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Hidden in Plain Sight; Climate Disaster

Updated on March 16, 2015
This is a typical hydraulic fracturing rig that uses horizontal drilling in order to fracture shale containing methane.
This is a typical hydraulic fracturing rig that uses horizontal drilling in order to fracture shale containing methane. | Source
Though gas is captured by fracking, much of it escapes into the atmosphere by percolating into the ground water and up through the very cracks made by the fracturing process.
Though gas is captured by fracking, much of it escapes into the atmosphere by percolating into the ground water and up through the very cracks made by the fracturing process. | Source

How Fracking is Accelerating Unsustainable Climate Change

It's been around for several years and despite its questionable profitability, it continues and is gaining momentum around the world in juggernaut fashion. Country after country, despite opposition, is falling prey to the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) business, owing to the financial pressure brought to bear by the fossil fuel lobby. The object is to extract shale gas of which there appears to be plenty around the world. Sometimes this is even extended into the ocean floor. Much of the activity is shrouded in secrecy and controversy. Over the last several years, there has been a building awareness that is trending toward an extreme anti-fracking attitude. But business continues with hardly a glitch and to the horrific possibility that this practice can cause mass extinction far sooner than thought would occur with the given calculations made without including the results of fracking. Hereinafter it will be detailed just how nasty the whole business of fracking is and what the hidden dangers are; dangers hitherto unacknowledged, but exist in plain view to anyone willing to connect the dots. We will peel back the shadier aspects of fracking and the possible interconnections and results of unabated fracking for the world. The practice is involved with, and results in the following.

  • The “solution” of burying toxic materials including nuclear waste underground at drill sites

  • The poisoning of aquifers and the water table

  • The release of unknown quantities of methane and what that spells for the climate

  • Man made earthquakes

  • Collaboration of too big to fail business, banks, governments and war

The top five LNG producing countries in the world contribute a vast volume of methane into the atmosphere, especially that which escapes near and from fracking sites.
The top five LNG producing countries in the world contribute a vast volume of methane into the atmosphere, especially that which escapes near and from fracking sites. | Source

What if They Found a Way to Get Rid of Nuclear Waste?

Since the beginning of industrialization, there has been and continues to be a serious problem and that is all the waste produced by the process of turning raw materials into useful items, whether that is food, clothing, homes, cars, roads, trains, planes, war technology or even nuclear reactors. As the dominant economic system in the world today is capitalism, the manufacturing for profit has produced a lot of waste by-products, and, as profiting requires the cutting of costs, waste was not taken care of or neutralized as this added cost would cancel any profits made. The rivers, seas, land and air became the sewers of this waste. This problem has become so serious, new ways to hide or use all this waste became necessary, but a buyer was needed to keep it profitable. Nuclear waste used to be stored in places like abandoned salt minds, until some of it exploded and rendered the storage by that method useless. It used to be dumped into the open ocean until Greenpeace drew world attention to it. Now it is not shipped and dropped by boat, but pipelined from nuclear plants that merely pump it directly into the ocean. Otherwise, it is stored in massive tanks in the tens of thousands or remade and sold to military clients. There is just not enough storage space anywhere to store all the nuclear waste from reactors and bomb making. There is plenty of other waste as well that comes from all industrial processes and some of it is extremely toxic. Fluoride was easy as metal refining plants were able to “dispose” of it in drinking water, labelling it as healthy and a method to prevent tooth decay. Plastics are not easy to dispose of and much of that is now floating in several large patches in all oceans. Then came the frackers. Suddenly there was a market and a way to dispose of every conceivable toxin underground and more; the frackers would buy the waste, turning a by-product formerly just ditched into the environment, into a profit making opportunity. Fracking began in 1949 (1), but did not expand sharply until the late 1980s in Canada and thereafter in the US. This was a “marriage” made in hell. The fracking teams would use these wastes mixed with water to fracture the underground shale to release gas, cracking and breaking the bedrock under extreme hydraulic pressures to do so. The method is to drill down and then horizontally in the deeply buried shale that holds the gas. Those who live near fracking sites have their well water contaminated and all manner of toxins show up including various isotopes of uranium, which is a tip off by itself. Shale (2) typically does not contain uranium! This mix would percolate up into the ground water through all the cracks created by hydraulic fracturing. Uranium is so common in water near fracking sites now, that many people now invest in Geiger counters to determine the dose they get daily. In one case, a family is exposed to 17 rem a day constantly inside the house and more than that outside. But that is not all that would surface. Perhaps the worst of all is all the lost gas from millions of fracking sites around the world. According to available information, in 2009, there were 493,000 sites across 31 states in the US alone (3). This gas is methane and if you have done your homework, you can begin to see just how serious this is.

