Poor, poor fracking. It’s so misunderstood.
It’s amazing how many people still haven’t heard about fracking, or are only superficially aware of what it is. Especially since now you can actually see the results of it from orbit. Even in New York state – an area where public water resources are most likely to be devastated by the process, public sentiment is still split almost 50-50. And although the recent release of the film Promised Land (starring Matt Damon) offered hopes of bringing attention to the issue, its early performance at the box office suggests otherwise. And it probably won’t help that the cash-flush energy industry is pouring on the public relations spigot to buy ad time that screens before the movie, right in the theater. So if you have no idea what the frack hydraulic fracturing is, and don’t feel like sitting through energy industry propaganda followed by a Gus Van Sant film, a good place to start is probably the award-winning documentary Gasland. Nothing gets a point across like watching people’s tap water catch fire. Which is one of the many disturbing side effects of fracking. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of intelligent arguments in favor of fracking. Malcolm Gissen points out that poor fracking is just misunderstood. And Kevin D. Williamson points out that we need to face our frack hysteria. And then there’s the website ResourcefulEarth.org, which points out that “the shale gas revolution is firing up an old-fashioned American industrial revival, breathing life into businesses”. The problem is, these intelligent people are basically shills. Malcolm Gissen says in that article that he considers himself an environmentalist, but his only significant pursuits for the last decade have been in investment counseling. And Kevin D. Williamson is a writer/editor with the National Review. He has a book on Amazon, and in the description it says the book will explain “how the ideology has spawned crushing poverty, devastating famines, and horrific wars. Lumbering from one crisis to the next, leaving a trail of economic devastation and environmental catastrophe…” Sounds like an anti-capitalist tree hugger rant, right? Well, it would, if the the book weren’t called “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism” . And that website referenced? As is so often the case these days, if something is really bad for you, there are plenty of front groups paid for by the people who don’t give a shit about anything but their bottom line to tell you that it’s not. And the breezy “green” design style of that site masks the fact that it’s operated by the “Competitive Enterprise Institute”, which which SourceWatch points out has long ties to tobacco disinformation campaigns and climate change denial. So as you ponder the cases presented by the experts on either side of the fracking debate, you might want to ponder the expert’s motivation. Who knows. Maybe the indictments and record $4.5 billion penalties in the gulf oil spill case have made energy exec’s hearts soften to the value of human life and a clean Earth. I mean, they have nothing to hide, right?