Philip Wylie, the author of Gladiator, the novel of the first superhero that predated and probably inspired Siegel and Schuster's Superman, wrote a number of admonitory books during his lifetime. In high school, I read one of his last, "The End of The Dream" (1972). In it he cast a future history which ended with the world, hungry for energy, drilling into Antarctica's ice cap to uncover the coal buried deep under the ground. The fossil-fuel mad world, which he nailed, BTW, capped the seams and burned the coal in situ within the ground to generate electricity. Plausible.
The novel ended with the underground fires joining up and expanding, burning out of control. The smoke slowly built up, moving north like the wrath of an unstoppable god of hell, until the earth died under the cloud.
It was the end of a long litany of excellent *science* fiction. He extrapolated future actions of humans acting under the Law of General Stupidity, in which business always triumphs the hippies because, you know, they are hippies. You can call it the reaction of least energy expended, or simply conservative thinking - Everything Is Awesome.
When I head of fracking - it snuck up on me - Philip Wylie's sad voice came back to my memory, singing that same old song of mankind's monkey stupid snarling resistance to change, especially when there are trillions of dollars to be made digging up those ancient forests underground and setting them on fire. It didn't have to be. But it will be. America has no left, no intelligent people in power. We have businessmen. And businessmen don't do science. They do money and power. And Americans like things the way they are: the 1950's eternally reenacted, a never-changing world of cars and new houses and more and more and more... what is coming next is as predictable as those black clouds of Hell coming up from the Antarctic in Wylie's last warning. We will change the world. And it will be another business opportunity: mass relocation, new housing, new agriculture, potable water as precious as gold, cleaning up toxins, disposable houses, so so many ways to make money off overpopulation and the utter bovine imbecility of the human race.