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« A new look at the carbon dioxide budget - Part 4 | Main | NASA rewrites the past »
Monday
Aug122013

Post-truth media

In this morning's Telegraph, David Cameron has issued another call for the country to get behind shale gas.

...my message to the country is clear – we cannot afford to miss out on fracking. For centuries, Britain has led the way in technological endeavour: an industrial revolution ahead of its time, many of the most vital scientific discoveries known to mankind, and a spirit of enterprise and innovation that has served us well down the decades. Fracking is part of this tradition, so let’s seize it.

That's all fine and dandy, but take a look at what the BBC has to say in its coverage of the PM (H/T Ron).

Fracking - short for "hydraulic fracturing" - involves drilling deep underground and releasing a high-pressure mix of water, sand and hundreds of chemicals to crack rocks and release gas stored inside.

"Hundreds of chemicals". I don't think so. That is just normal BBC embellishment of the green story line.

Meanwhile Roger Harrabin tweets a link to a story from the Guardian's Suzanne Goldenberg, who enjoys a reputation for a less-than-diligent approach to truth and accuracy. Harrabin says that fracking is "the latest thing sucking Texas dry", and the story is about overuse of water:

Three years of drought, decades of overuse and now the oil industry's outsize demands on water for fracking are running down reservoirs and underground aquifers. And climate change is making things worse.

A shale well uses something of the order of 5 million gallons of water when it is being fracked. Let us compare this to a small farm, let's say of 100 acres (the average farm in Texas is 500 acres or more, but that will include ranches). An acre-foot of water is something over 300,000 gallons, so to water our small farm to a depth of two inches is going to use roughly the same amount of water, and on a regular basis too.

And according to another analysis, water use by shale wells in Texas is less than 1% of total water withdrawls in that state. There may be a case for not fracking in arid regions in times of water shortage, but that's about it.

And they wonder why the MSM is dying.

 

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Reader Comments (55)

In fact for extra info here are my meter readings from December:

Billing Date, Usage (US Gals), Cost
7/16/2013, 15000, $192.54
6/10/2013, 11000, $135.49
5/15/2013, 12000, $147.42
4/15/2013, 12000, $135.95
3/15/2013, 5000, $59.08
2/15/2013, 6000, $69.77
1/16/2013, 7000, $80.80
12/14/2012, 4000, $42.65

Aug 12, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterMD

@ Mike Jackson "Is there no way in which such one-sided reportage can be challenged since it seems to me to be a blatant breach of the BBC's Charter"

Feel free- and I hope you have better luck. I have spent over one year and several letters on this subject, only to be fobbed off with statements such as "we believe that our Editorial standards are of the highest quality and show no evidence of bias (in the area of Climate Change), having followed the lead of the Royal Society, IPCC, etc, etc.

Aug 12, 2013 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

........------> GRAPHENE <-------

Hello, anybody home?

Aug 12, 2013 at 8:15 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung 8:15 PM

I'm not up to speed on the exploitation of this stuff, Last I saw was some UK academics on a popsci TV show iirc messing around with sellotape and old school wood and graphite pencils - followed by some speculative computer graphics.... The Nobel laureates at Manchester maybe?

Perforene looks promising but it isn't something Lockheed are presently shipping - but yes - desalinating water with 1% of the present effort and quite possibly directly by solar... That carbon lattice looks like it needs embedding in a substantial substrate though - and Lockheed are seemingly struggling with that to deliver a viable real world engineered filter.

Next you know - they'll be wanting to pump solar desalinated water to the central Sahara for bioethanol sugar cane ;-)

Aug 12, 2013 at 9:35 PM | Registered Commentertomo

My opinion of the RS has never been very great, but using the concept of an imaginary golf course as a measure of water use seems remarkably far from any kind of scientific thinking considering the remarkable variation of locations and climate zones where one finds golf courses. Such silliness makes even the BBC seem almost rational.
Here in earthquake-prone New Zealand, the public furore over fracking (politically induced by loony Green hysteria) lasted little more than a few months and expired when it was explained in the parliament that fracking had been used here for decades with none of the scary side-effects claimed by said Greens.
As to de-sal plants, I suspect there may be a small number of these available for sale in Australia once they have a government that does not wedded to climate scariness.

Aug 13, 2013 at 12:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

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