Methane is the natural gas contained and suspended in deep shale layers and this can be released by adding pressure to the rock by hydraulically “squeezing” the bedrock. This causes the rock to fracture and release methane that is extracted back up the drill shaft, which is hollow to allow injection and then extraction. The trouble is, that the fracturing allows gas to escape up through the ground and much of it is thus not extracted by the drill site. It bubble up under lakes, rivers, streams, wells, open fields and in forests. Sometimes other gases get released such as hydrogen sulphide. The water and slurry of toxic waste also percolate up and all manner of things can be found such as the isotopes of uranium, thallium, thorium, arsenic and man-made chemicals not found in nature. These wastes kill fish, plants and cattle and make people grievously ill. As a result, a swelling number of people are protesting fracking around the world, but the governments allow business as usual. From the millions of wells manufacturing light natural gas (LNG), a euphemism for methane, about 1,850 billion cubic meters of chilled gas is what is captured and sold to the international market as of 2012. It is hard to determine at this point how much of this comes from fracking and from that, how much is lost through the fractured bedrock. We have no way of knowing how many billions of equivalent cubic meters in gaseous form escape through the ground into the atmosphere due to the nature of fracturing deep bedrock, but it has to be substantial! The fact that fracturing has been implicated in producing man-made earthquakes is telling in itself. Climate change has been rapidly accelerating of late (since the late 1990s), far faster than was calculated less than a decade ago. Could it be that we are seeing the effects of rapid methane buildup that so far has been ignored due to ignorance of deliberation? It is known that methane is 84 times more effective as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and unknown quantities are escaping from fracking sites around the world. Add to this the methane escaping from the tundra, the Arctic and the seafloor and one comes up with a recipe for a quickened disaster.

With Fracking, Your Water Can Become a Source of Heating Fuel!

Global Climate Change Can Only Be Denied by the Deliberately Ignorant

Global climate change is now accepted by 97% of scientists around the world, so much so, that the Canadian government, fired thousands of environmental scientists in 2013 and had decades worth of research consigned to the flames at the behest of the fossil fuel industry. There is a battle raging as these same companies heavily involved in this Canadian invented method, hire their own scientists who deny that there is any climate change. Those who continue to protest are now identified as low level terrorists by the CIA which is of itself, a front for the too big to fail businesses. The emergence of several category five hurricanes in less than a decade suggest another story, that something serious is going on in our midst. Extended growing seasons and summers in the norther hemisphere and the desertification of California and Australia tell the same story; that the world climate is changing. In California alone, fracking has been determined to be the cause of ruining over 60% of the aquifers and drinking water there and the state is in the midst of a long and severe drought. This is ominous as California serves as the main bread basket for most of north America. The loss of species in an ocean becoming increasingly acidic, also says that something serious is afoot. It is acknowledged that carbon dioxide is the contributor and much political argument has ensued as a result, but as of 2013, carbon output world wide has increased 2.5% overall, so it is still business as usual! Add to this, unknown amounts of methane and we can see why the whole process is suddenly accelerating more quickly than scientists thought that the process would take with carbon dioxide alone. With tens of thousands of new fracking sites being built and planned, this process including all the poisoning will continue to accelerate along with the resulting climate change. In British Columbia, Canada, the government of the province recently approved the construction of 50,000 sites just for that region (4)! According to the reference, 25,000 wells have already been built in BC. With all the new methane being added on top of the carbon dioxide, we may not have decades as scientists thought, but mere years. At the current rate, the planet will cross some irreversible tipping points in the years to come and the earth could potentially become uninhabitable before 2020! Scientist have already noted accelerating climate change outstripping their prognostications over the last decade.

It is known that hydraulic fracturing causes man-made earthquakes and this has been known for decades. This usually does not make the news unless it is a significant quake beyond the usual tremors that number sometimes in the thousands around the sites. The quake has to cause significant damage that could be threatening to infrastructure like dams and to life. The fact that fracking is now being conducted in seismically active zones should be of grave concern as far as quake activity is concerned. But as usual, the entire process is done under a cloak of secrecy and above the law.

Methane Escapes From the Ground Near Fracking Wells

When Will this Madness End?

Fossil fuel giants involved with hydraulic fracturing, seek to expand their profitability by increasing the output of their LNG enterprises. There is a world wide market and the demand for this product and this is accelerating. It is the hope of many regions and countries to become energy independent by the use of local fracking. A cozy relationship exists between too big to fail companies, too big to fail banks and the government bodies that are usually is support of these as they receive the main bulk of their campaign funds and income from these two. Thus the real boss of the show, is not the legislators of laws in the government and the courts, but the big fossil fuel concerns and their financiers, both of whom look to the bottom line of the ledger instead of what real effects are happening on the planet. They are after all in denial and hire legions of nay-sayers across all levels of society. As long as the politicians are trained and hired by these companies, that is as long as this cozy relationship and process will continue, unabated and accelerating. This is a surefire formula for disaster, which is now unfolding right before our eyes.

As long as industry such as the industrial military complex produces toxic waste of all kinds and as long as they can sell their garbage to others for a profit, then that is something that is open ended, at least as long as the earth can support life until the whole process terminates all life. At that moment, all business will cease. Poisons will continue to be “buried” in fracking sites, to bubble up in your drinking and agricultural water. As long as the fracking practice continues, will be as long as we see water that catches fire, toilets that erupt fire like volcanoes, bubbling methane coming up and revealing itself in ponds, lakes, streams and rivers, dead fish, plants, cattle and human illness will increase. Temperatures will increase on earth by not just 4 degrees centigrade, but by tens! This will unleash a torrent of changes such as ever increasing violence in all storms, the expansion of deserts all the way to the Arctic and Antarctic, both of which will have melted down with catastrophic results. Methane in the tundra and underwater will erupt, sometimes with volcanic force as being seen in Siberia. Oceans will acidify to the point where calcium carbonate will dissolve, releasing even more carbon. In the end, not as far off as we would like it to be, the temperature of the earth will soar to nearly 300 degrees Celsius. The oceans will evaporate and the atmosphere will become a dense mantle of 60 bar as normal surface pressure, consisting mostly of carbon dioxide, methane and water vapour. Life on earth, except for extremophiles, will cease to exist! Fracking should have never commenced and it must stop; Yesterday!


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