13 GIFs On One Sickening (Literally) Thing That's Being Done To The Planet

OK, y'alls. I read some stuff about this thing called hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) that you'll be glad to know. Because it f*cking hates you. And everyone else.

Fracking is a drilling technique used by oil and gas companies to destroy rock layers thousands of feet underground in order to release the natural gas inside. For a clearer picture of how it works, here's an animation of the fracking process. But take its assurances of fracking's safety with a grain of salt.

According to Ian Crane, an oil-executive-turned-anti-fracking-advocate in the U.K., "We are dealing with a 'cowboy industry' that is driven by greed and little else." Energy companies are interested only in the money, not the truth, and certainly not you.


Here are 13 ways fracking hates ... well ... everything.

1. Fracking hates water.

It takes an average of 4.4 million gallons of water to drill and fracture a single natural gas well. That's enough water to fill six Olympic-sized swimming pools — or as much as 11,000 U.S. families use in one day. Read these water facts to see why that's a problem.

2. Fracking really hates water.

Fracking creates the risk of toxic and flammable gases like methane seeping into water supplies that sometimes flow into household taps. That's not to mention the billions of gallons of wastewater buried or illegally dumped into water sources.

3. Fracking hates air.

Researchers are finding spikes in air pollution near fracking sites and high levels of particulate inside people's homes. Fracking is so bad it has made the smog in rural Wyoming worse than Los Angeles.

4. Fracking hates your health.

According to a 2014 report, people who live really close to natural gas wells are significantly more likely to develop respiratory problems and skin irritations than their neighbors farther away. Other health problems linked to fracking pollution include nausea and headaches.

5. Fracking hates babies.

A Colorado study showed that congenital heart defects were more prevalent among babies of pregnant women who live close to fracking sites. A few other studies showed links between proximity to fracking sites and babies being born way too small. Investigators in Utah are also looking into possible links between fracking-induced air pollution and a number of stillbirths.

6. Fracking hates your house.

In some areas, fracking has been linked to declining home values. This is largely a problem in areas where fracking operations are siphoning water from the same sources that communities depend on for daily living.

7. Fracking hates border safety.

Heavy truck traffic on work roads built by oil and gas companies have the unintended consequence of providing cover for the transport of drugs from Mexico to the U.S., which just feeds into the violence on the border. By extension, fracking contributes to a situation that distracts officials from the serious need to end the War on Drugs.

8. Fracking hates farmers.

Leaks in natural gas wells send toxic chemicals into the soil and water that farms (and our food system) rely on. Fracking also creates a deadly environment for animals, including livestock that are attracted to the salty wastewater and the fish and other aquatic life that live in polluted waters.

9. Fracking hates your vacation.

Long-term oil and gas drilling can dull the luster of a region, hurting its tourism. The industrial aesthetic (heavy trucks, machinery, and compressor stations) and the surrounding pollution don't make for a refreshing getaway.

10. Fracking hates your money.

Energy consultant Arthur Berman says that because major natural gas companies are over-leveraging (assuming massive levels of debt) on land leases and drilling operations, they often over-promise the returns. And when the returns aren't there, they're using accounting trickery to skirt accountability. He likens it to what went down in the subprime mortgage market. And we all know how that went.

11. Fracking hates women.

Oil and gas booms attract stampedes of men to towns like Williston, North Dakota. As the gender ratio skews heavily toward dudes, sexism goes into hyperdrive and women are treated more like commodities. Law enforcement have also noted increases in domestic violence and sexual assault in these male-dominated boomtowns.

12. Fracking wants you to hate other people.

The debate over fracking is dividing communities, with fracking supporters arguing for jobs and money and opponents fighting to protect public health and the environment. But in the words of Count Rugen, "If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything." And if we haven't got a livable planet, then, seriously, what good is money?

13. Fracking hates the entire f*cking planet.

Natural gas was once touted as a "bridge fuel" to help us reduce carbon emissions because it produces half the carbon dioxide of coal when burned. But as it turns out, the methane released into the atmosphere through leaks in fracking wells is a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Fracking is contributing to melting ice caps, rising sea levels, and scary weather all over the world. It's even causing earthquakes in areas where seismic activity is uncommon.

If you haven't already gathered, fracking sucks. For everybody. Pass this on if you agree.

Heroes

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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