Struggling to feel fully informed about fracking

September 14, 2012


On the one hand, fracking has been responsible for earthquakes and creates toxic water that must be locked away interminably. On the other hand, cheap natural gas is replacing coal and thus lowering the projected greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., thanks in no small part to fracking. Furthermore, it is one of the few growth industries in America, helping the economy recover from hard times. They say the earthquakes can be avoided by better techniques, but I have not heard anything positive about the water supply. In some ways, this feels worse than nuclear fission, which provides the POTENTIAL for nasty poisoning of the environment, whereas fracking by definition requires destruction of increasingly scarce (at least here in Texas) water.

It would be trivial to find articles backing up the assertions above. But are they reputable? "Whoso seeketh out a thing with zeal shall find it" [The Seven Valleys]. Ultimately, I lack clear and objective information that I can trust. So much of what is said, including by me, is about feelings and fears, to the extent that it feels disingenous to take a real stand. That means it is time to "investigate reality"…

"The first teaching of Bahá’u’lláh is the duty incumbent upon all to investigate reality. What does it mean to investigate reality? It means that man must forget all hearsay and examine truth himself, for he does not know whether statements he hears are in accordance with reality or not. Wherever he finds truth or reality, he must hold to it, forsaking, discarding all else; for outside of reality there is naught but superstition and imagination." [Promulgation of Universal Peace]

To examine truth itself means to look at scientific facts and then apply them, along with clear ethical standards, to the question at hand. It requires looking at the totality of the impact on both people and nature, rather than the egoistic NIMBY approach we all stumble into so often, across the political spectrum. For fact, and policy implications, I will start my research with two organizations I trust to present science without muddying themselves in the waters of partisan politics – the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Nature Conservancy. And perhaps I'll attend an Environmental Defense Fund webinar this week. More to come, after some detailed reading.

PS. if you cannot help laughing a bit at the title, then perhaps you have watched far too much Battlestar Galatica :-).

image source: Open Clip Art Library.


Look back the past years vicissitudes of life, mottled picture.After falling into the earth, the pale face,Green tea.The legendary swordsman hunger drinking the snow, blowing dust.Big of land under heaven, where is my place.
The vast sea,White tea, suddenly once flourishing.Shall not know even meet,tieguanyin, dust faces, coming from frost.Love cycle, everywhere around my mind.Time rolls on you, the past to know how much?Don't hold the fate of the direction, to forget passes great hurt.
Silent drizzle outside the window,dark tea, gazing at the splash.The sword from the sword down, Riverside ripple.The water stopping when the hate when.Shear continuously, manage to return chaos.No one shows any interest in lonely and helpless. The ends of the earth, angle of the sea, everything off, the first flow of tears.Don't ask for the former, but cherish marriage, no place for soul love, sometimes as enduring as the universe, no unique period this regret shall last for evermore.