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Medical Science Needs to Teach Fractivists a Lesson

January 17, 2012

Medical science is almost unbelievable.

When I look at the progress medical science has made in recent years, I am at a loss for words.

Artificial organs and body parts, human kidneys created in labs, deadly diseases cured, organ transplants, curing deafness, fixing destroyed bones with titanium, prosthetic limbs, the list goes on and on.

Medical science has drastically improved the quality of life for people all over the planet with their advances. This is a proven fact.

Each person cured of polio, enabled to walk again due to hip replacements, enabled to hear because of cells or cochlear implants, enabled to live because of organ transplants or fabricated organs has a debt to pay to Medical Science and their advances.

These may be the most impressive feats of human ingenuity in the history of mankind. We have family members with us because of medical science.

As Jack Handy would say, “Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself. Basically, it’s made up of two separate words — “mank” and “ind.” What do these words mean? It’s a mystery, and that’s why so is mankind.”

Mankind is a mystery.

This brings me to my point. Medical Advancement is celebrated because of its benefits. BUT, there is a cost and a high cost at that.

Before any medical practice is approved and integrated into medical practice, there is a ton of testing. A ton.

Millions of rats, mice, cats, chimps, and people have experienced negative side effects, gotten worse, and outright died in the name of prolonging life or improving the quality of said life.


So, what if we decided to look solely at the risks of medically related scientific advancement and none of the pros?

We would never witness a baby hear for the first time, or see legless men run fast, or watch as a man without his own heart walks around the world with a fake one.

We would never be able to celebrate as Mat Hoffman, a BMX legend with the LARS Ligament (a synthetic ACL) nailed a no-handed 900 at the X Games.

For reference, that procedure was illegal in the US. It was done in Canada without anesthetic. He understood the reward outweighed the risk.

If we looked at the Cons without ever looking at the Pros, we could very easily come to the conclusion that the progression of Medical Science isn’t worth it.

It is reported that 20% of Americans have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. With a population of 307.0066 million people, that number represents 61,401,320 people. Looking at this number alone, can we say that narcotics, sedatives, tranquilizers, or stimulants are all wrong? Should we ban their use nation-wide?

No. That is ridiculous because we know their benefits.

In a recent conversation with Fractivist @WaterCitizen on Twitter, despite almost a week’s worth of efforts, I could not get him to have a conversation about Hydraulic Fracturing that included both the “risks” and the benefits. Check my Twitter feed @TheFracDog and see for yourself.

How does that make any sense? It is not a real conversation. Hopefully the parallel with Medical Science will illustrate that point.

The practice of Hydraulic Fracturing has created tens of thousands of new jobs while sustaining millions of present jobs. Hydraulic Fracturing enables unemployed people to earn an upwards of $70,000 a year out of the gate. Think about how many foreclosures this prevents. Think about how many people will not be going bankrupt as a result. Think about how many children will have college funds, a roof over their heads and clothes to wear, how many farmers will not have to sell their multi-generation farms.

Think about the prospect of Natural Gas removing a dependency on imported oil, how many people will gain wealth as a result of profitable leases. Think about the overall economic impact. Think about the massive amounts of money that these companies donate to local schools, charities, and scholarship programs.

Think of the current state of the American Economy and think about how Natural Gas could do a great deal to aid in its recovery.

This isn’t about money although it has been labeled as such. The only people to benefit aren’t solely the O&G Executives. Whoever reports that is disregarding quantifiable information.

Now imagine with me why a Fractivist would be unwilling to discuss the benefits. Explain why they want a one-sided assessment of risks?

I will tell you why. It provides much needed perspective for the discussion. It places a mountain of beneficial evidence on the scale of public opinion. It paints a complete picture.

They want to say that Hydraulic Fracturing is new. And that the risks of High-Volume Fracturing haven’t been assessed. Well, neither have the benefits. That is, by design, precisely how they want it.

We are at the foothills of realizing the potential of Shale Gas in this country. The benefits need to be assessed right alongside the risks.

I will argue that the benefits utterly annihilate the risk considerations. This is why I can’t get Fractivists to admit the benefits. This is why the only conversation they are willing to partake in is one-sided.

I refuse to be that illogical.

I’ve heard Tony Ingraffea argue that current Hydraulic Fracturing is the marriage of four different technologies and that these technologies have only been around for 15 years.

Want a list of other technologies that have been around for 15 years? Technologies in the medical community? Technologies in the gamer community? Technologies in the military community? Technologies in the tech community? Technologies in the industrial community?

Some of the most mind blowing accomplishments have occurred in the last 15 years.

Medical Science needs to teach Fractivists a lesson because they understand that the work they do comes at a cost worth the reward.

Saying “Hydraulic Fracturing contaminates groundwater” is a statement where the actual validity of the argument is still being assessed.

There is no convincing proof that regulation can’t address all concerns. I believe it can and it is doing so. Check out North Dakota’s report card on air quality. What there is, is a whole lot of emotional stirring that doesn’t traffic in the realm of perspective, facts, or real discussions.

I have already said that I would relish the opportunity to have a real, well rounded discussion. I say this because I don’t think there is any real argument at all.

The proof of the misrepresentation is in the pudding. The portrayed poster children for the Fractivist movement of Dimock have responded by saying that they both want Gas Drilling and that they are tired of Fractivists using them to misrepresent their opinions.

What do I have to say about Fractivists?

I think they already know the pros. We tell them what they are all the time. They don’t acknowledge them. Conceding that point would make their arguments irrelevant. This is why they skate the issue.

According to their own Tony Ingraffea, “No industrial activity, even building a toaster, is risk free.”

So we ask the real question: Is the risk worth the reward? We have already proven the answer is “Yes”. They just don’t want to admit that we are the artificial heart in the dying American economy.

Categories: Frac
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