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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Liverpool Art Installation Attempts to Connect People to Fracking

From New Scientist:
Fracking hell or fracking bliss? Fracking Futures, an art installation at Liverpool's FACT gallery, gives visitors a chance to decide what they think of this controversial gas extraction technique. Its miniaturised fracking "rig" simulates the sounds, tremors and flames that a real one might produce, and appears to drill right through the gallery floor. 
Extracting gas from deep shale deposits by fracturing them – using a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals – is a hot topic. For the last decade the US has been fracking hard and fast, and many other countries look set to follow suit. Interest is swelling in the UK, and the British Geological Survey recently released a report estimating that the north of England has around 35 trillion cubic metres of shale gas buried underground – enough to supply the country for decades. 
So what would it be like to have a fracking rig in your back yard? Put on your hard hat and enter the darkened gallery, and you immediately experience a sense of unease. The noise hits you hard, a pounding rhythmic bass sending vibrations right through you. Suddenly the red rig lights up and the drill rotates down through the rubble-strewn floor. The noise crescendoes, like a jet taking off, and metallic hammering accompanies the sinister smoke rising out of the drill hole. And then, as quickly as it started, it all stops. Forlorn bird cries ring out across a pool of effluent, and random methane flares hit you with a dry wall of heat.
Read the whole article here. 

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