. The two charities rely on donations to keep going and being a crew member of the Tenby Lifeboat I know what important work they due for the local community and for visitors who get into difficulty in the sea. I would appeal to anyone with any information to come forward and contact police.”

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