A Fracking Mess!

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The fracking boom is promising a rich trove of fossil fuels to bolster our energy independence and take us to a cleaner energy future. But health experts say fracking is damaging communities, and scientists say the fossil fuels from fracking will doom the planet. Hear why fracking can’t work, and how we can protect our children and families from fracking risks!

With Goldman Prize winner Helen Slottje, fracking critic Professor Anthony Ingraffea, CEH’s Energy and Health expert Ansje Miller, and Professor Mark Jacobson of the Solutions Project.

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If you enjoy this episode, check out other recent episodes: with best-selling science writer Mary Roach; on food politics, GMO labels and more, with Marion Nestle and Anna Lappe; the Buzz About Bees, with Harvard scientist Alex Lu; genetic testing and GMO dogma with Stuart Newman; satire and activism with Harry Shearer; and more!

Helen Slottje was awarded the 2014 Goldman Environmental Prize as a leading grassroots environmental activist in North America, for her work fighting fracking in New York and beyond.  She is co-founder of Community Environmental Defense Council, a non-profit, pro-bono law firm dedicated to protecting communities from high impact heavy industrial uses of fossil fuel extraction activities, especially fracking. CEDC developed the first model for New York communities desiring to use land use laws to prohibit gas drilling, waste disposal and other fossil fuel extraction activities at the local level. To date, more than 180 New York communities have adopted fracking bans or moratoriums based on their model.

Anthony Ingraffea holds the Dwight C. Baum Professorship in Engineering at Cornell University, in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research concentrates on computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes, and with his students he has authored over 200 scientific papers in this area.  He has won numerous awards for his teaching, was named Co-Editor-in-Chief of Engineering Fracture Mechanics in 2005, and Time magazine named him one of its “People Who Mattered” in 2011. You can see the powerpoint from his presentation in Berkeley, CA in December 2013 here.

Mark Jacobson is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Atmosphere and Energy Program at Stanford University. In 2005, his group developed the first world wind map based on data alone. He also coauthored a plan, featured on the cover of Scientific American, to power the world for all purposes with wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). He is co-founder, with Mark Ruffalo, Marco Krapels, and Josh Fox, of the Solutions Project. To date, he has published two textbooks of two editions each and over 135 peer-reviewed journal articles. He has also served on the Energy Efficiency and Renewables advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and has testified before Congress numerous times on energy issues.

Ansje Miller is Eastern States Director and an Energy and Health expert at the Center for Environmental Health (CEH). Prior to her work at CEH, she founded and directed the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, a coalition that brought together the nation’s leading environmental justice, faith-based, and policy organizations to advocate socially just policies on climate change.

Music from this episode includes The Fracking Song, from Studio20 NYU, in collaboration with ProPublica; Poison in the Well by 10,000 Maniacs; There’s Always Sunshine by The Blues Busters; and New Math by Tom Lehrer. Also, you can see the full “Important message from Coal, Oil and Fracking Companies” here and the Daily Show segment on pizza from Chevron here.

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