Earthlife Africa slams Karoo fracking

2011-05-30 14:34

Cape Town - Environmental organisations have reacted strongly to comments by a Cape Town professor that hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo would not have a significant impact on the environment.

Shell and other companies have applied to exploit shale gas reserves in the Karoo and on Sunday, Professor Phillip Lloyd of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology said that would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and not impact the ground water negatively in the region.

"There are studies that have been done that confirm that the life cycle impact of fracking are potentially greater than that of coal" Muna Lakhani, Cape Town branch co-ordinator for Earthlife Africa told News24.

According to the Cornell University study cited by Lakhani, methane is a more dangerous greenhouse gas (GHG) than carbon dioxide.


"Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential that is far greater than that of carbon dioxide, particularly over the time horizon of the first few decades following emission.

"Methane contributes substantially to the greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas on shorter time scales, dominating it on a 20-year time horizon," the study says.

Lakhani urged caution of shale gas exploitation, saying that there was little evidence that the process was safe.

"Earthlife Africa's position is actually quite simple: There is ample scientific evidence to confirm water pollution and the point that the water is at a shallower level than the gas is of indeed more concern both because of the potential break in integrity in the fracking cement lining and from the actual escape of the fracking water."

Fracking uses several chemicals to fracture the rock, and the process has been placed under moratorium in France and there are ongoing cases in the US.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said in a statement that shale gas in SA was unnecessary because the country should instead focus on renewable energy projects.


"We do not need unconventional gas to meet growing energy demand in South Africa, as we have far more immediately viable and sustainable energy development options than shale gas.

"Scenarios for energy supply, both nationally and globally, consistent with strong economic growth, indicate the imperative for not utilising the full extent of fossil fuel reserves already established, but rather prioritising the use of renewable energy resources," said the organisation.

Greenpeace also rejected fracking as an energy solution, and urged the government to commit to renewable energy.

"Shale gas exploitation is invasive and unsustainable. Exploration of shale gas should be put on hold until the environmental impacts [water consumption, water pollution] can be resolved.

"Rather than wasting time and money on another potential dead end, while jeopardising our scarce water resources, we should focus on truly clean, renewable energy solutions," Greenpeace climate and energy campaign team leader, Dr Rianne Teule told News24 in an e-mailed statement.

According to the Cornell University study, the GHG footprint of shale gas may be higher than conventional gas.

"The GHG footprint of shale gas has received little study or scrutiny, although many have voiced concern. The National Research Council (2009) noted emissions from shale-gas extraction may be greater than from conventional gas," the study says.

"They use anything up to 800 different chemicals in the fracking water so the publicity says 'Oh it's only 1% or 2%' but they forget to tell you that they're using millions of litres so 2% of a million litres is an awfully large amount of chemicals," Lakhani said.

He added that the health of the surrounding community may also be affected by the pollution generated by the fracking activity.


"The health impacts are of significant concern. Because of the air pollution from the methane escaping from the well. There're various pollutants, not just methane.

"These are toxic highly volatile organic compounds [VOC] and the ones that have been measured are benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and various xylenes.

"These are highly toxic so we're looking at carcinogenic material and radioactive material being released in the process."

Lloyd said that the extraction of shale gas would not affect ground water because of the layers of steel and cement casings, but Lakhani rejected this.

"The simple truth is that nothing that we do is perfect. It's just an opinion rather than scientific fact."

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  • AndV - 2011-05-30 14:41

    With good controls in place like all environmental concious persons agree, scale gas can transform SA's economy and create much needed jobs for may unemployed. There are risks, but the advantages seems to outweigh the negative by far. Stop crying and contribute with well finded facts and contributions. So much experience and information is available to ensure SA do not make similar as was made in America and elsewhere. Fracking can be done with minimum harm to the environment.

      realist101 - 2011-05-30 14:59

      it is SHELL that are looking for the fracking rights, so before you even start talking about facts you should rather start reading some of them. if SHELL gets fracking rights why would they change the way it is done? it is not for us to decide, and with earlier reports even SHELL told the press that there will not be allot of jobs created as South Africans do not have the skill. so AndV go do some homework and come back to us.

      thebee - 2011-05-30 15:15 Watch that. Do you want your kids drinking that water? Don't frack with our Karoo!

      kidblack - 2011-05-30 15:39

      No one is mentioning the "proprietary" Fracking Fluid containinf 592 chemicals of which about 30 are known carcinogens. NEver mind the flammable water some people get. WATCH MOVIE CALLED: GASLAND and make up your own mind.

