Manufactured “Rally Tally” Debate Rages Only Under Pink Skies

The Sound of 10,000 Feet Marching

I’ve been curious why the lamestream media has been slow to cover the Stop The Frack Attack! rally on Saturday in DC. After all, there were several thousand protesters. (I was there, I counted them.) Then I was reminded that no major news network, not even CNN, covered the largest public protest in Japan’s history earlier in the month, either – 100,000 people opposed to more nuclear power for that Fukushima-shocked nation. Similarly, the media ignored ensuing protests in Tokyo, though the story was finally picked up by Reuters and The Washington Post after protesters vitalized a key gubernatorial election there. Has ANGA threatened to pull their eight billion ads? Philip Bump examines the troubling phenomena of an under-performing media willfully ignoring the news in A Weekend Of Protests Barely Makes The Papers on Grist.org.  

Days later, news of the world’s largest anti-fracking rally to date is finally surfacing. Still very little from major outlets, though. Even MSNBC’s liberal darling Rachel Maddow had a pro-gas guy on her show last night. Richard Muller, the same MacArthur genius from Berkeley who only recently came around to accepting the science of global climate change, said, “The biggest thing is to switch away from coal, and to the one thing that can replace it in the poor countries, which are going to produce most of the carbon dioxide, natural gas.

The “one thing”? As in the only thing?? Not solar? Nor wind? Nor hydro or geothermal?

To her credit, and my dismay, Maddow replied with characteristic fecklessness, “If we can figure out a way to do that without causing earthquakes and lighting our drinking water on fire, I think a lot of people would follow you down that road.

Yeah, well, too bad “safe fracking” remains an industry fantasy.

5,000 People Unite In DC To Protest Fracking by Stefanie Penn Spear, HuffingtonPost.com

‘A Contaminant To Our Democracy’: ‘Gasland’ Director Josh Fox Warns Of The Dangers of Fracking aired on Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer, Current-TV,  July 30, 2012,Current.com

Thousands Gather For Stop The Frack Attack Rally, Sierra Club Compass

Thousands Converge in Washington to Launch National Movement Against Fracking by Sabrina Artel, alternet.org

Thousands Gather For Stop The Frack Attack Rally by Occupy RFK, Jr. in White Plains, NY

Stop the Frack Attack, Washington DC, CNN iReport by Scott Cannon

Talking To A Wall?
Despite the slow but steady coverage, John Krohn cast his doubts on the rally headcount in a petty little post on Energy In Depth. Everyone knows that EID is an industry front-group who deploys industry dollars to promote their dirty fossil fuel agenda and further shale gas slopaganda. It was typical industry tactics, written to mock a valid, burgeoning movement and serve as a red herring to distract attention away from the message that was so forcefully delivered by thousands in DC.

Krohn’s bluster hardly seems worthy of comment. That didn’t stop me, however. The fact is, the shale gas industry has an inherent problem, and it’s not merely with their PR. Their product pollutes. And at least fractivists don’t have to pay people to show up at events! When considered objectively, EID’s manufactured controversy only helps to spark more interest in this growing global movement, and leads one to wonder, just how big is this thing? And how big is it gonna get? For every fractivist who showed up on Saturday, there are five more of us at home. So thanks for that, John.

Walls Have Ears
The real question is whether or not to bother commenting on posts and articles which lend voice to gas industry lies. It takes a lot of time and effort to continually dispel their slick, expensively packaged claims. When I suggested that we “simply ignore this schmuck” on a facebook thread, I received this thoughtful response from Marcellus Shale Protest:

The power of a grassroots movement isn’t MONEY. it’s the # of engaged & informed bodies that the movement can rally on an action, be it a protest, letter writing, at the voting booth. That’s why I encourage you to read the drill shills’ propaganda & comment on it. That’s how they’ll know that our numbers are growing, that we’re watching, that we’re NOT GOING AWAY.  Gloria

Hear that, Gloria!

Visit: MarcellusProtest.org
UPDATE:
Thousands March On Gas Lobbyists, API To “Stop the Frack Attack”  on Liveleak.com

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13 Responses to “Manufactured “Rally Tally” Debate Rages Only Under Pink Skies”

  1. Debbie Ziegler Lambert Says:

    You spoke to what we all were thinking……Thanks :)

  2. Judy Muskauski Says:

    Thanks for a great article. I was also compiling the list of articles and was disappointed but not surprised that it was omitted by the mainstream media. I also saw a post today that hit the nail on the head……WE are our own Media! Rock on!!

  3. Judy Muskauski Says:

    If I run into it again, I’ll send it to you. It was soo true and that’s why the comment stuck in my brain. I wish I could remember where I saw it???

  4. Tom Says:

    I disagree with responding to EID shills. I think it is a waste of time to respond to their posts. Who are you going to convince otherwise about the truth, whether it be rally numbers or the safety of fracking? I suggest that they are speaking to a very limited number of people who all share their views and won’t change them. Let them speak to the wind and save your energy to educating the average public who can have an opinion that will matter and will grow the movement.

  5. Isabella Says:

    Given the exponential growth in global energy demand projected over the next few decades I bet we will need ALL energy sources….but, are you not aware that geothermal wells are also fracced?

    • Liz Rosenbaum Says:

      Thanks for you comment. I agree, it’s staggering when you consider how much energy we consume. We also waste a lot. The US electrical grid wastes an average of 52% of the power produced before it reaches the market. That’s compared to a 24% average in EU countries And we all know how wasteful consumers can be! Conservation should be top priority but I don’t think “all of the above” is a real energy policy.

