We are still screwed: the coming climate disaster


It sounds like you wish that I had apologized, so I do. My original statement was hyperbolic and vague. As you said, I would be wiser to establish for myself the probability of X by weighing the evidence.

That being said, if climate scientists stop having kids, and say it’s because they fear for the future too much to subject kids to that fate, then I am not sure who wouldn’t put that in the evidence bucket.


Mate no need for any apologies, I was just challenging your statement. The imperfect private lives of environmentalists somehow has become one of the leading excuses people use not to care about the environment.

The fact that you’ve brought up this kid thing multiple times in the thread signaled to me that you shared this attitude, but if you don’t that’s fine probably shouldn’t have assumed it.

I still don’t see why the fertility of climate scientists has any bearing on evidence. They don’t have secret knowledge that we must infer from their behavior, all of their findings and methodology is public and just as valid/invalid irrespective of whether they have 20 or 0 kids.

Oh well, agree to disagree.


And I completely agree that this excuse is lazy and idiotic.



The good news is that fracking, even if done wrong, really only posesa threat to the humans, and folks in Wyoming pretty much voted for this.


Not quite. It fragments habitat for wildlife.


That’s not habitat fragmentation. That’s habitat annihilation. But I guess someone made some money out of it.


Fracking generally has an extremely small footprint in terms of stuff on the actual land. Here in PA you have one of the largest fracking operations in recent history… It tends to amount to a few tiny wellpads, maybe 100x100 ft.

The ecological danger comes from incorrectly poured concrete sheathes around the wells, so natural gas can get into the ground water. For natural creatures, this has essentially no impact… but for folks who have water wells… It can be problematic.

I have no idea what’s taking place in that picture, but it’s not normal for natural gas harvesting to have a large surface footprint. There’s literally no reason for it.

It apparently came from this?

Yeah… uh, that article is objectively bullshit. Like, it’s saying stuff which is objectively, observably false. Like the idea that a single wellpad needs 30 acres of infrastructure? That’s not remotely true. Not even close to true. I know people who have wellpads on their property. It’s literally a 10x10 pad in the woods.

I’ve generally argued against fracking in PA without strong regulation and taxing the gas companies… but the stuff in that article is just wrong. I’ve seen it myself.

Maybe in Wyoming they have sets of wells that look pretty wide open like that, but i would suspect it’s because Wyoming is basically devoid of anything.


That is a pretty standard looking field for just about anywhere in the US. The density and spacing of the derricks suggests a field early in its development.


I’m just telling you, you don’t need 30 actress for a natural gas wellpad.

Like i said, maybe in Wyoming they just own all the land, because no one lives there and nothing is there, but no, that’s not what natural gas fracking looks like in Pennsylvania at least. Aside from the small pads that are leased on private land, most pads are about the size of a football field.

Because really, there just isn’t that much that goes on on the surface. It’s largely the area they needed to put the drilling equipment temporarily. There’s no significant long term ecological impact.

It seems weird that you’d just level everything in a giant area, since there’s no real point in putting a bunch of wells close together… But again, maybe in Wyoming the land was basically free anyway with nothing else on it. In PA though, they are generally either in wooded areas or farmland, so you wouldn’t want to just waste all the land between different wellsites.

Actually… Now that I’m looking at it… It looks like it is in fact in some kind of badlands or desert… Because even way far or in the background, there’s no sign of industrial equipment or development, but the land is still barren… Is it possible that they just built those wells in a place where there was nothing? You can’t really blame the wells for the lack of stuff there then.

In case folks are interested, you can look at this in Google maps with the satellite view on… this seems to have a few wellheads and a few separator units. There are actually two more pads just north of there, too.



I live in ground zero for the fracking wars in Colorado, as O&G starts to drop wells right smack into the suburbs.

O&G out here is moving away from single pads to what they are calling megapads. They are putting 81 wells in within 1.5 miles from my house… And these sites are not small and are industrial in nature.

Unfortunately, fracking gets special treatment in Colorado and they are essentially exempt from zoning. So we have these megapads going in directly adjacent to two drinking water reservoirs, multi-million dollar neighborhoods, middle class neighborhoods, and schools.

There is currently a ballot proposition in Colorado to ban pads within 2500 feet of schools, houses and ‘vulnerable’ areas like rivers. This would make it very hard on O&G to fracking in the state. The fight about it out here is intense, as you can imagine.

This is a 21 pad site that is under construction in nearby Brighton, Colorado. It is a more rural/suburban city



And this is why I ultimately am anti fracking. They can’t help themselves, and get too greedy. What you describe is insane. Especially when water sources are at risk.


