No, not the f-word that has become the habit of rolling off tongues with such ease these days! I am referring to one hell of a habit that underscores how locked to and desperate we are for sources of energy to keep our consuming habits intact, while we continue to screw up mother earth.
Fracking, a more ominous f-word, is the process associated with extracting shale gas by using a controversial technique known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking“. The name if associated to the process of fracturing rocks to release gas. And under the pretence that the oil conglomerates have our interests at heart and not their profit motives, we are informed by these very trustworthy humans (read irony here), that they are concerned with the well being of humans and the environment and reckon that a large percentage of our gas needs could be produced by this method by 2015.
What we do not hear from them are the environmental risks as a result of chemicals contaminating aquifers used for drinking water (and farming). For the process involves high pressure releasing of chemically laced water being blasted underground (deep below the earth’s surface) to break apart the rock and release gas. This is besides the fact that to even begin “fracking” wells need to be drilled! Among the oil pundits there is an ongoing quarrels as to whether fracking and drilling is the same thing or whether “fracking” is a form of natural gas drilling. Notwithstanding, they point out that nations are sitting on many “saudi arabias”, that the gas is cleaner, the process is economically viable to go after and guess what – it will provide jobs galore.
There are opposing voices. They contend that natural gas is not necessarily a “clean energy” source, and the method of extracting this fossil fuel is actually dirty. The point to the “fracking “ process as an energy and resource-intensive process. In fact, for every shale-gas well that is fracked between three and eight million gallons of water must be used. Convoys of trucks have to make numerous trips to carry the fracking fluid to and from each well site. This is besides the impact on our fresh water supply I have already noted. And, who has done any research work to explore how this and the drilling process may diminish our irreplaceable water resources?
My larger concern is the rights of future generations. We are unable to see into the future and what our actions will cause upon our children and grandchildren. We have to find ways of breaking the cycle of handing future generation lumps of toxic shit to crawl through, without enough good oxygen. We need to radically rethink our view of ourselves and the whole of creation – and especially our understanding of progress. The scary thing is that in our present economic demise, we are not thinking about this sort of re-orienting. We are already living beyond excess and for the sake of future generations we have to work together to responsibly turn the tide and this means radical change There is no other way!
copyright © July 16, 2011 [photo credit]
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