"Did you know that the word fracking doesn't exist?" I asked Fred, my cat.
"Well when I first heard it, I thought it was another term for those 4-letter words that have numerous names," Fred said.
I explained that fracking is really short for hydraulic fracturing which involves the injection of fluid into earth. The fluid acts as a pressure to cause a crack or to further open up already existing cracks with the goal of extracting gas, oil or release heat.
"Oh my," Fred said excitedly, "fracking may not be a word but it still has salacious connotations."Confused, I asked Fred what he was talking about.
Fred said, "well look at the words you used to describe fracking: injection, crack, pressure, heat and to that I'll add earthquake, which is associated with fracking. Look at all those words and then tell me why fracking is not something that I can say really fracks us."
I turned my head first from left to right and then vice versa. I bobbed it up and down. I decided that it was not twisted, after all.
"Okay Fred," I said. "You have the floor. Please explain yourself."
"I'm just a cat. How would I know anything about fracking. But there's one thing I know. Scientific studies have proven that a huge reservoir of water caused the magnitude 8 earthquake that literally and figuratively rocked China killing about 80,000 people in 2008."
"What's that got to do with fracking?" I was exasperated and just about ready to bang my head against the wall.
"Simple, the weight of the dam caused pressure on a fault line running under the reservoir and triggered the earthquake. Similarly, the pressure fracking injects on the ground can disturb the earth's strata and cause earthquakes, whether or not an area is within the so-called Ring of Fire, which by the way is where we in Hawaii are. Scientists have observed that there have been a lot of earthquakes recently in areas that have not been earthquake-prone like Texas, Ohio, Colorado and Arkansas, until fracking was introduced to mine for oil or gas."
I looked at my cat with new eyes.
"You see," Fred explained as if to a child, "we delude ourselves into believing we can improve life by making basic necessities like fuel available when what we are really doing is endangering life. We are so fracked up we frack ourselves!"
(The 2008 earthquake in China)
(Fracking can cause earthquakes)
(Fracking in Hawaii)
- Ariel Murphy