Earth Beat, 3 February 2012. Things that, at first glance, seem a little out of place. Like turning water into fire, or a man who can make a gas-guzzling car drive like it’s a green dream machine, or building a mountain in the Netherlands. Out of place, but not out of mind. Comment on the show.
Download as MP3 (right-click and 'save as')
Podcast feed iTunes Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Add us on Google+
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a controversial method of extracting gas trapped in rock below the surface of the earth, involving water, sand and chemicals. The practice has expanded rapidly in the last couple of decades and it seems that wherever there’s fracking, there’s water contamination. Jessica Ernst lives near a fracking operation. She used to work as an environmental consultant for Encana, the gas company that’s doing the fracking, and she tells host Marnie Chesterton the story of how her life, water, and land has changed since fracking began. More photos below. Read more: Ernst v. EnCana Corporation
Watch the trailer of a documentary about fracking in Jessica’s town of Rosebud: Burning Water.
(The ERCB, Alberta's energy resource regulator wouldn't comment on Jessica's case, but provided this link to information about Alberta’s regulatory framework on unconventional oil and gas resources: Answering Your Questions About Our Energy Resources)
It’s not fracking’s fault - listen to a longer version in new player
Fracking: should we be scared? - listen to a longer version in new player
Larry Cathles is a geologist at Cornell University.
He discusses whether fracking is a sound method for removing gas deep underground, what the risks are, and what life might be like without it.
SUVs may be the car of choice for many Americans, but a group of 'green' drivers have started to take back the streets. They call themselves 'hypermilers'.
Eric Powers, who regularly achieves 60 miles to the gallon in his hybrid car, tells Marnie why slowing down is the name of the game. More photos, stats and tips below.
The streets of San Francisco are lined with beautiful blossoming trees - but city laws require them to be sterile so they’re merely ornamental. So a group of gardeners have taken matters into their own hands.
Armed with masking tape and small cuttings from real trees, they’re grafting these onto branches in a bid to help the trees bear fruit. More photos below.
The idea of a mountain in the low-lying Netherlands is as incongruous as discovering a tulip growing naturally at the top of Mount Everest.
Thijs Zonneveld wants to change that and his idea to create a man-made mountain in his home country is gaining in popularity.
He talks to Marnie about the benefits of such a large-scale construction. More photos below.
More at the Die Berg Komt Er website (Dutch)