Fracked, to Death


David Mardakhayev, Reporter

It’s no secret that oil makes the world go around, seeing that it powers just about everything humans need. The thing people don’t hear enough about is fracking for natural gas. This is the boogeyman for the environment. It’s the not so silent polluter of water and destroyer of the Earth. It is perhaps one of the worst things humans are doing to the planet, which we call home.  Little to nothing is being done to stop the hydraulic drilling. Fracking is a horrific thing done for money, but what exactly is it?

In short, fracking is a process where chemically fused water and sand are blasted at intense pressure through a tunnel that is dug down and then horizontally. The water blasts the rock into cracks and the sand keeps the cracks from closing. The result is oil and gas being expelled all throughout the rock. The water is pumped back out of the tunnel and the precious substances can be acquired. After all is said and done, the hazardous fluid is pumped back in and sealed. The problem that rises from this immediately is the contamination of drinking water. There are over 700 possible chemicals that can be used in the process (most of which are toxic) and fracking companies refuse to reveal the true recipe of the concoction. Another quite obvious danger of the use of fracking is the sheer waste of water. In addition, the possible future contamination as about 8 million liters of water are used during a single operation. This is enough to satisfy 65,000 people’s water consumption for a day. Finally, the process offers a huge risk to the environment through the expulsion of greenhouse gasses. Methane is one of the main results of fracking, and it is one of the more dangerous of the greenhouse gasses. The process requires an immense amount of energy and must be done constantly, because the sites are exhausted quite quickly. It has even been observed that earthquakes are traced back to the extreme fracking of the Earth below.

Fracking is a truly selfish act on the planet that can not be ignored any longer. As the human race’s need for oil and energy increases, so does the destruction of the planet. There are a variety of much safer and more sensible ways to obtain our necessities such as solar and wind power. The more the Earth is fracked, the more humans are doing to destroy it in the long term. If this goes on, natural resources will surely be completely exhausted, drinking water will become scarce, earthquakes will become a true problem, and future generations will be punished for our mistakes.