Tag Archives: precautionary principle

The Ethics of Fracking

By Bernhard Debatin

As controversial as it is, fracking is not often discussed in terms of its ethics. The 37 minute-long video The Ethics of Fracking, by the Scott Cannon and the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, provides a good discussion of the various ethical issues of fracking. It shows that fracking leads to a number of ethical problems and serious side-effects, ranging from the contamination of drinking water, to air and noise pollution, to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and to disrupting communities and creating long-term risks and costs for our society.

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Here’s why Ohio needs a moratorium on fracking

This is a slightly revised version of a piece that was originally published in the Reader’s Forum of the Athens News on Nov. 23, 2011.  

By Bernhard Debatin

In his column on fracking (Nov. 17), Athens NEWS Editor Terry Smith admits that he sits on the fence regarding this issue, partly out of contrariness and to provide balance in a debate that he perceives as lopsided. However, when the facts are not speaking for balance, then there’s no point in presenting a topic in a “balanced” way. Here are some facts that should inform the debate:

It is well known (and not even seriously disputed by the industry) that hydro-fracturing has a massive impact on the environment. A preliminary report from the Shale Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board of Aug. 11, 2011, identifies four major areas of concern: Continue reading