How do you counter fake news? Josh Fox, an Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker known for taking aim at the oil and gas industry, has been pondering that problem for years — ever since a teenage girl screened one of his documentaries about the effects of fracking, Gasland Part II, and asked him, “How do we know what’s true?”
Fox remembers looking at her, perplexed. “Well, you say all these things about how fracking is bad and how climate change is real,” the girl elaborated, “but then we can look on the internet and see that people are saying the opposite. So how do we know?”
A new report was just published in June by the nonprofits Physicians for Social Responsibility and Concerned Health Professionals of New York, that summarizes more than 1,700 scientific reports, peer-reviewed studies and investigative journalism reports about the threats to the climate and public health from fracking. And the results are overwhelming: Fracking (or hydrofracking) cannot occur without causing harm to people and the environment.
It is long past time to navigate out of heavily government-subsidized, environmentally damaging fossil fuels and fully into renewable, clean forms of energy generation.
When one takes into consideration the entire cost of fossil fuel based energy production–from heavy taxpayer subsidies during development and extraction through to taxpayer-funded cleanup of waste, spills, and environmental damage caused by normal business operations, to human damage caused by exposure to various toxins (to both workers and the general public, which also heavily burdens the health care sector), the true costs of the entire process of producing fossil fuels, from development, to extraction, to maintenance, to cleanup, to human casualties, is staggering.
More details of these true costs will be presented in another post. Meanwhile, enjoy this eye-opening report of scientific peer-reviewed studies (1700 of them) all arriving at the same conclusion: Fracking is always damaging to health and the environment. Regardless of political party or even of nation in which it occurs: There is no such thing as “safe fracking”.