Fracking is an enormously divisive issue in the UK, and the debate is only set to heat up from today, as the government has opened up the bidding process for fracking licences in the UK.
Around half of the UK’s total area will now be open for fracking (click the link to see the map of where is open for licensing).
Not sure where you stand on fracking?
These three videos give you all sides of the argument.
A balanced explanation
This handy animation from YouTube channel Kurzgesagt (a team of journalists, designers and musicians who want “to make science look beautiful”) explains the process of fracking in basic terms, then goes on to describe the advantages and risks.
It’s a decent balanced overview that will get you up to speed in a few minutes.
Then, if you want a more details on the process of fracking…
The pros – and the technical explanation
This animation from oil company Marathan Oil Company takes you right inside a well and goes into the nitty-gritty of how the gas is extracted, the engineering processes of the well, and lots of other interesting info on how it all works (if you happen to like geeking out on detail, that is).
But it’s also completely biased, as it’s produced by an energy company. That means most of the voice-over about the various stages of the drilling process are peppered with things like “completely safe”, “in line with government regulations”, “far away from drinking water”, “so as not to contaminate the area”, and so on.
Bear this in mind as you hear these views, then get the other side of the argument with the video below.
Josh Fox’s 2010 documentary Gasland, all about the fracking industry, became an instant classic among documentary buffs. And for good reason – it’s a searing account of the terrifying potential health and environmental risks associated with fracking, featuring flammable tap water in people’s homes and frightening accounts of ill health.
This is just the trailer, but it gives decent insights into why many people are worried about fracking in their local area. It’s well worth watching the film in full if you want to find out more about the potential risks of fracking – and why there seems to be a lack of research into them.