      Also, it seems misleading to say that geothermal wells are “fracced” as they do not require the use of toxic chemicals as in the horizontal hydraulic fracturing method used to drill for shale gas. But you’ve sparked my curiosity and I plan to learn more.

  6. Isabella Says:

    Liz . Glad you’ll look into it. That’s the sign of someone honestly seeking knowledge.
    .I think you’ll find the fundamental physical process used to crack rock using a liquid (fracking or fraccing or hydraulic fracturing) -whether in old vertical oil and gas wells or horizontal shale gas wells, or hydrothermal wells, or even these new shale oil wells is the same basic process. The difference is perceived to be the orientation of the drillholes and the amount of water each uses. But…..the amount of water used to make a certain unit volume or rock crack is the same in any method. The vertical wells only crack open a small area. Horizontal wells crack open a larger cumulative area but in small increments? The problem is that the engineering geeks in the oil companies couldn’t explain the process in simple terms to save their life.
    Let me try from what I’ve read ( not enough I bet… but I try)
    In essence, you squeeze water (which is non brittle and incompressible) out of small holes perforations in your drill casing ….and you keep squeezing for a few minutes or hours until the surrounding rock (which IS brittle and slightly compressible) fails.The water moves into the rock and makes tiny cracks…like those Hollywod movies where the dam is about to fail. The whole process only takes a few hours to make the cracks after which no more water or chemicals are used and the well is left to flow to surface.
    The chemicals used in the frack water don’t dissolve the rock or make wierd chemical reactions to liberate the gas. They just change the physical properties of the water to make it pump out easier for a few days and flow back easier over the course of a few days. They mix sand in the water to keep the tiny cracks wedged open after they stop pumping the water. If you don’t mix the sand, the cracks like to inherently close once the pressure of fluid pumping stops and” self seal” the rock
    Gas can only move veeeeery slowly through the rock so in unfracked wells you never get enough of a gas rate to make a profit (and thats what those companies wantisn’t it?). In fracked wells, the cracks made by fracking create a short cut, so gas suddenly can move into void space in the crack and flow faster. So you get a sudden rush of gas. That big initial rush goes down really quickly (in about a year) as gas further away from the cracks still has to fight its way through un cracked rock to the crack …but as the surface area of a crack is way bigger than just a drill hole you always get more gas than in an unfrocked well. Fracked wells then flow that gas for decades as the rock slowly depressurizes. Because you have made a drill hole in the pressured rock and are draining the gas as fast as you can you create a pressure low. Everything in the rock…gas, AND leftover frack fluid flows towards it, not away from it. With time, that effect only gets stronger as you reduce the pressure around the hole and your cracks even more.
    In geothermal systems it is different in that the idea is to make the cracks go from one well through the hot rock to another nearby well. You then set up a system where you constantly inject cold water in one well. It’s heated by the rock and comes out the other well as hot water or even steam. That part is different from gas and oil wells as in geothermal systems you constantly need to inject new water. But you still have to crack it with Franck fluid and prop the cracks open in the first place.

    • Liz Rosenbaum Says:

      wow – thanks for the primer! I really do want to foster an objective, intelligent discussion, so I appreciate that you took the time. Certainly every energy source has a downside, but geothermal sounds like it produces a lot less waste water and methane. I still think I’d prefer power from a geothermal well, And wind, and solar.

      Isabella, nothing would make me happier than to find a truly safe way to extract shale gas (just how much there is a whole other debate!) But given that over 7% of the cement wellbore casings meant to protect aquifers fail right away, and ALL will fail in about 100 years, and and one of them could sheer apart in a large enough earthquake – regardless of what causes it. – I don’t think we’re there yet. And it’s wildly unjust that anyone finds themselves living in a “Sacrifice Zone” while drillers and the DEP figure it out. A moratorium might sound crazy to you, but I think EarthJustice’s Deborah Goldberg put it succinctly when she said something like, “We need to let the science catch up with the practice, and the regulations catch up with the science.” The public needs to fully engage in this conversation! We need a viable, long-term policy. Just sayin!

  7. Isabella Says:

    But yes…some of the stuff they mix in to change the water is toxic in one concentration or another and they use a lot.

  8. Vic Says:

    As I visit your sites I learn and process information and research it. many times I have read on anti blogs that “It is a waste of time to visit and blog on pro sites” This show me that there is no willingness for the anti to sit down and educate themselves further then gasland, That the truth and facts are irrevelant apparently as you blindly refuse to see that natural gas is presently America’s best energy choice

  9. Liz Rosenbaum Says:

    Seeing Gasland was just the beginning for me. Since first seeing it over a year ago, I’ve been eagerly seeking more information, trying to discern “fract” from fiction – not that easy considering all the rhetoric! I do read pro-gas sites, though I often find my comments and sincere questions are not met with civility. We’ll probably never see eye to eye, but I appreciate that you commented here. To quote pro-gas, pro-environment author Seamus McGraw, “The two most dangerous chemicals used in fracking are adrenaline and testosterone.” Would that they were the only ones used!

    • vic Says:

      Liz If you truly want to sit down and discuss this I would be happy to meet you somewhere public. And civility will be the norm! about the 10,000 feet …. I have seen and heard them myself, I watched them march to war,Thousands did not return, many more did without sight, limbs, or the ability to function. I marched with them and it was all for foreign fuel. http://vimeo.com/2687577 There is so much destruction of our planet I see fracking as a way to slow it down, not fix it nothing ever will, even if we returned to the land and got off all fossil fuels there would be no trees left with so many billions now burning wood, chaos would be the norm and mayhem and murder will be worse then any war. fantasy I think not, reality.

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