TED Conversations

Ernesto Villasenor

Social Justice Fellow, LA County Education Foundation (LACEF)

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Are the short-term gains of hydrofracking worth the short & long term burdens of environmental/social injustice, as stated by the industry?

The reason why I pose this question is because, as a social science researcher/student within the STS field, such technology has posed questions with regards to risk assessment and how the industry perceives the disparities created by unconventional gas extraction. In addition to this, I've personally traveled and have done extensive research with respect to unconventional gas extraction in the Tri-State region (West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania), where the environmental and public health burdens are abundant to say the least. Issues of public health, environmental degradation, disenfranchisement of rural communities- all come with an economic cost, both in the short-run and long-run. Although there are no industry-neutral publications and/or research conducted in this field (there is little research available that has been conducted without favoring the industry), it has been an issue in the US and elsewhere in the world where energy independence dominates the conversation with regards to the environment and public health.

What are your thoughts on hydraulic fracturing?


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      Apr 16 2013: Mark and Brian

      A similar thing happened locally in the city of Hinkley. It cost the customers of PG&E 333 million dollars. Note PG&E simply raises the price of their service to cover the cost. The causality remains dubious 50+ yr later.

      A worker got sick when first experimenting with X rays with Tesla. He did not know that x rays would cause sickness. But look at how many lives were saved by experimenting with x rays.

      Anecdotal stories are not science.
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        Apr 16 2013: It's funny how you use the Tesla example on this one. It only involves one individual and one discovery.

        Fracking involves communities and tens of thousands of people being affected, all for a short-term energy gain that is not sustainable in any way whatsoever. Is it worth it? I don't think so.

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