11.28.2012

Yes Fracking Way

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02044/Fracking_protest__2044314c.jpg
There's been a lot of chatter lately about "green fracking," and how some environmentalists are choosing to work with instead of against the natural gas industry to figure out whether and how fracking can be done in a way that is, compared to the alternatives, more environmentally sustainable.  Of course, such chatter is often accompanied by sneers of "selling out" by the true-blues, who believe that "green fracking" is an oxymoron.

I don't know the science or the politics well enough to weigh in - surely some will accuse me of naively buying into the gas industry's propaganda-laden attempt at co-opting the greenies' agenda - but I'm glad that there's at least some openness and some discussion by some participants.  As I've noted many times in this space, far too often people don't actually want to make progress as much as they want to be seen making progress, even to the point of doing things - like vilifying their enemies, vilifying their allies, and rejecting any exploration of new ideas - that make them look more ideologically pure but that actually retard progress.

We're in a climate - excuse the pun - in which it is anathema to compromise, to reach out to the other side, to be open to new ways and new alliances and new possibilities.  Whether the issue is deficit reduction, global warming, or energy policy, the way forward is likely to involve collaboration and openness, rather than smearing and "no fracking way" lines in the sand.

The sad irony is that I truly believe that many true believers believe that these are not just present-day political arguments but multi-generational touchpoint issues that, if handled poorly, can cripple us for decades to come.  And yet many true believers then turn around and act like they are trying to win present-day political arguments rather than being open to innovative and controversial alternatives that can get us to a real solution for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

It's what happens when "the other side" has become evil and stupidity incarnate.  But in today's most vexing issues, isn't it possible - possible enough to at least let down our guard and listen - that we need energy and effort from all possible sides?




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