The top green and Gristy stories of 2011
It’s a fracklash
Hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, is a way of getting
blood from a stone liquid fossil fuels from rock. Drills are jammed in horizontally and fluids are pumped in to increase pressure until the rock fractures and releases its goo. It’s become much more common in the U.S. in recent years, but in 2011 thousands of citizens got fed up and joined the fight against the water–polluting, tree-killing, earthquake–inducing technique. This insurgency included indie actors, Emmy-winning documentarian Josh Fox, public radio’s This American Life, and a danceable video explainer, as well as sober stuff like investigative reporting and on-the-ground protesting. The natural-gas industry isn’t letting up, but it is feeling the heat.