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Worst fracking paper ever?

Richard Black's Energy and Climate Change Information Unit has published what must surely rank as one of the most outrageously misleading contributions to the unconventional gas debate since Frackland.

The image explaining the unconventional drilling process is simply jaw-dropping, with readers invited to believe that aquifers are just a few feet below the surface and that shale seams are just a few feet below that.

I had previously thought that the BBC's equivalent diagram was pretty dishonest, but that did at least mention in a very small typeface that the details were not to scale.

Take a look at the rest of it too. Black has even raised the "flaming faucet" story again, if you can credit it. Simply astonishing that anyone could be so brazen.

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Reader Comments (57)

This New York Times articles is about as good as I've seen with realistic drawings too.

Feb 23, 2015 at 5:22 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

scale ?
Stupid f***ing question. Of course we would prefer it drawn to scale. Then the people who don't understand these things might get a sort of accurate picture of what is actually involved.
You no doubt subscribe to the view that scientists have to strike a balance between being honest and being effective, honesty coming a pretty poor second in most cases where anything to do with climate or the environment is concerned — at least for the scaremongers.

Feb 23, 2015 at 9:38 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Actually, it's not a completely stupid question Mike. Technical papers will often distort the scale to show a particular process in close-up. (A scale drawing wouldn't fit neatly and legibly on a page)

But that's to an audience who already understand the scale of things and know how to read a graph. An audience who knows that fracking tight shale is highly unlikely to make any contact with the water table or cause more serious tremors than a quarry, and that it's water well drilling that is more likely to contaminate the aquifer with methane or anything else.

Feb 23, 2015 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

If the climate creeps and fanatics did not have lies and deception at their disposal they would have almost nothing to say at all.

Feb 23, 2015 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

@dc: The US Navy chiefs would do anything, as would ours, if they thought more money for them might be in the offing, I suspect! This is the chief reason AGW/CC was so easily picked up & run with by so many public bodies/figures, money on table, no principles, support the claims regardless of how wild they may be! During a discussion with a now retired Wet Office scientist, I pointed out the list of uncertainties in their models, & the AGW scientce in general, & that the WO doesn't make this clear. Said scientists insisted that they did, so I queried why this wasn't making its way to the public at large, who see nothin more than gloom & doom being pronounced, left, centre-left, & left again!

Feb 23, 2015 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

I'm presently attending an online course on fracking run by the University of Nottingham. It is a well-crafted and interesting course with some 2,600 students from 90 countries.

I sent the course tutors a copy of Richard Black's paper and the Senior Course Tutor said that ' was very poor ...'.

Feb 24, 2015 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Jones

Robert, your course is on "the politics of fracking", unless everyone teaching and attending is a completion engineer, which I doubt.
It's only "political" because anti-fossil fuel obstructionists choose to make it so, and the media, shamefully, runs with them with barely a question.

Feb 24, 2015 at 10:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

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