Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Wind and solar are worst | Main | Greenpeace crackdown »

Fracking guidance

Prof Iain Stewart points us to the official geosciences guidance for the Scottish Baccalaureate. The document considers a range of projects that might be undertaken by the able students working towards this new qualification, and shows how they might present their findings.

One of the example projects is on fracking and I was amused at the range of materials this hypothetical student had considered in order to inform themselves of the shale gas extraction process. I have categorised them for you into Green, and Other.


The BBC piece is not overtly green, but enough green memes are repeated without qualification to push it over the limit IMHO.


This is, in the jargon, only an "exemplar", but I think it tells a story nevertheless.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (15)

At least it isn't 97 green and 3 other to reflect the consensus.

Jun 19, 2014 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterclovis marcus

It would be innteresting to get a serior petro-chemical engineer/ geologist to sit the paper and see what result they get. >:-|

Jun 19, 2014 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterNial

Apart from the paywalled link the other two non-green links are one page which is short and very basic and the other is entirely in French!

I am sure that others who know the subject better than me might be able to help any poor student who finds themselves here by suggesting more useful non-green propaganda links - and preferably not in Sanskrit.

Jun 19, 2014 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Very interesting.

I've just read that teaching creationism as an evidence-based theory has been banned in UK schools.
Basically that it shouldn't be misrepresented are portrayed to be more than it is.

Unlike the nature of fracking as above.

Double standards all round then?

Jun 19, 2014 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMicky H Corbett

Tells a story ?

Phew! and then some. More like a FoE acolyte orientation exercise ...

Just woeful. The brighter students might be able to inform themselves but the overarching emphasis is so wildly skewed - the received wisdom is undiluted greenie guff. Never mind the quality - feel the width.

One has to hope the unfortunates wading through this bilge to the "required answers" have a sense of humor - but the tone suggests that objective and thorough research and analysis is not what's being asked for here....

Jun 19, 2014 at 12:29 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Come on the document and not the Bish's summary. This is an example of how an interdisciplinary project might be set up. There are other examples and also oither suggested projects many of which look like potentially good studies. This particular one is for a student studying geology/earth sciences and a modern language. In the preamble to the project the student says he want's to understand the scientific basis of fracking, he will contact companies actively involved in oil/gas exploration etc. He is interested in why young people have the opinions they do, why France has banned tracking. It is NOT a list of suggested sites for students to find out good quality, factual related information on fracking. The document also gives a list of useful sites, societies, journals etc. that students might consider using.

Jun 19, 2014 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Dennis

@ Nial Jun 19, 2014 at 11:02 AM

It would be innteresting to get a serior petro-chemical engineer/ geologist to MARK the papers, and see what results they get.

Jun 19, 2014 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Paul Dennis

Having read it I agree. I jumped the gun a bit though I was talking about teaching science in general. The fracking project does have as its primary function the plan to find out what fracking is before seeing how groups feel about it.

Jun 19, 2014 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMicky H Corbett

Paul Dennis

In the internet age, kids are told from an early age to consider reliablity of sources. This hypothetical student has failed on that front at least.

Jun 19, 2014 at 1:43 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill


I'm not sure he has. His project is to try and understand public views of fracking in France and UK. If they are getting their information from those sites then it's relevant information.

If I wanted to understand the public's views on fracking and their lack of understanding I'd probably want to scan these sites too.

Jun 19, 2014 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Dennis

Strangely enough (or not strangely), the emotional drive this gives is to NOT go into a business that uses fracking.

The Universities have always been academically oriented, always backhanding the idea of private, profit-making industry and promoting "pure" intellectual endeavours. Much of this comes from the unconscious realization that most of the Professors couldn't make it outside of their college world.

Posturing and philosophizing isn't enough: when you can't tolerate and don't accept you screwed up, have to publicly retract what you previously claimed, you won't survive in the business world. It doesn't matter if what you thought was reasonable under the circumstances or from the particular place you were coming from when your project lost money.

If James Hansen or George Monbiot had to put their pension funds into what they claimed would happen, you'd see more caution and deference to observation. But neither has an incentive to avoid error. Both have an incentive to being viewed as caring, sensitive and thoughtful. Being wrong in a noble cause is socially admirable, but being wrong in a profitable cause is just stupid. The eco-green needs to have upfront skin in the game. Then we'd get progress that counts.

Jun 19, 2014 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Proctor

Advice to budding geoscientists, study Maths, Physics and Chemistry for your Baccalaureate. Geoscience will then be a walk in the park at University.

Jun 19, 2014 at 6:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

If a student wants to get a very good feel for how fracking is viewed they would do well to explore the sites of James Verdon and Nick Grealy

In the process they will also learn a lot about fracking, the tricks of organisations like Greenpeace and FoE, and how to pick holes in "academic" studies.

Jun 19, 2014 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

And if Gasland is in there, then for balance the student should be directed to Fracknation by Phelim McAleer

Basically Mr McAleer calls out Josh Fox, the author of Gasland on all the misinformation he includes, chief among which is the fact that gas was recorded in aquifers long before any well was fracked anywhere on earth let alone in the area where gas can occur in borehole water supplies.

Jun 21, 2014 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

And coincidentally, in Fracknation there is a link to the recent issue highlighted here at Bishop Hill, insofar as Mr McAleer interviews James Delingpole who points out that it would be in Russia's interest to fund anti-fracking campaigns so that Europe does not develop its own gas production in competition to imported Russian gas.

Jun 21, 2014 at 11:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>