While I get what you are saying as far as "research" it's kind of like saying; "We can't know how to treat Agent Orange damage if we don't keep spraying Agent Orange -- there won't be enough data."
While I get what you are saying, I think you are using a charged metaphor. We know how bad Agent Orange is. We genuinely do not know how dangerous fracking is. Try replacing Agent Orange with, for example, "the search for the Higgs Boson", or "artificial intelligence", or some other thing that has unknown potential to be disastrous.
Fracking is a transition tech -- it's getting the last bits of natural gas and that's fine. But if we spent more money pushing the alternative energy -- which WILL EVENTUALLY be cheaper, we speed the day and time when it's more viable.
I agree, completely, though I think that's not a problem with fracking. I think the right place for that is a tax on fossil fuels to generate some friction on fossil fuel use. If you want, the collected revenue could be targeted to stimulate alternatives, but I tend to want to keep governments hands off the stimulus side (since they're so good at handing the money to their friends instead of the most promising technology) -- though I'd be more OK with the money going to government funded research, particularly if the results were put in the public domain -- like maybe cellulosic fiber biofuel research... but I digress. :)
The environment and mankind will be better off on alternative energy so why are we dragging our feet on that while making excuses for the BAD STUFF somehow getting better? It makes no sense and that's not being "entrenched" on a point of view. Solar and Wind are the future -- there is no good excuse to wait.
I agree with where your sentiment is coming from, and I think it's a good place. But I'm not sure I completely agree that we, as a society, are entrenched and waiting. We have fossil fuel taxes in place, and we are doing stimulus of solar and wind. And it's going really well -- have you seen the prices of PV panels lately? They've dropped a lot -- when I first started looking in 2008, a 250 watt panel was about $1,000. Now you can get them for under $300.
And I'm not 100% against fracking -- I just recognize it as a stop gap measure.