Fracking follow-up

Arguing over whether people actually read stuff before commenting on it (they don’t) is so last week, and thus it’s time to add a couple more thoughts from my fracking post, which was ever so trendy (like Lewis Pugh was last week).

Firstly, there were a couple (literally two) objections to my use of the term “bunnyhugger” to describe those of a green persuasion. Now, I rebuffed these objections by questioning exactly what could be insulting about saying someone cuddles rabbits. But apparently, it’s a derogatory term. Aside from the fact that perhaps I wished to be derogatory, I would point out that “bunnyhugger” is merely a derivative of “treehugger”, which is a common term by which environmentalists refer to each other. See environmental website, for example.

Putting this neatly in perspective: I have called people worse.

Secondly, I found another good (fairly well balanced) article about natural gas and fracking. Since these sort of articles seem to be few and far between, I thought I would share it. It’s from MIT and weighs up the needs, the pros and the cons of natural gas and shale gas extraction.
Give it a read – at least until you get to the first bit where it says natural gas is good, then you can stop and throw rocks at me.

Thirdly, we may all be saved from fossil fuels forever anyway, thanks to the all new, all singing, all dancing (disclaimer: it neither sings, nor dances) artificial photosynthetic leaf:

The artificial leaf uses nickel and cobalt as catalysts to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen by facilitating oxygen-oxygen bonding.
Oxygen and hydrogen molecules are then sent to a fuel cell that can produce electricity. If the device is placed in a one-gallon bucket of water in bright sunlight, it can reportedly produce enough electricity to power a house in a developing nation.

The one immediate flaw I can see in their plan is that many people in developing countries don’t have buckets.

Oh, or water.

Finally, a word of caution from Dilbert on green technologies:

And did you know it’s illegal to have wind turbine in your back garden in Cape Town?
It must be true, because I heard it on Cape Talk last night.

9 thoughts on “Fracking follow-up

  1. Thanks for the link to the article about natural gas and fracking. It’s so hard to find unbiased resources online. I’ve got a phonecall with an executive manager of the Geographical Association of South Africa later this afternoon to clear up some technical details later, but it seems as though unless you speak to someone who is knowledgeable in the field but not involved with either side, everything you read/hear should be considered skeptically. Shot for doing just that.

  2. kelltrill > Absolutely correct on all fronts. How to find someone who doesn’t have a direct opinion? I haven’t found a way yet except by extensive research (which I really don’t have time for) and pure good luck (I may have used all this up).

  3. All this talk of fracking is getting me hot under the collar.

    Signed Heather Mills
    CEO Vegans for Fracking

  4. The artificial leaf idea is expounded upon in Ian McEwans latest novel “Solar”. I had no idea it was a valid solution. I’m impressed. *puts bucket back over head*

  5. Emil > Thanks for the heads up. Done.

    Pugh’s speech may have been “inspiring”, but that is simply because it was full was desperate stretches of imagination to get the audience onside.

    While Shell is certainly no angel when it comes to clear speech – and, who knows – perhaps (probably even) truthfulness, Pugh used his position and the audience to enhance the emotionally-driven scaremongering that those in opposition to fracking have relied on to get the numbers behind their campaign.

    “It’s absolutely ridiculous what they want us to believe!” exclaims Janet above.

    It is, Janet – but who are “they”?

    There actually is no choice “between gas or water”, Eskom uses 1000?s of times more water each month than Shell will in the entire process.
    Has that taken us back to the conflict of the Apartheid era, Lewis? Will Shell being turned down lead to complete countrywide peace? No. That’s BS.

    And yet people lap it up – anxious that others should not be brainwashed by Shell – they are being brainwashed by Mr Pugh.

    WAKE UP!

    You are actually absolutely right in your last paragraph: “we don’t need to be concerned about fracking as it does not cause pollution. The fluids are like handcream. Nothing will go wrong. There will be no contamination. Unless of course something goes wrong.”

    That’s because fracking is just like every other industrial process on the planet. Just like the processes that produce the petrol that got 99% of the people to that meeting, just like the electricity that is powering their computers while they are reading this.
    And yet they still drive and they still power their PCs.

    I am not, repeat not, standing up for Shell here: I am merely standing up for people being informed honestly, logically and without the cherry-picked information that people are being fed by both sides.

    You point out how Shell choose what they tell people. You neglect to acknowledge that Treasure the Karoo and Lewis Pugh are doing exactly the same.

    My post on the subject from last week:

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