      Gorilla - 2011-05-30 16:31

      Kidblack - flammable water is a myth. It's nonsense, get some perspective based on real issues before you too get caught up in the ignorant whirlpool of knee jerk emotive and politically correct brainless argument.

      No_BS_Please - 2011-05-30 17:00

      If this Government showed that it was able to actually do something without screwing up the environment while guzzling at the tender trough I would be with you. But they can't or wont. Do I hear the words acid drainage anywhere?

      Redwine - 2011-05-30 17:27

      You obviously have no interest in the Karoo. If however you are foolhardy enought to belief that this will change the life of average Joe safe or not think again. Go ask the Niger Delta how they benefitted from all their oil a very safe exercise.

      Markusman - 2011-05-30 19:28

      I really dont see how SA will benefit from this in the long run. Even if local jobs are created, they wont be for unskilled labourers- the majority of the unemployed in this country. it will be engineers who could easily find jobs in other sectors. oh and Gorilla, you are right, water is not flammable however the dissolved gas and chemicals IN the water are. watch Gasland and you'll see. Another thing I dont get, water will need to be trucked in. where will this come from?

      Ariella Hume - 2011-05-30 21:27

      Yeah right - that's what BP said. That's what the Japanese gvt said about their nuclear reactor! NOTHING is foolproof and safety cannot be guaranteed. The risks far outweigh the advantages. We need clean renewable energy, not the destruction of our natural resources. SHELL HAS AN APPALLING SAFETY RECORD -and is accused of being complicit in the murder of activists in Nigeria. FRACK SHELL! See - "Shell UK admitted seven breaches of health and safety and environmental regulations" and WE DON'T NEED SHELL'S GREED, THEFT AND CORRUPTION. GO TO HELL, SHELL.

      Zion - 2011-06-05 08:27

      Very nice indeed AndV but who will decide the facts are well founded. Each side has his claim to the truth with aniverse of chaos in between.

  • alijmain - 2011-05-30 14:56

    That oke looks like he has climbed out of a tree :-)

      Werner - 2011-05-30 15:27

      I think the tree, concerned with its own hygiene, told this oke to GTFO.

      dollypeg - 2011-05-30 16:00

      That has got nothing to do with what he is saying...grow up!

      Werner - 2011-05-31 00:31

      My my, Dolly ... that horse of yours sure is high.

  • Gorilla - 2011-05-30 14:57

    Funny that all the people who are so opposed to the process, have little to no knowledge on the subject and condemn a professor based on emotive argument. Now that's dumb.

      Marina - 2011-05-30 21:23

      Gorilla, there is no emotive argument here. Have you read the Cornell study Muna Lahkani referred to? I have. Have you read reports by David Hughes, one of North America's foremost gas and energy experts, who completely debunks the myth that fracking is safe and lucrative? I have. My conclusion is: FRACKING IS NOT SAFE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, IT IS DIRTY AND EXPENSIVE. The professior who says otherwise seems to me to be very uninformed, and certainly cares only for money, not the environment. My question to you: Gorilla, CAN you even read??

      Zion - 2011-06-05 08:29

      Seems both sides are equally ignorant.

      Zion - 2011-06-05 08:33

      Marina, just another opinion. You have sided one way so leave the other to decide their way. You may be just as wrong as the others or just as right. But try not to push it down anyone throat or your hand could be full of puke.

  • Pienk Zuit - 2011-05-30 15:01

    No-one is going to take this Lahkani dude seriously in that shirt. Wear a jacket and tie if you want to be taken seriously hippy, jeez!

      Marina - 2011-05-30 21:25

      Grow up Pienk Zuit!

      Marc - 2011-05-31 08:25

      pienk zuit...what a shallow comment to make! i've seen julius Dilemma in a suit.. and Nelson Mandela often wore colourful shirts...go figure!

      Jade - 2011-06-01 23:49

      The dude probably has more style than you! Please take your tired and boring stereotypes and shove them where the sun don't shine.

