Fracking, the whole story please?

Fracking, the whole story please?
I believe that BP have secured a deal to start hydraulic fracture mining operations in our beloved Karoo region.

If you don't really know the what "fracking" is, then before chanting along "Ban fracking, renewables now", read about the process - the benefits and negative consequences to get a better idea of the bigger picture.

A rough synopsis is that miners use water mixed with sand an a few chemicals to hydraulically force small fractures in rocks. The fractures release fuels that aren't easily mined using traditional mechanisms, but at the same time release hazardous gasses and liquids that affect the ecology. Three interesting things I learned from the Wikipedia article are:

1. Fracking can release radioactive gas! What?!
2. Fracking may be less hazardous than traditional mining. Really?!
3. Fracking may be more hazardous than what we're lead to believe. Probably.

So, as you can see from the above, I'm pretty conflicted and don't really know what to believe. For an interesting illustration of fracking dangers, take a look at It'll help to explain why fracking in an arid region like the Karoo may be a really bad idea.

5 thoughts on “Fracking, the whole story please?

  1. Paul

    Post author

    That’s quite hectic hey Jenna. What’s interesting is that they seem to indicate that the actual fracking process isn’t the issue, it’s rather the mining operation in general. So I guess there’s some merit in the claim that mining in general is really bad for the environment.

    I wonder how safe fracking would be if one manages the waste and emissions effectively, and if the mine is built properly so that the fuels are’t leaked out into the lower ground water.

    What’s tough is that our demand for fuels constantly increase, and, it’s *our* demand. So what does one do? Use more nuclear fuel? Not sure hey. :-/

    Perhaps Tony Stark could help us out here.

  2. Paul

    Post author

    It’s difficult to know what to believe Stefan. On the one hand one shouldn’t believe the people making money from the process, and on the other hand if you pick any mining topic – coal, nuclear, etc. there’s always a group that bandys together, exposing the bad aspects.

    It’s a tough thing to work out. Perhaps we should stop making babies and reduce the increasing demand for fuel. :-/

  3. Jenna

    It’s intense. I don’t think I trust them to “build it right” as contaminated groundwater seems to be the norm everywhere that there is fracking. I think the fracking process needs to be rethought. We have so many amazing minds, surely one of them can apply themselves to finding a solution to make it safer for the communities involved, and still mine for the gas needed? Easier said than done, I know, but we seem to be at war with each other without thinking about solutions. It seems to be all about who is right or wrong.

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