Shale Gas: Jekyll and Hyde

Last week, we encouraged you to watch the 60 Minutes piece on shale gas extraction. We've included it below for you to watch again. A lot of the issues we've discussed on the show were front and center. From the need to reduce carbon emissions to the national security/military issues associated with oil to the dreadful costs to communities and ecosystems in terms of water pollution and truck traffic, this feature gets into a lot of the things we've questioned our guests about.

What do you think of Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon's statements comparing Drano and frack water? If we are willing to clean our drains in our own houses with toxic chemicals, why not do it in a massive industrial process? If we use lawn killers and other toxins in our everyday lives, do we have the right to go after natural gas companies? What's the difference?

Sierra Club director Michael Brune argues that natural gas is the future and it has to be more tightly regulated. Some of our guests think it can't be. If he's right, do we have to deal with our own Jekyll and Hyde? What do you think we should do to make sure this is done "the right way?"


  1. Certainly. Perspective is gained by simply doing your best, and starting somewhere. If people were to take on the gas industry as a means of creating the psychological space required to remain entrenched in their unhelpful household pract...ices, that would be a problem. To whittle away at ignorance, people often are inclined to start with something external. Luck and personal crisis may eventually bring them to their own behavior.

    Remember that idea of interdependence, what exactly does it mean? Who comes first, us or them? Who makes the first move? So much stuff, manufactured matter, while it's available to us, seems virtually essential to our existence. This world, as defined by commerce and industry, is first and foremost disposable by design and our desires. When much of this stuff is gone, in a meaningful way I'm not sure it is missed much. We find other distractions.

    You get rid of the toxin where you can. Go to the source. It's easier that way. To bring a poison into your home is not rational right? It is living blindly. All this crap within the household is processed through an often distracted, prefer not be present kind of mindset. These poisons are our pills.

    Peter, your question makes me want to run to Abbey. He always regarded himself as part of the problem. As part of that problem, he loved his life and fought long and hard for preservation of wilderness places. He needed lots of space, and the self preserving qualities of wilderness to be the flawed man he was. If he waited untill he cleaned up his act, he never would have started.

    If interdependence is what matters, we as individuals absolutely don't have the right to simply dictate what others do. We do however have the responsibility to protect the land, water and creatures we live with.

  2. The above comment is referencing Edward Abbey.