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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Conflicting Viewpoints on the Anti-Fracking Rally in DC

The opposing sides of the fracking debate have
dug in their heels
Can fracking supporters and fracking protesters agree on anything?  Obviously, the answer is no.  Both groups share one thing, though:  a stubborn determination to spin everything that happens in a way that supports their existing viewpoint.

At this point I don't think any more evidence is really even needed to show that this is true, but nonetheless, the anti-fracking rally in Washington D.C. last week provides further proof.

Ask the fracktivists about the event, and they'll tell you that it was a stirring show of the overwhelming anger and public concern over fracking.  They'll tell you that 5,000 or more concerned citizens showed up, representing the grassroots movement against fossil fuels and the gas industry.  They'll marvel over the...umm..."facts" presented about fracking, such as the claims that it causes anything from breast cancer (despite the fact that this claim has already been debunked) to contaminated water (despite the fact that the EPA just clearly stated that testing shows no contamination from drilling in the fracktivist-established ground zero of Dimock, PA) to climate change (despite the fact that the U.S. is leading the world in annual percentage decrease of carbon dioxide emissions, largely due to increased use of natural gas) to tornadoes (not sure where this one originated).

Ask the industry about the event, and they'll tell you that police estimated that there were actually about 1,500 people there, not 5,000.  They'll tell you that the pictures make it look like even less showed up.  They'll chuckle at the fact that the rally featured mostly anti-fracking celebrities like Josh Fox and people from New York, where no shale development is taking place, gathering in Washington D.C., where no shale development is taking place.  They'll focus in on the arguments that they can fight with scientific research and studies while downplaying the emotional stories of people who claim that fracking has caused horrible things in their life.  They'll liken the gathering to hippie festivals, and laugh at guys like this:


Both sides will continue to spin everything.  Everyone else - all of the people who just want to know the reality of fracking and find the balance between fear-mongering and promises of economic rejuvenation that has no ill side effects - just have to sit back and watch.

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