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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for anti-fracking movement
The book is really useful for anti-fracking activists. There is a lot of new data and real-life stories about how dirty and unfair the fracking industry is.
How dirty the fracking industry is? Author gives detailed description of fracking procedures (step-by-step) and chemicals used in the process which stays in the soil and contamine underground water...
Published 13 months ago by Djordje Samardzija

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1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading and unhelpful
Nothing is stopping anyone producing a miracle non-fossil fuel, or energy supply - something that's cheap, abundant and emits no carbon or noxious gasses. Go ahead and do it. You'll make a fortune!

So make cold fusion work. Or any other wonderful idea you have.

Unfortunately, wind and solar power are expensive and unreliable. They need back-ups...
Published 9 days ago by Roger Clark


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for anti-fracking movement, 1 Aug 2013
The book is really useful for anti-fracking activists. There is a lot of new data and real-life stories about how dirty and unfair the fracking industry is.
How dirty the fracking industry is? Author gives detailed description of fracking procedures (step-by-step) and chemicals used in the process which stays in the soil and contamine underground water resources.
How unfair the fracking industry is? The industry always talk about the abundance of shale gas and tight oil. This is the way how they are securing the money for further investments and spreading the production. But, in the reality there is no such abundance. Author presents calculations with real data which prove that shale gas and tight oil reservoirs will be dried-out quite soon. Author also gives real life examples of towns which accepted drilling and fracking on their territory. After initial growth many of them collapsed. The contaminated soil and water makes this collapse even worse.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fracking: facts, facts and more facts, 20 Aug 2013
By 
D. Wellings "Flipside Vision" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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If, when it comes to the subject of fracking, you feel a bit like a little boat buffeted by strong sea winds and mountainous waves,this book will guide you safely into port. There are enough graphs and diagrams here to give solid support to this coolly rational dissection of the business of fracking. Required reading for all truth seekers. Do not open your mouth in any discussion without having read this book. And digested it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cool and rational description of fracking, 19 Aug 2013
This is not an anti-fracking book. It is not an environmentalist's comfort reading. It is not a polemic. It is a cool and rational dissection of what fracking really is, what it delivers and what it costs. Read it if you want to be informed, rather than have your prejudices (of whatever type) confirmed.

That said, it's frightening to think how we, the general public, can be misled on a grand scale. Richard Heinberg peels away the hype and lies to reveal a shocking story of how our remaining high quality energy reserves are being squandered in a futile rush to extract lower quality oil and gas.

The conclusion is uncomfortable and inescapable. We're exchanging a few more years of oil and gas at a very high cost to society. From damage to roads (exceeds taxes from extraction companies) to long-lasting pollution of ground water.

Not only is this expensive fuel, because of high extraction costs to both operators and society at large, it's also short-lived. Statements about US 'energy independence' and '100 years of supply' are nothing more than lies, whose purpose is the enrichment of a the usual suspects in Wall Street.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive de-bunk of shales, 12 Nov 2013
By 
Friendlycard (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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Basically, there are two lines that one can take on shales.

First, shale gas (and oil) is the twenty-first century energy revolution, whose abundance will create American (and broader western) energy independence and turn the United States into "Saudi America".

Alternatively, the shale boom is a scam, a Wall Street-hyped bubble. This view - essentially the line taken by this book - is reinforced by precipitous rates of production decline, ultra-high cash and energy costs, and the creation of a drilling treadmill as operators are forced into drilling ever more wells to stave off a slump in output. The leap in production is a simple function of the huge sums invested in the shale scam. By 2017 or thereabouts, shale production volumes will be in sharp decline.

Of course, you can choose to believe in the optimistic narrative, just as you can choose to believe in the tooth-fairy. If you want the facts, though, this book is for you, a masterful debunk of the energy equivalent of the dot-com bubble.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading and unhelpful, 19 Aug 2014
By 
Roger Clark (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future (Paperback)
Nothing is stopping anyone producing a miracle non-fossil fuel, or energy supply - something that's cheap, abundant and emits no carbon or noxious gasses. Go ahead and do it. You'll make a fortune!

So make cold fusion work. Or any other wonderful idea you have.

Unfortunately, wind and solar power are expensive and unreliable. They need back-ups.

Until we find these miracle solutions then shale-gas is the next best thing. It's not perfect, but it's better than coal. That's why carbon emissions have plunged in the USA in recent years. So stop griping and let's get on with it!

Readers who are seriouly interested in this debate might like to read my Amazon book review - "Groundswell - the case for fracking" by Ezra Levant. There you'll find evidence that contradicts false claims made by the anti-fracking brigade. My review is called:- `Thank God for fracking - It's saving us all in the West.'

Also take a look at a couple of documentaries that challenge the anti-fracking film "Gasland" Unlike "Gasland" they're crammed with experts. You can watch them for free on YouTube.

