Saturday, December 12, 2015

Guess What Fracking Has Done

The U.S. carbon footprint is less than that of any other developed nation. Experts attribute this, in part, to fracking which produces an abundance of clean natural gas.


  1. Before I even got to the comments, where someone posted something that hit on my thinking, the thought occurred that we have sharply deindustrialized the country. When you look at pictures of pretty much any day in Beijing, the skies are choked with pollution and people are wearing masks. China has gotten what it wanted, enormous economic growth and the power that comes with it. And they have polluted their environment to get it. This isn't rocket science.

    I see in the left the same issue I see in the right, absolutism. Militant absolutism at that. I don't really doubt the science that natural gas burns cleaner, but I do question the premise that fracking is this completely harmless technology. I don't question the reality that the yield of energy from a barrel of oil relative to its cost is hard to match with any other technology. But again, this is not without other costs to us, such as having to enrich our "friends" in Saudi Arabia who are only a couple of steps removed from how ISIS does things. These are just two examples, but they highlight the bigger point, for some reason, we are not allowed to have a discussion or debate in this country about the trade offs that come with every source of energy. This is no free lunch.

    Fracking will continue to gain popularity, until a predictable disaster occurs that can't be ignored. Fracking kind of reminds me of big jenga stack, we are essentially being told we can remove everything in the middle and there will be no disruption n the integrity of the structure we remove it from. I don't think we are really having honest discussions about the true risk reward. Just as with oil, people only care about their cost of energy at the time they use it and seldom or never consider the other costs that go into it, such as destruction of the environment, or need to keep sending out people to die in the middle east.

  2. The dangers of fracking are well documented. Risk of Earthquakes and pollution of aquifers top the list. The slight tremors caused by collapsing shale deposits are probably more frightening than they are dangerous. On the other hand, aquifer pollution is very risky. We can't live without clean water. Of course the major aquifers are well documented and it is possible to prevent damage by regulation which shale beds can be fracked and which are off limits. Oops, i used a dirty word, "Regulating".

    1. And that's my point, it's not without risk. We could set up regulation, but as the gulf disaster showed, the energy companies do what ever the hell they want. No matter what safety measures are put in place, they will ultimately be ignored either in the pursuit of profit, or because the workers will decide they are tired of following what they feel are cumbersome rules. And that's why I say that a disaster WILL eventually occur.

      Still, there is a bigger picture. The claims that fracking will free us forever from middle east oil seem quite over the top and unrealistic. As one piece of a multi faceted plan, I could see fracking being a piece of that, although I would not live anywhere near a site.