Fracking the shale that holds America’s “inexhaustible” store of hydrocarbons destroys our greatest treasure of aquifers of clean, pure water by poisoning it with deadly chemicals.

We don’t dare mine, refine and use it all anyway, because that would push the volume of awful weather disasters past the point of survival for many of the things we cherish. The only way we can give our grandchildren a chance for a nearly decent life is to stop the reckless and deadly habit of mining every molecules of carbon that will burn, and using it to pollute and ultimately destroy the world’s treasure of clean air and water.

We’ve already driven thousands of species of living things into extinction. Do you want to add humanity to that terrible list?


  1. John Armstrong says:

    Honestly, I can see us not really taking this seriously until far too late, like the man who jumped off the Empire State Building … “So far, so good”… our children will curse us

  2. Greg C. says:

    Well, respectfully, I’d suggest that further research is required before making so blanket a statement. And as Fred is someone who researched UFOs before coming down on the “this is bunk” side, perhaps it would be advisable to spend the same effort.

    On the negative side:

    Fracking requires huge amounts of water. This is problematic in areas, like Texas, where aquifers are already running dry. It’s less of an issue in, say, the Northeast or the Midwest.

    Fracking does involve the injection of undisclosed chemicals — undisclosed because operators view their particular mix as trade secrets, not wanting to give the competition a leg up. That’s unquestionably grounds for further regulation, further research, and tighter controls.

    Fracturing strata can conceivably produce tremors, though as a geologist, I don’t think there’s a huge concern here.

    On the positive side:

    Fracking has produced a huge increase in North American production of gas. Burning gas produces much smaller CO2 emissions than coal, and the effect has been to shift North American energy production away from coal and toward gas. This is a strong positive for anyone concerned about global warming. And, yes, renewables are better, but we have to get from now to the future, and relying on gas in the short term is better than relying on coal.

    And it is likely that, adequately regulated, fracking can be made a reliable and reasonably safe method of gas (and oil) extraction.

    The real problem:

    Not enough research has been done into how to accomplish fracking safely. And the fear of its opponents is (reasonably) fanned by the opacity and defensiveness of industry.

    The point is: This is a promising technology with some positive benefits. It should neither be opposed nor mindlessly supported; it should be supported, with reasonable safeguards in place.

    The difficulty is that, in this political climate, it’s almost impossible to do what’s sensible; supporters seek to suppress any sort of control, opponents seek to suppress any implementation. This is, objectively, nuts.

  3. John C. Boland says:

    Dear Fred,

    I’m going to start thinking of you as “Fred the Baptist.”

    Best wishes nonetheless.