Fracking and Arctic drilling. Is it worth it?

 

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by Imad Gibbs

As I learn more about fracking my views become more and more strongly inclined against it. Obviously anyone with half an environmentally-conscious mind will soon realize, after learning more about it, that it is a hideous and sinister way of extracting energy for our modern lives.

Fracking stands for Hydraulic Fracturing, essentially the process involves battering rock deep underground with solutions made up of mainly water, sand and toxic chemicals. This creates fissures (cracks, or holes) in which natural gas can escape. It is then harvested and refined in overground facilities.

Now, using natural gas is all well and good but fracking is an extreme that is causing immense damage, contaminating water with chemicals. I have posted a link to more info on this at the bottom of the page. It is ruining our planet from the inside out so we can continue with our modern industrialized ways, consuming more and more every day even though we know the consequences. Some of the chemicals and byproducts of the water/sand solution are carcinogens (increase risk of cancer). Recent tests have shown arsenic as a byproduct, and most people know that is damaging to health.

Why is it acceptable for energy companies to act like we’re the last generation on this planet? Earth is the most profound thing in any human’s life, it is our everything, yet most of us have no consideration for the rock that over billions of years has given birth to us – Mother Earth.

I think the only reason methods like this are being used is because of our bureaucratic system. If something isn’t written down that it’s not allowed, companies will go right ahead and do it. Laws can take years, even decades to catch up and ban harmful processes. Meaning that these giant corporations can abuse the Earth until they are forced to do otherwise.

Another example of our planet being taken advantage of is arctic drilling, which is a huge undertaking, and potentially extremely dangerous. Shell, the innovator in arctic drilling, have assured us they can handle the risks involved, but not long before they stated this, an oil drilling rig they were towing broke free from its tug boat. Very responsible, right…?! The consequences of a spill in arctic conditions would be horrendous and not just because of that beautiful pristine white that the arctic is. Cleaning up would be near impossible; even Shell have admitted that if a spill were to take place, restoring nature back to its pre-spill state would be impossible. They may be able to do a partial clean up, but that’s as far as they could go. Shell don’t exactly have a ‘clean’ record in terms of living up to their word.

Shell have taken activist groups like Greenpeace to court, with the intention of banning them from protesting against such matters. Shell attempted to sue protesters for millions for simply blocking Shell stations. The courts rejected this absurd notion, a welcome sign that not everyone with power is equally short-sighted regarding the needs of our planet.

Hope you enjoyed reading.

– Imad Gibbs

Chemicals involved in Hydraulic fracturing: http://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used

Greenpeace take on Arctil drilling: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/8-reasons-why-shell-cant-be-trusted-arctic-20130103

 
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