The mainstream media let its bias hang out yesterday in the Associate Press’ story by Kevin Begos about health impacts associated with fracking and natural gas development.
Please click over to EarthBlog to read about it.
The Associated Press claims that science reporting, especially in matters of public health, must be held to a very rigorous standard. Which, if true, would be easy to respect. But that rigor is only applied to one side of the fracking debate.
Mainstream Media How To for Report on Fracking:
- Fracking impacts. APPLY RIGOR HERE
- Anecdotes to make fracking look safe: DO NOT APPLY RIGOR HERE
- Give false choices
You will have to read the EarthBlog post for the details but here is a nice slideshow of natural gas production adding soot and nitrous oxide to our air.
And here is a slideshow of wind and solar adding nothing to our air.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Heather Cantino says
Note the affiliations of the “ecological” economist quoted — MIT and a Brookings Institute program for economic growth [sic].
Begos uses Brookings every time.
Great illustrative slides but you do complain of bias and your wind and solar pics only show the end results. Would you also let this comment stay forfolks to see this link
I work in China currently and I assure you, the impacts as as bad as shown here. Not saying gas is good, just being upfront that Wind solar do hurt people elsewhere.
Most of the slides show the energy forms in operation not the lifecycle impacts but I can show those. There is no energy source that is without impact.
When I got my solar panels, there was a conversation on this blog about the impacts from manufacturing them. The solar company readily admitted that there are impacts from the manufacture of the panels and they have vowed to work on lessening those. Contrast that with the oil & gas industry and their refusal to ever admit even the slightest impact.
Once the panels are manufactured, they sit up on the roof for 20 or more years and emit NOTHING. Natgas certainly can’t say the same. It pollutes air, water and soil from beginning to end. Plus, there is the climate factor as I mentioned here http://www.texassharon.com/2013/08/05/its-the-methane-stupid/
All they’re going to tell you is that you should put a well in your backyard and see what happens. They aren’t interested in a two-sided debate where the true costs of BOTH sides are measured, so good luck with that. This kind of pollution that is created is only one aspect of the true cost of renewables that will sometimes make it’s way through liberal media filters.
Granted, renewable energy IS this world’s future (and even people in the energy industry know this); but they want to shove it down everyone’s throats that the energy industry is destroying everyone’s lives, tell you that people around well sites are getting cancer and rashes because of drilling and push an agenda that it really is possible in the year 2013 in REALITY to completely change our energy mix, eliminate fossil fuels and survive on renewable energy. Come on.
So it’s okay for the fracking industry to shove their facilities down our throats, ruin our property value, damage our health, water and air and refuse to make us whole?
Hey, IT’S THE METHANE STUPID. Your industry makes no attempt to operate in a responsible manner. You bully people and cut corners at every turn. The one thing that we can count on is the opposition will grow in direct proportion to expansion.
Yeah. Come on.
Alberta Neighbor says
“Damage to health” has never been proven and is just a scare tactic. Out of all of the people in the world that live next to wellsites you find someone that gets a rash, migraine or cancer after drilling has commenced and claim that it MUST be due to drilling activities. You have literally posted on your blog about someone that got a rash 3 months or something after drilling started and inferred that it must be due to drilling. If I had a dollar for every time you have relied on circumstantial evidence I would be rich.
“Damage to the air” I recall a massive study (which you subsequently debunked on your blog, of course) that came to lots of conclusions that did not fit your agenda, such as the reality that emissions are not present in harmful levels outside of the immediate drillsite area. Does the industry emit harmful things into the air? Yes, of course it does. Do planes, trains and automobiles? How about nearly every other industry? Next time you’re on 635 in a parking lot, I mean traffic jam get out and smell the fresh air. Are there some people that have temporary rigs near their homes and have no choice in the matter? Yes, there are. Will there be some people that have permanent windmills near their homes and have no choice in the matter? Yes.
Damage to water, again, circumstantial evidence. There is evidence that methane and other gases have existed in water tables and migrated to the surface well before fracking ever started. Do I think that in SOME cases (out of thousands and thousands) a casing failure allows harmful products to the surface? Yes, I do think that it happens in some cases. There’s going to be a cost no matter what form of energy is your flavor.
I do think that the regulation of the industry in some aspects is too lax. I do think that companies should be held to higher standards in some areas. But I also understand how dependent this country is on fossil fuels and why we became so dependent in the first place. I understand that there are costs associated with any energy you choose. I understand that in the long term our energy mix is going to shift from primarily fossil fuel use to a more balanced approach with renewables. But I also understand that, while being far from perfect and in some cases capable of being detrimental to certain people’s lives, fossil fuels are bar none the most economical, simplest way for humans satisfy our need for energy at this point in history. Did I say the absolute cleanest? No I didn’t. But unlike you, I am looking at the issue from more than one perspective (telling me that renewables are as economically feasible and efficient as fossil fuels on your blog doesn’t count, that’s just dumb).
Wow! Thank you so much for this informative comment. I just might highlight it as the gashole comment of the week.
I think I remember another comment from you. …something about sandpaper?
Alberta Neighbor says
“You have literally posted on your blog about someone that got a rash 3 months or something after drilling started and inferred that it must be due to drilling.”
There have been a lot of “someones,” and it includes much more than rashes. Thank goodness Sharon is documenting and sharing with the rest of the world what’s really happening to families in the oil and gas fields (sacrifice zones) that were once communities. Her blog is a massive record and resource, and she graciously helps families and citizens world-wide to connect the dots.
Bringing the impacts to our attention, documenting them and helping families who share their hell and pain is very important, because we all know industry’s penchant for settlements and gag orders will soon ensure we won’t hear any more from families about those impacts – like they never existed. Until the companies move-on to the next community, and the cycle of abuse starts anew.
“I understand that there are costs associated with any energy you choose.”
I don’t think the costs of this frenzy have yet been fully realized, but thanks to Sharon’s blog, we can sure see how they’re starting to add up.
“But I also understand that, while being far from perfect and in some cases capable of being detrimental to certain people’s lives, fossil fuels are bar none the most economical, simplest way”
How cavalier, “capable of being detrimental to certain people’s lives,” obviously doesn’t include yours – for now.
Luckily Sharon has a big blog, and a big heart – isn’t it nice to know her door is always open, even for you Iowup.
Damage to health might be easier to prove, if doctors weren’t under gag orders, court cases sealed tight, etc, etc.
The industry has 100% power over every aspect of every situation. They don’t have to report all chemicals used. They don’t have to answer to anyone. They have completely lax “regulations”. Need I go on?
We once were told tobacco was safe. Ditto Agent Orange. Asbestos.
Right. No harm. It’s all good. Except when it isn’t.
Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe says
The plain meaning of this statement:
“But I also understand that, while being far from perfect and in some cases capable of being detrimental to certain people’s lives, fossil fuels are bar none the most economical, simplest way for humans satisfy our need for energy at this point in history.”
Some people must suffer so others can have artificially cheap energy.
Your claim of “thoughtfulness” evaporates as soon as we have the discussion implied in that statement: who suffers and who gets to determine who suffers.
Like so many, he doesn’t suffer. He only participates in the cause of suffering. They come on here trying to justify what they do so they can live with themselves.