More on the fracking debate

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Following Ivo’s post yesterday there has been some interesting reaction – just scroll through the incredible list of comments, some of it useful and adding to the debate but some of it simply vitriolic. That we can do without but then it’s an emotive subject – particularly for those who believe in their own self-righteousness.

Nevertheless, there were two responses I felt worth sharing. The first was Fracking the Karoo emotions out of control by Guy McLaren, which seems largely to agree with Ivo and concludes thus:

“I support Ivo’s contention that we should not allow a few wealthy eco warriors with more money than sense to prevent growth in South Africa. These are the very same people that would rather kill an ecosystem that cull a few elephants.”

The second is one of the few anti-fracking posts I’ve ever seen that takes a reasoned approach rather than resorting to blatant emotional blackmail. Posted by Hendirk Mentz, Response to ‘Karoo fracking scandal exposed!’ tries to argue against fracking but is remarkable for the author’s own admission that he “cannot flaw [the] economic logic [of Ivo’s argument] and because I’m new to all of this cannot dispute the evidence…”

Despite that, however, it’s worth a read because it highlights two different perspectives of the debate.

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Lunatics to the left and right

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Colour me cynical but ever since they were caught red-handed corrupting scientific process to stoke the panic about “climate change”, I’ve been suspicious of the holier-than-thou green brigade – or, as my friend Ivo calls them, the ecomentalists. So when some of the usual suspects started making noises about “fracking up the Karoo“, I was suspicious.

Unfortunately, I haven’t have much time for personal crusades lately so I wasn’t able to ferret out the truth. Fortunately, Ivo did find the time and you can find the results of his investigation in his column about the subject on The Daily Maverick.

In typical fashion, the picture alongside misrepresents the situation by showing the fracking zones directly beneath underground aquifers. As Ivo points out: “Ordinary boreholes are seldom more than 100m deep. Major water supply boreholes may go to 300m. Drinkable water aquifers may occur as deep as 500m, but below this, the water is typically brackish.

“These shallow water supplies contrast starkly with typical shale gas operations at depths of 2,500m or more.”

But that’s not all that perturbed me this morning. In the other lunatic fringe here in Mzansi, we have the ANCYL, which released its “we want everything and we want it now” economic policy document yesterday. Steven Grootes has also written about it on The Daily Maverick.

Has the whole world gone crazy? I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of a song: “…clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you…”

Nuts. Between them, these idiots are doing their very best to constrain this country’s already limited growth prospects. With the “official” unemployment rate standing at 25% of the economically active population and the real rate estimated at around 44%, that can only end badly. We need to create jobs; We can’t do that without direct foreign investment. And if either of the lunatic fringes have their way, FDI is exactly what we’ll lose. I wonder how long it will take our people to lose their patience after that.