It’s increasingly in the news, on the blogs, and on twitter and it’s scary, bad, mad, radioactive and going to poison your children. Or not.
What is it? It’s “Fracking”.
It sounds bad, and the film “Gasland” makes it look even worse. Halliburton is one of the service companies that does it too, so it brings apocalyptic shades of the Iraq war, shady plots for global domination and evil men subverting the rights of native peoples everywhere.
However, don’t panic yet. Fracking has been in use in the oil and gas industry for decades, and while shale gas fracking is a slightly different process most of the scare stories you’ll hear are mostly just that – scare stories.
Fracking looks set to replace MMR vaccines and mobile phone towers as the trendy scare of the year. Expect lots of anguished and alarmist views in the next six months. Depending on how the Irish media treat it that might become the next six years, but we’ll have to see about that.
Should fracking be regulated? Yes.
Can it go wrong? Yes.
Can it turn (in the slightly paraphrased words of one commentator) all of the Lough Allen area into a desolate wasteland? Ehm…No.