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My gut feeling about fracking:

Displaying poll results.
It's just fine for all involved
  1940 votes / 7%
It's mildly bad, but worth the risks
  2651 votes / 10%
Not sure whether risks outweigh benefits
  7557 votes / 31%
The risks clearly outweigh the benefits
  8945 votes / 36%
I'm sharpening my monkeywrench
  3161 votes / 13%
24254 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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My gut feeling about fracking:

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  • by manu0601 (2221348) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @12:37AM (#39610603)
    It seems fracking could be done safely. But since the companies doing fracking are here to make money, we can trust them to cut corners whenever it can save money. Fracking will go wrong, and water supplies will be polluted with toxic compounds. We have a long backlog of industrial pollution to be confident about this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @01:29AM (#39610757)

    As long as the energy companies agree to resettle anyone who wants to leave the affected area, and permanently truck in water to the people who don't want to leave. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the science or the methodology, but stop externalizing the costs to the government when it has to resource a muni water supply because the water is flammable.

  • Re:Who to trust (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @01:48AM (#39610809)

    Communism is not known for massive environmental messes. Definetly not.

    Capitalism to a great extent is about private property rights. If fracking is as bad as it is supposed to be and the US is as "capitalist" as it is supposed to be someone should be able to take energy companies to court and win damages. Assuming the facts are being presented right and private property is respected.

  • Re:Who to trust (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @03:46AM (#39611097)
    You're naivete is so cute! The current USA version of "Capitalism" is about the rights of corporations. The more money you have, the more indulgences you recieve. As a citizen you are more than welcome to take your most hated energy company to court, present the facts correctly, get steamrollered by the small army of lawyers the energy company keeps on retainer, and after a few years find yourself thoroughly defeated in court as well as financially ruined from pursuing the court case. Fun stuff!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:34AM (#39611607)

    Actually, in both Airlines and construction companies the % chances of most risks are VERY well known and deviations from those statistics will cause investigations. And, if the investigations come up with anything, a new procedure or policy will be created and implemented, via either the WCB or FAA.

    The problem with the oil industry is that they "assume" nothing will go wrong and then do everything in their power to hide any side-effects when something does (so all we hear about are the really big screw-ups).

    Construction is probably the highest risk of the bunch to human life, but anyone working has some basic idea of what that risk is and whether it is worth doing it and what equipment can be used to reduce that risk. What are the risk factors for frakking? What percentage chance does each one have? What body will be responsible to ensure the risk levels staff at acceptable levels? Who will be monitoring surface and water conditions before, during, and after to ensure no permanent damage is done? Who is going to pay for damage that could occur years after the process is done?

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:34AM (#39611763) Homepage

    Oh be quiet. Such rationality isn't allowed here. This is Slashdot, in a fracking discussion!

    On a more serious note, this is exactly right. There is no consensus, but there are a lot of pundits willing to say anything that hasn't been disproven yet, and that applies to both sides of the debate. Bottom line is that we really don't know enough about what's going to decide anything, but most indicators are that the process itself is safe, and the vast majority of environmental damage can be traced to stupid behavior already known to be bad (and usually illegal), like dumping wastewater into rivers.

    What's missing at this point, besides a consensus, is regulation. This "hydraulic fracturing with directional drilling" is a new technology, and legislation hasn't caught up with it yet. Many of those known-bad practices aren't banned (in a fracking context), so they persist. Legislators and regulators don't want to make any rules regarding fracking, because it's political suicide. If the rules ban only known-bad practices, they'll be criticized for being too lax; Ban fracking outright, and run the risk of being too strict when a consensus is reached.

    Personally, I'd be fine with fracking happening close to me. Since I live near the Marcellus shale formation, it's probably coming soon. I do hope some more thorough studies will be done first, and some sane first-step regulation, but that would require sanity from politicians.

  • by Teun (17872) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @10:58AM (#39612399) Homepage
    The oil and gas industry understands the risks quite well, after all fracking is being done daily and for many years.

    The recent uproar is caused by the lack of regulation in the US, the Bush Jr. government helped the oil companies by scrapping existing environmental responsibilities and some of the companies used this new freedom at the expense of the local population.

    Human activity always comes with an associated risk, even in a regulated market. But the things that happened because of recent US fracking would be unlikely in a better regulated market like the North Sea.

  • by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @03:13PM (#39613615)

    Kind of this.

    I'm sure fracking can actually be done in a completely safe way, with well-controlled risks and some aggressive mitigration strategies. But since "we can't stand in the way of business!" has for some reason become a pseudoreligion, apparently this means we should absolutely turn a blind eye to very serious environmental impact concerns - especially as they relate to things like the sustainability of aquifers and drinking water reservoirs (which is what prompted the whole thing with GasLand in the first place). Solutions like "let's just truck in bottled water" are not solutions at all.

  • by Grave (8234) <awalbert88@hotm a i> on Sunday April 08, 2012 @05:00PM (#39614095)

    The same can be said of global warming - even if the reports and studies are being reviewed, prudence dictates that we should take every measure we can to ensure that we are not the cause of climate change. Erring on the side of caution is all well and good until someone powerful stands to lose money.

  • by MaXintosh (159753) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:57PM (#39614973)
    To quote the great, late Carl Sagan,
    I try not to think with my gut. If I'm serious about understanding the world, thinking with anything besides my brain, as tempting as that might be, is likely to get me into trouble. Really, it's okay to reserve judgment until the evidence is in.

    I don't know enough, for and against, to make a reasonable decision. And I'm not in a position to effect change, even if I had an opinion. I think it's better for me to leave the debate to the real experts, instead of trying to prognosticate from my armchair. It's a crazy idea. It just might work.

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis


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