With all the problems associated with fracking, it should come as no surprise that the polls are heavily against the practice.
A recent survey conducted in the UK, “Public Attitudes to Science 2014,” asked a total of 1,749 adults their attitudes on science in their lives. Topics included how much science they hear about on the news, climate change, fracking, nanotechnology, renewable energy, stem cell research, among a number of other topics. About a third of all who partook of the survey were between 16 and 24 years of age. Interestingly, this appears to be the same age group that is most in tune with the realities of climate change and aware of the need to take action.
A number of different avenues exist to address climate change, not all of which are without their disadvantages. For example, natural gas combustion emits less carbon dioxide than gasoline or diesel fuel, which is why we’re seeing more development of natural gas turbines for power production and vehicles that run on natural gas. The most-recent innovation in natural gas extraction, fracking, has made natural gas supplies more abundant than ever, driving prices far below other petroleum-based fuels. On the other hand, fracking has been associated with increased methane (an even more potent greenhouse gas) emissions, contamination of groundwater supplies, and even increased seismic activity.
The poll credits the 16-to-24 generation with being more open-minded, as well as more-aware of the problems that climate change presents for their future. Addressing climate change is very important to them, and the survey results reflect an overwhelming lean toward renewable energy. In fact, 85% of them support the development of offshore wind farms in the UK, but less than 50% support fracking or carbon capture technology. The UK is already the world’s leader in offshore wind power installation.