12/23 Update: For an update on the (un)economics of shale gas production go here, and for an update on the NY Dept. of Environmental Protection’s decision to prohibit hydrofracing, announced on 12/22 go here.
In my seventh fold posts, I focus on the nexus of the 3-E’s – energy, the environment, and the economy. After years of research, I’ve become convinced that a techno-fix to our 3-E problems simply will not scale up to meet the world’s growing energy demands, and that the best mitigation strategy is voluntary conservation. The problem, of course, is that while conservation preserves natural capital, conservation stifles the accumulation (and hoarding) of monetary wealth. Motivated to exploit nature for profit, energy companies have engaged a tactical marketing campaign in which the primary objective is growth at all costs (so long as they are not forced to pay these costs!). In this post, I hope to convince you that there is a significant risk that we cannot afford the long-term environmental and health costs associated with shale gas production. I hope that reading this post will help you see through the shale gas hype and motivate you to take a stand against the sinister and predatory practice of hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracing… pronounced hydro-frack-ing).
Let’s begin with the question, “What is shale, and why does it need to be hydrofraced?” Read more…