Fear, loathing and shale gas. The introduction of fracking to the UK: a case study
Authors: McQueen, D.
Editors: Theofilou, A., Grigore, G. and Stancu, A.
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
The controversial practice of ‘fracking’ as practiced in the US has offered the promise of energy independence, a climate-friendlier ‘bridge’ to renewable energy than coal, and a much needed economic boost. At the same time, fracking is linked with widespread water and air pollution, increased incidence of earthquakes, split communities and drastically altered landscapes. How has the proposed introduction of fracking in the UK fared in light of these concerns? What role has science played in the battle for public opinion fought by the shale industry and its opponents? This chapter examines efforts by the shale industry to ‘win hearts and minds’, including the use of intensive public relations including academic funding and lobbying activities, and assesses their impact on media coverage of the controversy.