Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (2 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   1 comment

OpEdNews Op Eds

How to Frack Your Cake and Eat It Too

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 3 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 11/14/13

Become a Fan
  (22 fans)

Although Limerick admits the wisdom of employing the precautionary principle, by which one eschews actions that might bring unfortunate or unwanted results, she reminds us that scientific research will never relieve citizens of the burden of making difficult decisions without possessing all pertinent information.  How very true, although politicians at national, state, and some local levels appear determined to relieve citizens of making any decisions at all about O&G development. 

When it comes to public health, experts speak in terms of probabilities of risk, estimating the probability of something happening, while individuals may take potential risks on a much more personal level.  Limerick rightly points out the prevalence of 'confirmation bias'--the tendency to incorporate only data that confirms what one already believes--as Simon and Garfunkel said, to see what you want to see and discard all the rest.  This is truly an easy trap to fall into.  (Here is where I must point out that Limerick has a remarkable tendency to adopt optimistic O&G-industry assurances that they will do better despite continual evidence to the contrary.  Projection?)  And she urges caution on those who make predictions, such as from a mere decade ago, when the US was in a position of energy dependence with a declining rate of production for both gas and oil; my, how things have changed.  However, one thing hasn't changed, and that is this country's morbid and dire dependence on gas and oil, a dependence that is only deepening here and spreading with hurricane force around the world. 

Limerick addresses all of the factors listed above.  But there is a larger factor that neither she nor FrackingSENSE speakers choose to question.  What effect will this new reliance on natural gas have on climate change?  As Bill McKibben says, when the low-hanging hydrocarbon fruit began to decline, we could have taken that as a sign to begin switching our energy focus to sun, wind, thermal--clean and renewable sources of power.  Instead, we turned our attentions to ever-more-remote and difficult-to-access sources of the same old hydrocarbons as we tear the tops off mountains, plumb ever-deeper and more-frigid waters, destroy subsurface geology, and scrape away arboreal forests for what lies beneath.   

How about the probability of catastrophic climate change if we continue chasing and burning hydrocarbons?  That is a probability that some would say is irrevocably personal. 





*  Patty Nelson Limerick is Faculty Director and Chair of the  Board of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, where she also is a professor of history.   

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

Dr. Dial is a psychologist and medical illustrator who for well over a decade has worked as a freelance medical and science writer and editor. She is an editor for OpEdNews, having contributed a number of articles to it about hydraulic fracturing, (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Seeds of destruction: It's NOT just about food

Who Turned Scientific American?

Who the Frack's Really in Charge?

Why Barack Obama Does Not Disappoint Some Folks

Fracking: Water Issues--Colorado-centric, but applicable to all

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Fracking but Should Be Afraid to Ask

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

It is admirable to keep an open mind while accruin... by j dial on Thursday, Nov 14, 2013 at 4:58:13 PM