      Zion - 2011-06-05 08:37

      Ja, Pienk Zuit it looks like he got lost in the '60's and just dropped out into reality. But mind you that hair-do sure needs a make over. Sorry Marina. I am grown up, I think......

  • Andreas - 2011-05-30 15:01

    @ AndV, do you actually know what you are talking about? France is about to ban fracking because of what happened in the States, just read this report before you make comments like you did. You cannot reverse the damage done!

  • Investor - 2011-05-30 15:10

    There is a well know documentary on the disasterous effects of fracking on the environment which occured in the USA. Have we not learned our lessons ? SHELL and SASOL is there no end to your greed ?

  • Craig44 - 2011-05-30 15:11

    Another paid Prof.... Shell strikes again

      CamsComment - 2011-05-30 16:50

      I could not agree more with Graig.

  • Mr Moses - 2011-05-30 15:17

    I think this professor went to night school and gorilla when the mist clears we will talk again

  • Condor - 2011-05-30 15:28

    Another tired "academic" with vested interests looking to make a quick buck.

      uMegaladon - 2011-05-30 17:05

      What qualifications do the tree/bunny huggers have. Muna Lakhani is not even listed as having attended school. Unless doctorates in verbal garbage and regurgitation count. Funny how you tree/bunny huggers are so vehementlyopposed to alternative viewpoints.

  • umlaut - 2011-05-30 15:38

    On the program 50/50 it showed how the surface of the Karoo can be affected because of roads and connections to boreholes and the constant supply of equipment will wreck the area. The fragile delicate fauna and flora will be destroyed. This project will only create jobs for 8 YEARS and then they will "repair" it, and then they will wreck another area. Tourism will be affected and the water supply will be polluted and then they will say Sorry it is not always a success. But seeing that all farms will be taken away from whites we can assume that the black farmers will be sitting with crap in the end, and this area can turn into a desert. They will have to get camels then. For 8 years you will have dust created by heavy vehicles that may affect the star watch area. We wish developers all the wrath of their forefarthers and bad luck because they want to destroy something beautiful. They have never stayed overnight in that area, obviously, and they haven't lived the area. the sight of money is far more beautiful to them than beauty itself. The Tourism Industry can last FOR EVER - Fracking for 8 years and a lot of fauna and flora will be FREKKING.

  • Boer81 - 2011-05-30 15:44

    People please read here: See what is happening!!

  • Robbie.wp - 2011-05-30 15:48

    people please watch the documentary "gasland". It's shocking what fracking does to the environment

  • ludwig.ho - 2011-05-30 15:54

    Indeed the fracking of shale for natural gas will in the short term boost the economy through the creation of jobs for thousands of South Africans, however the question remains: which resource is more valuable....gas or water? Since it's the Karoo the answer should be blatantly obvious. I live 45 minutes from a town in NE Pennsylvania called Dimock. A few short years ago fracking took place and is still going on, in and around Dimock. During the fracking operations by one company, methane gas found it's way into fresh water wells of the community. Up to 6 square miles of wells are now contaminated and water has to be trucked in for the affected residents. What benefits did these residents get from all the potential wealth economic stability brought through fracking? None. Instead their lives were changed forever. They cannot sell their land or property because there is no fresh water resource. Their environment will never recover from the stain of fracking. Let's hope this never happens in the Karoo.

      kianeriksen - 2011-06-09 10:27

      there might only be 100 jobs for locals, the rest will be for their "own people"

  • ProfAndy - 2011-05-30 15:55

    Harvesting perlemoen also creates jobs... @AndV - fracking, and Shell, have got a horrible reputation wherever it has been done. Do you seriously think that they (Shell) are interested in anything except profit? And for that we risk losing an irreplacable environment?

  • darkwing - 2011-05-30 16:03

    People, please stop using your cars and electricity. Stop creating kliograms of waste each year. Stop having children. Man is the enemy of the earth.

      Looter - 2011-05-30 17:08

      i wonder how many people are using heater here in GP when they live in a lovely house with many blankets? But yes, its so nice to have heaters on hey! sis

      Marina - 2011-05-30 21:33

      We need an urgent paradigm shift, away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. No one is naive enough to suggest this can happen overnight, but we have to move in that direction NOW - adopting another technology (shale gas) that is as dirty as coal is definitely a step in the wrong direction! Greenpeace has just released a document showing that SA can obtain 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030, and 94% by 2050. But then of course $hell and other big oil/gas companies will not get their profits, o dear.....

