Posted by & filed under Economics, Energy Systems, Health & Disease, Peak Oil, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Hungry for energy? Worried that oil is running dry and coal is getting squeezed out? Well, don’t panic — now we have gas on the menu (literally…)! It doesn’t matter where it is, or how hard it is to reach. We will just drill, baby, drill!

Hydraulic fracturing (otherwise known as ‘fracking’) is now all the rage — more, it’s the new frontier — and for good reason. It’s the hippest new way to get the energy we need to fuel our modern lifestyles. Yes, it may give you exploding drinking water and make your livestock radioactive, but imagine the fun you’ll have hosting parties — people will marvel at your flame-throwing kitchen entertainment before retiring to the porch with a cigar and whiskey to watch your glow-in-the-dark cows light up the evening like Chinese lanterns.

Strontium, barium, hydrochloric acid, ethylene glycol, butoxyethanol, benzene, methane, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, boric acid, monoethanolamine, dazomet, acetic anhydride, isopropanol, dioxins and even radium: they’re all good for you. Don’t let the chemophobes tell you otherwise. If it weren’t true, they wouldn’t be doing it! The gas people love you at least as much as the money they get from all this.

And look how carefully they do it (a better, but non-embeddable version here):

As you can see, this is all done in a highly professional and clinical manner. These people are experts and so nothing can go wrong. The concrete shown in the animation flows just as smoothly as pictured, and it sets nice and hard — all of those thousands and thousands of feet below the earth — just as it does way up here on the surface. I believe they even send actual people down there to check.

As long as you don’t inventory the entire production process, you’ll also find that the final, mined and delivered gas product burns twice as clean as coal.

Best of all, gas will reduce our dependency on foreign oil. A few more hundred thousand of these fracking wells and we can finally stop pretending to be nice to these people, since we won’t need them any more. Sure, you might have observed that natural gas is not actually a liquid fuel, and you might have even discovered that natural gas is four times more expensive to transport than oil (consumerenergycenter.org), but these are mere technicalities on an otherwise not-toooo-bumpy ride into an ever-more carbon-rich future.

Some are questioning the wisdom of taking our precious, declining, clean water resources, mixing in a chemical soup and then pumping it deep out of reach of future generations. Some are wondering what we’ll do for energy next, when we’ve slurped up the last of the gas whilst bypassing and delaying the deployment of other alternatives. But don’t forget, we wouldn’t want that ‘water’ back anyway and every generation needs its challenges, or they’ll get soft. We should not rob the next one of theirs.

We do need to transition to a low-carbon world, but please, does it have to be now? I’d say don’t underestimate humanity’s developing ingenuity. And whatever you do, don’t let government rules and regulations restrain impede the corporate citizen from bringing us the economic gains they promise. With thousands of farmers out there struggling to compete with Big Agri, what better than to surrender their land, cash in their chips, and sell out to the Big Gas ponzi profit-share scheme?

Remember, it’s better to be rich and sick than poor and healthy. Given this is looking likely to become a worldwide phenomena, I think we’ll yet prove to the naysayers that you actually can run a business on a dead planet.



Fracking Hell: The Untold Story

7 Responses to “What the Frack is Going On?”

  1. Jason Gerhardt

    For more info on the gas fracking issue, all should watch the documentary GASLAND! The good news is, the gas companies have handled their PR campaigns terribly and continue to alienate governments and people. Their motto is, ‘just shut up and take the money we offer you, while we get rich destroying your land and health’. New York State has put a moratorium on hydro-fracking thanks to a huge campaign of truth seekers, the general public, and the poor souls who were the guinea pigs for this terrible experiment known as fracking. Fracking is happening 30 miles down the road from me in Colorado, where people can now light their water on fire straight from the tap! Yum! The air quality in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas is so bad people are moving away thanks to fracking on the Barnett Shale. A small portion of Arkansas now has small earthquakes several times daily thanks to fracking on the Fayetteville Shale. Fracking is set up to be the biggest environmental catastrophe perpetrated on humanity by mega-corporations and incahout governments to date. Get educated to stop them now, and keep working to design and prove an alternative way of life is possible and in fact deeply enjoyable!

    Reply
  2. Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor

    New York State has put a moratorium on hydro-fracking thanks to a huge campaign of truth seekers…

    Hi Jason

    Note that, as per my 4th-last link above (second last paragraph), the temporary ban in New York state appears to have been lifted.

    That’s less than one month after a report came out about how much money they’re losing because of the ban (2nd-last link).

    It seems the money-seekers may have won over the truth seekers.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings….

    Reply
  3. Chris McLeod

    Hi Craig,

    Thanks for the article. It’s disturbing and I’ve read that there are companies that are considering implementing fracking in NSW and Queensland but I could be wrong on that. It beggars belief that people (ie. companies) would use this fracking process and expect no negative outcomes. When are we all going to wake up and realise that our major energy sources are non renewable? ie. Once they are used, they are gone. The only real alternative is for everyone to just use less of everything and re-start a local economy.

    Things must be desperate if fracking is considered an economically viable option for the mining of natural gas. My understanding of this fracking process is that the supply of natural gas it will produce is only a reasonably short term stop gap anyway (5 to 10 years at best). Much like strip mining your top soil, there is no future in mining energy supplies.

    Regards

    Chris

    Reply
  4. Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor

    Check these Chris:

    http://permaculturenews.org/2011/05/25/save-pilliga-nsws-largest-temperate-woodland/

    http://www.gasland.com.au/2010/10/smh-australian-mining-companies-fracking-with-highly-toxic-chemicals-near-watercourses/

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/special-features/fracking-threatens-wa-water-resources/story-e6frg19l-1226010221897

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/toxins-found-at-third-site-as-fracking-fears-build-20101118-17zfv.html

    Exactly Chris – once they are used, they are gone. And they just fool us into delaying what must happen, and delay it until any transition will become much, much harder (it takes a lot of energy to overhaul our infrastructure). As James Hansen said, “We’re going to have to move beyond fossil fuels sometime, so why not do it now?”

    I wonder what we’ll try to burn after we’ve fracked everything? Perhaps we’ll start looking at unwanted people as a new fuel resource?

    Reply
  5. pete

    Craig, I think you inadvertently stumbled on the reason for the western obesity epidemic, Soilent fuel!

    ;)

    Reply
  6. Øyvind Holmstad

    Poor, poor Poland!!!!

    According to EIA the Polish reserves at shale gas can be as much as 5300 billion m3.

    And now Poland dreams about becoming a new energy super power.

    Reply

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