The documentaries are called "FRACK NATION" by Phelim McAleer. The second free documentary is called "TRUTHLAND". Besides talking to people with genuine expertise these documentaries visit the places and speak to the folk featured in "Gasland". And yes, they show flaming water pipes! But they tell a different story from what anti-frackers would have us believe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read, 22 Sep 2013
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Whilst trying to make sense of the Fracking debate, sorting fact from fiction & spin, 'Snake Oil' provides an objective synopsis based on empirical rather than anecdotal evidence. Richard's latest insight should be promoted to as wide an audience as possible; those policy makers and commentators that desperately cling to shale gas and tight oil as a magic bullet to resolve energy supply need think again! MB
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Snake Oil - a must read, 15 Sep 2013
By 
D. Campbell - See all my reviews
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In this timely, well-written and (mercifully) short book, Heinberg assembles the facts about shale oil and gas exploitation, debunks the myths and presents us with a new modified peak oil scenario that includes the 'low hanging fruit' component to our resource predicament as first outlined by Chris Martenson in the Crash Course. The analysis shows that humans always exploit the easiest resources first, whether it's slow-moving land mammals, metals or fossil fuels, and that when these are used up we move on to the next easiest. So far so much common sense. What's different about the present period in human history is that because the oil boom of the last 150 years has enabled us to increase our population 7-fold and use up resources at a dizzying rate, there are no new resources to discover. Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) is being quite blatantly touted by industry and governments as the next new source of easy oil, which it is not. The EROEI (energy return on energy invested) from fracking is on average a zero sum equation, in other words the energy produced from fracking is the same as the energy that has to be put in to get it. This makes no sense economically, and is the main reason why UK banks and private investors are steering clear of the fracking industry. In the USA it has been a different story because shale rock formations are much more abundant and accessible than in the UK and there has been, at least temporarily, a profitable investment to be made. But Heinberg points out that this is a Wall Street-driven bubble exactly like the sub-prime mortgage disaster of 2008 and that everyone involved is likely to lose their shirt - apart from the investment banks of course, who benefit both on the way up and on the way down.

The book is divided up into sections introduced by choice quotes such as this from Robert Smith, operations geologist: 'Eventually, horizontal drilling is suspended because operators reach a point where they are just burning cash.' Each section deals with a particular aspect of the fracking business - economics, environmental impact, energy reality (Chris Martenson's three E's) - and catalogues the false promises and false data that are issued by the industry and by government, whose hope is that the promises and data are true, because we need to keep the show on the road at least until the next election. Some of the fracking myths are plausible, for example the claim that natural gas produces 50% less CO2 than coal. True - when you burn it. But if you add up all the greenhouse gas consumption involved in shale gas extraction, plus the methane that leaks from well heads and faulty casings, you get a higher global warming impact than coal.

Some commentators claim that fracking has only affected aquifers with toxic chemical seepage in a small minority of cases, and that as the technology improves, these problems will no longer happen. Heinberg makes the trenchant point that all well casings will leak eventually because of cement shrinkage and seismic activity, whether it be in one year or five, or twenty. Each well is a slow-release poison capsule and it's only a matter of time as to when the benzene, radium, hydrochloric acid, hydroxyethyl cellulose, isopropanol, aluminium phosphate, sodium carbonate and a list of other unpleasant chemicals as long as your arm will end up in the drinking water. For a certainty the fracking companies responsible will be long gone by that time. Most of them probably out of business when the shale bubble bursts in a few years.

Heinberg ends the book with a plea for investment in renewables as the only sensible or indeed feasible energy future. Some might say - the only chance for a future at all, if we are not to completely trash our planet in return for a quick buck. Certainly the amount of hydrocarbon in the earth is enough to fry the planet many times over, if we were to extract all of it. One small benefit of the book to me is that the word 'shill', as in 'industry shill', is now a useful addition to my vocabulary. 'A shill, also known as a plant or a stooge ... typically refers to someone who purposely gives onlookers the impression that they are an enthusiastic independent customer of a seller (or marketer of ideas) for whom they are secretly working.' Thanks again Wikipedia.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I hold Richard Heinberg in great regard but I was rather disappointed with this, 4 July 2014
This review is from: Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future (Paperback)
I hold Richard Heinberg in great regard but I was rather disappointed with this. I expected more information on the protitability of the businesses involved in this whole desparate game. There are lots of promotors at present who are reluctant to come clean on the debts being racked up. Perhaps an honest stock market analyst would have been a good co-author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read, 1 Feb 2014
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Do you believe all the fracking hype? If so, read this and think again. So-called 'fracking' and 'shale oil/gas' are supposed to be America's miracle cure for its energy needs. If you believe the pundits, it has allowed the US to achieve energy independence once again.

This excellent book says different, and it all comes down to something called EROEI. The truth is that the fracking boom is actually a bubble waiting to burst, just like the sub prime mortgages fad before it. It certainly isn't the cure to climate change nor the peak oil issue that seems to have been forgotten about in recent years. Not only are there environmental risks, but the economic benefits that have been touted are really hollow and self-deluding.

Fracking is merely just about putting off the inevitable, it's far from being the answer. The UK PM, his ministers and the right-wing press believe that it will be the miracle cure to our energy needs too, just as in the US. They should read this book (although I won't hold my breath!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A real eye opener if you do not know much about this issue, 28 Jan 2014
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Whilst it will not be a surprise to those of us who are familiar with the peak oil predicament, this book provides a comprehensive overview of the Fracking industry and its sequalae. An excellent read - recommended
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Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future
Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future by Richard Heinberg (Paperback - 14 Feb 2014)
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