Renewable technologies represent one of the few ready and easily deployable solutions to the energy challenges we face. But as those challenges increase in years to come, what would happen if we didn't turn to that technology to meet them? What would the wider impacts be if we failed to replace the finite fossil energy sources which sustain our very way of life?
As with all questions of energy supply in the 21st Century - the issues are complex. It seems that shale gas will indeed be exploited in the UK, if not in France and many other jurisdictions. However it is unlikely to prove the perfect solution to cheap energy security that some advocates have claimed.
In the minds of many Polish politicians and the majority of the public, shale gas is not so much an economic windfall, or a new industry promising employment, or an alternative source of fossil fuels, but a mythological weapon against a mythological enemy, a gargantuan pepper spray against the bad Russian bear.
The UK government's decision to resume fracking has been welcomed by the oil industry, and widely lambasted by environmental campaigners. But to a large extent the debate about the potential of shale gas in this country has completely missed the point.