Tag Archives: seismic events

Frack Off

If you have never heard of “Fracking”, that doesn’t mean you’re a fracking idiot. It just means the oil and gas lobby – you know them, close cousins of the “there is no confirmed link to cancer” tobacco people – have done their job.

Fracking is a fast growing and much loved process to more effectively rape our disappearing planet.

Take an area that contains natural gas trapped in shale. The gas has been captive for aeons. It clearly wants out, right? I mean, how will I competently BBQ if we don’t release this poor imprisoned vapour for me to use?

Now let me start by saying I am a pragmatist. We use and need things like natural gas to make our lives a bit easier. If dinner required me to make unaided fire for cooking and heating, my house would be a cold and salad-eating domain. So I am not about stopping all drilling and digging for all things.

But there has to be a point where it’s simply not worth it.

Fracking is that point.

Take literally millions of litres of water – add sand – and up to 150,000 litres (40,000 gallons) of chemicals – and pressure inject it into the earth. This causes the shale to fracture and release the gas.

30% to 50% of this nefarious fluid cocktail is then left behind, for future generations to enjoy.

But please don’t worry. It’s perfectly safe, according to the oil and gas industry. It is just co-incidence that no fracking gas executives live anywhere near an operation.

It’s also just hippy hype and pseudoscience that geologists discovered a link between fracking, and Oklahoma’s largest recorded earthquake in 2011. Oh, and please ignore the fact that between 1970 and 2000: seismic events in the fracking capital of America, the Mid-West, averaged 21 per year. In 2011, there were 134 events.

Maybe it is perfectly safe. Maybe all these chemicals leeching into the groundwater will do no harm. Maybe it’s just coincidence that seismic activity has gone up by 600%. After all, it’s just about the wonderful, clean, healthy natural gas. (Cue soft music and swaying trees by a river.)

The oil and gas lobby must truly think we are all fracking stupid.

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