Andrew Orlowski: Greens wage war on clean low-carbon renewable energy

Geothermal: what the frack is wrong with that?

The most promising renewable energy of all is making pro-renewable Greens frightened and angry. It’s geothermal energy, which taps into the natural warmth below Earth’s surface, providing an abundant heat source.

Geothermal exploitation used to be about finding and retrieving hot water – but new technology allows water to be sent into deep fissures several thousand feet down, where it meets hot dry rock, and comes out piping hot.

The problem? New geothermal techniques requires hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and environmental crusaders have convinced themselves that fracking is evil. Thanks to misleading propaganda such as the movie Gasland, campaigners fear contamination of the water table and apocalyptic earthquakes. (For some Greens, the world is a disaster movie set to loop.)

Yet the water contamination so dramatically illustrated in Gasland, with domestic water taps jetting out fire, preceded fracking by decades: it’s caused by methane much nearer the surface. The risk of small quakes, undetectable by humans, from fracking is similar to the risk posed by coal mining. And the chemical lubricants used in the process, while similar to antifreeze, are well regulated and are being superseded by organic alternatives.

But environmentalists are scoring some victories. A project called AltaRock in Oregon has been cancelled, despite environmental studies that the fracturing process was safe and posed no significant risk. A fascinating feature from the Greenwire news service captures the frustration.

The Register

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4 responses to “Andrew Orlowski: Greens wage war on clean low-carbon renewable energy

  1. We need voluntary ‘opt-out’ programs for the Green Left. All they need do is opt out of heat, refrigeration, and, of course, electricity. Maybe even wear gas masks that block inhalation of CO2. Then they can be as smug and happy as they want. Of course this would curtail their food choices, but they need only visit nearby locavore purveyors.

  2. “The risk of small quakes, undetectable by humans, from fracking is similar to the risk posed by coal mining.”

    I’m no geologist, but it seems to me that small quakes relieve stress on faults, REDUCING the chance of a severe earthquake. I should think fracking would be demanded in California.

    And what exactly is the RISK of small quakes? Isn’t the definition of small quakes those with no risk?

  3. Greens are opposed to ANY form of energy for anyone but themselves.. Only THEY are entitled to energy.

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