I don’t Fracking understand this shit

10 May

At first I thought my email inbox was encouraging abstinence.

Upon closer inspection, however, I discovered that an unopened email was in fact inviting me to sign a petition against FRACKING in Ireland, not that other less savoury but much, much better word. It was from avaaz.org. Oh those pesky internet activists again! Trying to dismantle injustice and attempting to solve our political and social problems by hoarding peoples’ signatures! The mail alleged that the ridiculously-named Pat Rabbitte, our minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is just one good coaxing away from reversing his opinion on fracking in Ireland. But what the frack is fracking anyway?

My initial reaction, including facial expression and hand gestures.

Turns out it’s a slang name for Induced Hydraulic Fracturing. Good heavens! Such a technical term. Reminds me greatly of Leaving Certificate geography, for which I shall never forgive it. I vaguely remember that hydraulic action was involved in the process of creating waterfalls: it was the force of the river water on the riverbed and the land around it. But that was geography and it was also SHIT I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO STILL REMEMBER considering I ditched that subject as if it had killed my entire family and was running after me with a chainsaw, yelling “I am going to murder you!”. Slight exaggeration perhaps, but go home.

This is Leaving Cert geography.

Induced Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking really is much easier to say/type) is the propagation of  fractures in a rock layer caused by the presence of pressurised fluid, which is done to release petroleum, natural gas and other substances for extraction. In short, it’s the injection of liquid into the ground to cause schisms which release gas and petrol. Ireland has a plentiful supply of natural gas buried trapped underground and Minister Bunny Rabbit is contemplating allowing foreign companies to install fracking plants around the place.

A fracking plant in Blackpool. Dystopian industrial nightmare or just what we need?

What the Easter Bunny may not be aware of is that fracking is apparently risky business. While we no doubt could do with the investment of those aforementioned companies, fracking is an unconventional process which has been linked to earthquakes in the UK and USA. Furthermore, a recent study by Cornell University states that natural gas extracting by fracking could be worse for the climate than coal, which is really saying something, as coal is dirtier than an Indian restaurant that ran out of toilet paper. Harmful gases like methane could also potentially be released through fracking.

Yes, other things release methane too, you know.

Although we could surely do with the gas itself, and I’m aware these foreign businesses provide a financial incentive for Minister Rayman Raving Rabbids to welcome them to Ireland, I’m too wary of the environmental concerns to support fracking. Oh look at Mr. Eco-Warrior here, attacking anti-environmentalists over the internet WHICH RUNS ON ELECTRICITY. Why don’t you just send a fucking carrier-pigeon if you’re so worried about the environment, huh? Well, Mr. Smartarse, while I’m aware of the possible hypocrisy, I do not think adding to the problem is going to make it better. So STFU.



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