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Enviro-Mental
Sand Causes Cancer, Say British Fracktivists

Green activists have found a new way to villainize hydraulic fracturing in Britain: claiming that sand, one essential component of the sluice pumped at high pressure into horizontal wells to “frack” shale, will give people cancer. The Times (of London) reports:

[Activist group Friends of the Earth] distributed thousands of leaflets asking for donations to help stop fracking. The leaflets said fracking would expose communities to chemicals that could cause cancer because it involved “pumping millions of litres of water containing a toxic cocktail of chemicals deep underground . . . [which] could end up in your drinking water”.

The leaflet said that the group had already helped people in Lancashire prevent fracking by Cuadrilla, the company which had two applications rejected by the county council this summer. When Cuadrilla complained to Friends of the Earth that it did not use toxic chemicals, the group replied listing the evidence on which it based its claims. It wrote: “We understand that Cuadrilla used a significant amount of sand to frack the well at Preese Hall [in Lancashire in 2011]. Frack sand tends to contain significant amounts of silica which is a known carcinogen.”

By this logic, greens ought to be calling for the quarantining of beaches—to hear these activists tell it, the sand you’d be tanning on there would be as big a cancer risk as the UV rays you might be soaking up.

This kind of campaigning isn’t unique to this specific green group, either. It’s part of a pattern of behavior employed by the modern environmental movement, in which sober analysis of important policy decisions is overrun by overwrought and often emotional rhetoric—baseless fear-mongering. For a group that prides itself on being joined at the hip to science, greens show a remarkable tendency to ditch the facts when it’s convenient to serve their point, and this latest sand-causes-cancer campaign is a great example of that.

The world needs a better, smarter green movement. Environmental concerns pervade a wide host of issues, and our planet deserves a better class of champion.

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  • lurkingwithintent

    “The world needs a better, smarter green movement.” Good luck with that.

  • Dale Fayda

    At the risk of sounding highly redundant… LIberalism is a mental disorder.

  • Dale Fayda

    At the risk of sounding highly redundant… Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  • http://geocurrents.info Martin W. Lewis

    The world has a “better, smarter green movement.” It is called eco-modernism, and it is championed by the Breakthrough Institute. Its manifesto can be read here: http://www.ecomodernism.org

  • Rick Johnson

    ‘It’s part of a pattern of behavior employed by the modern environmental movement, in which sober analysis of important policy decisions is overrun by overwrought and often emotional rhetoric—baseless fear-mongering. For a group that prides itself on being joined at the hip to science, greens show a remarkable tendency to ditch the facts when it’s convenient to serve their point.’

    TAI can write this while it continues to swallow the Great Green Global Warming Scam. You guys are really stretching your credibility.

  • PennsylvaniaPry

    The green movement, as largely constituted right now, is concerned about the environment about as much as Black Lives Matter is concerned about inner city violence.

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  • Terenc Blakely

    Once you realize that hardcore greens despise humanity and view them as a plague upon Gia then their behavior starts to make sense.

  • iconoclast

    “The world needs a better, smarter green movement.”

    That certainly would end the AGW scare too.

  • AnneG

    When I read these things I cannot help but be cynical. Do you think Friends of the Earth gets paid by the Arab oil producers, like that British MP or by Tom Steyer who is protecting his hedge fund?

  • http://winterings.net/ Alex K.

    Silica is carcinogenic only in the sense that regularly inhaling sand dust is unhealthy. This fact has been known for ages: fracking is hardly the first area of activity involving large amounts of sand. The greatest risks associated with fracking lie elsewhere. Improper disposal of used water, especially if contains toxic chemicals (although it is possible to frack without them) is one potential hazard. It is real. The silica scare is merely fear-mongering.

  • Jeanne_DeVoto

    Frack sand tends to contain significant amounts of silica which is a known carcinogen.

    That is the most scientifically stupid thing I’ve read this week. Sand (not just “frack sand”, whatever that is) is made of silica! It’s what we call granular silica! The Earth’s crust is mostly silica! Oh noes, we live on a carcinogenic planet! Rocks have been declared dangerous by no less a scientific authority than Friends of the Earth!

    The world doesn’t need a smarter “green movement” so much as it needs fewer idiots.

  • Stephen W. Houghton

    These are the sort of people who get worked up about Dihydrogen oxide.

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