Honestly, what you’re seeing there is just a drilling rig, which is only there while drilling. The actual pads themselves are not that big, and there’s just not really that much stuff on them. Hell, apparently for the one near you, they’re going to landscape it and make it pretty looking.

Here’s an actual map of the stuff they are talking about adding near you.

I mean, it’s going to be a flat area, where there’s already a flat area, right next to the highway.

In terms of banning fracking near rivers, the question would become… Why? I mean, it’s not an oil well. The only oil on site, if anything, would be a small storage vessel for pulling out the tiny fraction of oil from the gas. If a wellhead ruptured or something, the gas would just go up into the atmosphere.

Again, the bigger threat comes from not drilling correctly, and having gas that is released bubble up through the ground water, which then gets into the water if you have a water well. In terms of natural springs and stuff, even in that case nothing really happens as the gas just comes out of the water in the process of coming up to the surface.


The problem is the chemicals used for the fracking being released into groundwater sources and such. And oil companies do not have a great track record of protecting public health interests. The way they bully and manipulate regulators to suppress or prevent thorough investigations, well, that contributes too.


This is a 21 pad site

That number seemed high, but i knew very little about drilling the Niobrara in Colorado. I picked a newish permit in Bloomfield Co. and…

I counted 23 lateral wells in a two section area. That is impressive, from a technical point of view. For reference, you might see 10 wells in the same area in the Bakken (North Dakota) in the most productive part of the field.

I’m not going to get into the ins and outs of fracking, but I can shed a little light on drilling in resource plays if anyone is interested.


Well, the problem of “chemicals” is pretty minimal. The amount of fracking liquid used it fairly small, and is only used at the very beginning of the process. Technically, that liquid is actually just mostly water, with some oils in it, but again, there’s not that much of it.

The groundwater pollution tends to come from the natural gas itself leaking into the water. When they drill these wells, part of the process involves pouring a sheathe of concrete around the well’s pipe itself, which then contains all of the gas. If they incorrectly pour that sheathe, then what happens is that gas leaks into the ground water (because the layer of shale where the gas is coming from is actually down below the water table). The result is that natural gas gets dissolved into the water, and then if you have a water well, the water comes up with some natural gas dissolved into it. It’s generally not actually HARMFUL to people, but it smells and tastes bad, so you wouldn’t want to deal with it.

This kind of thing is easy to avoid though. The problem, in PA at least, is that there was a mad dash to get wells in the ground fast out of fear that regulations would come later on, and they incorrectly made some of the wells, which polluted the water table. And since the regions where the wells were made are generally rural areas, everyone out there has private wells for water.

What really sucks, is if you refuse to lease your land for them to put in a well, but then your neighbor does. Cause they’re gonna get the same gas that’s under your property, and if they fuck up and pollute the water, it’s gonna mess up your well too.

They also basically conned a bunch of the folks out here, by giving them a slice of the production… but the reality is, while the production is high for the first few weeks, it slows down afterwards, and then a single wellhead isn’t putting out that much money, so you end up with crap on your property that gives you basically no real income anyway.


You may have seen gas wellheads, and it’s true they (in the end) tend to be small with most gathering lines buried underground. However virtually all “fracking” today is done for oil production. That’s because shale plays have been producing so much excess gas in addition to oil it has all but stopped domestic gas drilling over the least few years. Fracking of course has been around for decades, but it’s the giant fracs over horizontal wells that have been garnering such attention.

30 acres is a bit large, but on average it’s probably about 3 acres per pad + road.

However, let’s not think that large scale oil production doesn’t have a significant impact. One well is not too bad,… but… (every black line is a lateral).

And this is what West Texas looks like from the air…

Every white dot is a wellpad.


Well, yes, though the majority are old (maybe as far back as the 40s) conventional (vertical) wells. The surface locations of horizontal wells tend to be clustered in a small area (as your first image shows. Also note that the majority of wells in that image are older conventional wells), they are not drilled in grid patterns.


Not the majority, although there are a lot of old fields.

Also the wellpads for horizontals tend to be much larger, to accomidate the much higher volumes of traffic and pit sizes.

Here’s a few images from Google Historic Imagery, just to give some perspective:





That is the Spraberry field (or Spraberry Trend), and again, most of what you’re seeing is conventional infill drilling. It’s a big field, but a rather enigmatic one.

A better example of I think you’re trying to show would be the Bakken (lots of horizontal activity in a short timespan, not a lot of conventional clutter). Those pads are easier to discern from the air.

Those are wellpads supporting multiple wells, in this case probably 2-4, though a pad running 10 wells isn’t going to be much larger.