What Trendy Environmentalism Ignores to the Detriment of Mankind

By Stephen Heins

Trendy environmentalism seems to be the order of the day in those parts of the US where rich folks tend to congregate, with no attention to the common good.

It’s official.

A Pennsylvania environmental group funded by the Heinz Endowments to create mischief is copying an initiative spawned in Boulder, Colorado, using a discredited study to advance their cause. Trendy environmentalism has become a secular religion, with no regard for facts or the loss of credibility while they proselytize.

Thanks to Pennsylvania’s best reporter, Jim Willis, and the Marcellus Drilling News we learn this regarding yet another shale fake news story:

More fake “research” on drilling, courtesy the anti-drilling Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (EHP). This is the same group of antis who brought us the so-called list of the harmed (in 2013) and last year launched a faux health registry that attempts to link everything from the sniffles to “performance issues” to nearby fracking.

Here’s the latest laughable “research” published (yes published) in a pay-for-play journal: Setback distances for unconventional oil and gas development: Delphi study results. The so-called researchers from EHP asked 18 of their anti-drilling friends, who are supposedly experts, for an opinion on how far away a building should be located from a shale well. The current standard in Pennsylvania is 500 feet.

That is, a well being drilled must be at least 500 feet away from an “occupied building.” EHP’s anti-drilling friends (16 of the 18) said that number should be 1,320 feet–a quarter mile. EHP wrote it all up, presenting it as fact, and got it published in the very low-standard PLOS One journal–a journal where you pay them and they’ll publish anything.

Totally made-up research. PLOS One is “peer reviewed” so voila, there’s now a “peer reviewed study” that says setbacks in Pennsylvania should be at least a quarter of a mile away when it comes to shale drilling. Which would eliminate about 90% of all shale drilling in the state (which is the purpose of this “study”).

We really don’t know how those from EHP can show their faces in public, pedaling this kind of junk science. More to the point, how can any honest, self-respecting organization spend good money to fund EHP?

trendy environmentalism

Elk Lake School campus. Note gas well pad in lower center of aerial view via Google Earth

What bogus horse manure. There are wells drilled on school property in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. We’ve seen it! That school is doing great with a huge new revenue source. And the kids are just fine–no health problems from the “fracked wells” that sit feet away from school buildings.

We tell you about these kinds of fake studies not because they merit any attention, but because mainstream media will pick them up and broadcast them, leaving the impression there’s a problem that needs fixing. The general public will conclude that drilling is “too close” and is going to kill them. And then, months later when the so-called study is debunked for the refuse it is, those same mainstream media outlets won’t say a thing about it. Too embarrassing. Doesn’t fit their narrative template that fracking is bad.

So now you know when you read about this, it’s just more of the same junk science from the same anti-drilling source.

How does one explain why current American “environmentalism” is ignoring the one-third the world’s population who need to modernize their sanitation, health care, interior air quality, reliable electricity/grid, and broadband?

High sounding words and phrases like “population control,” “environmental justice,” “100% renewables,” “clean energy that doesn’t include energy efficiency,” “leave it in the ground” and “restoration to pre-industrial age” don’t cut it. They seem downright inhumane, short-sighted, uneconomic, and pessimistic, in fact, if one gives a damn about improving the lives of two billion people who are not yet living in the modern world.

Indeed, several million people die there every year from basic diseases caused by interior air pollution, dirty water, and poor sanitation. No stinking solar oven will ever end poverty. Nor will a 1,320 separation of a gas well from anything improve anything for rural Americans who simply need economic development to provide for their families. Trendy environmentalism is doing little or nothing for mankind. It seems to be about something else, in fact. Perhaps this is a clue:

“Socialist central planning for economics may be intellectually dead, but global climate planning is alive and well.”

Robert Bradley, Jr