In seismic shift, Britain orders immediate moratorium on fracking
That's the Reuter's headline.
A seismic shift in position to match the seismic events - the earthquakes that have followed fracking explorations in the north of England.
Such low-hanging fruit is better left hanging on the tree. The pun on the word seismic is too cute, and better resisted.
The facts cry out for a headline that puns, the journalists might say. Well, not exactly the facts, some assert. Some say that the statement is just a pre-elction publicity stunt, and that the Government will reverse its position as soon as (if) it wins the election on December 12th.
It's a hard one to come back from, but some people believe that some Governments change their minds, or never intended to carry out their promise in the first place. They fudge evidence and show how contrary to what they said earlier, the truth is now the opposite.
A decent amount of time, a few months, other more important business to conduct, and a quiet Government statement that floats out under the wire, and fracking begins again. That's how the critics see it.
Newspapers won't be able to use the headline again. A seismic shift in intent that follows an earlier seismic shift that followed a previous course of action? No, that's too many seismic shifts. What would it have to be, next time? It would need a 'full and thorough investigation' (or some equally high-sounding phrase) that reveals that fracking is no threat to the stability of the landscape.
Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom (a loathsome person in the eyes of some) said on the radio that the Government has always been clear that it will follow the science, and that as they cannot be certain that shale gas can be extracted safely, they are imposing a moratorium until the science changes.
Until the science changes. Hah! Those opposed to the cull that is wiping out tens of thousands of badgers have the backing of science. But the Government presses on killing badgers.