      Jade - 2011-06-02 00:00

      Absolutely agree Marina. Germany is doing the right thing by closing down all of it's nuclear reactors. We need safe, sustainable, environmentally friendly energy sources if we're going to continue living in a healthy environment. South Africa has all the potential to do this and become global leaders in alternative technologies. We just need to give our politicians a good kick in the right direction. I was very happy to hear today that a proposal to install a wind farm in my municipality (Swellendam) has just been put on the table for consideration. We need more of this. One of my dreams is to eventually be able to live off the grid, totally self sufficient.

  • Rvd - 2011-05-30 16:04

    Just watched 'Gasland' by Josh Fox. Google it. The evidence against fracking is as clear as day. Josh Fox has no vested interest in fracking (unlike others) and just shows the facts as experienced by many Americans. If it can happen there then it most certainly can happen here. They've destroyed vast tracts of their own continent and now they want to start here. Wake up & oppose Shell's greed people!

  • JDWP - 2011-05-30 16:06

    I remember watching a documentary (Inside Job)recently on the financial crash that started in America, and various high-profile, well respected academics were paid by the companies they were asked to review, to write glowing reports, that ultimately resulted in misrepresentations. If you check out the case studies in the US on the Wikipedia page on 'fracking' you can see that fracking is riddled with problems and unanswered questions about groundwater contaminations that quite frankly, i wouldnt like to 'frack' with.

  • Liberated - 2011-05-30 16:13

    shut up you Earthlife folks. Anyway, at least we know you are paid to defend the environment at the expense of human beings who are supposed to exploit it to ensure survival... we need the jobs and i hope governenment listens more to the likes of the very learned Professor Lloyd and desist from taking the sentiments of selfish individuals and organisations like Earthlife africa

      Telara - 2011-05-30 20:43

      Has your brain been liberated from your skull? Keep your idiot comments to yourself you retard. Someone has to protect the environment from selfish, greedy, ignorant jackasses like you!

      Marina - 2011-05-30 21:39

      Liberated, I do agree, yours is not a very intelligent comment. $hell and big oil companies are the people with money, not Earthlife Africa, or environmentalists who care about sustainable development! NO ONE is paying them, where on earth did you get that ridiculous idea?? On the contrary, $hell is more likely to be paying anyone handsomely who will argue on their side of the debate, like the good Professor Lloyd....

      Will2.0 - 2011-06-01 16:48

      Liberated, to ensure our survival we need to ensure the earth's survival first. Exploiting it to the point of destruction won't do anyone any good in the long term. Surely you're not too liberated to see that?

      Mara - 2011-06-08 21:06

      Liberated you know nothing....what jobs? The only jobs will be skilled techinical jobs so how does that help the "man/woman on the ground"? Earthlife and other organisations are help to help mankind and prolong the life of the earth ie the name "Earthlife". Go and get educated.

  • Ai Tog... - 2011-05-30 16:19

    I weep for the fate of the Karoo and I dread the consequences of the astonishingly high level of ignorance the decision-makers and a large part of the S.A. public has in terms of protecting the environment. Information and statistics mean nothing if the receivers (government officials) are largely incapable of comprehending the big picture and learning lessons from others.

      Collitjies - 2011-05-30 17:17

      Have you tried eating the Karoo, employment means that unemployed people will remain unemployed and starving. Let the "Fracking" begin post haste.

  • docgene - 2011-05-30 16:19

    Who is paying Prof. Lloyd for his comments? Just because he is a Prof. doesn't mean that he knows what he is talking about.

  • semaj - 2011-05-30 16:28

    Euthanise the millions of sheep and cattle polluting the atmosphere with their methane flatulence, or else keep them indoors and harvest the gas, two way gain!

      Telara - 2011-05-30 20:45

      Euthanize the billions of useless stupid people overpopulating the planet. More space, more resources! Stop breeding!!!!!

  • george - 2011-05-30 16:35

    This is unfair, we need jobs here not some greenies who have never worked for a living before. If a professor can come forward and indicate that there wonty be bad environmental damage then lets stop sensationalising and dig for the gas. Most people are unemployed and resort to crime and poverty scavenging. Is the environment more important than the poor. I always wondered where all the wild animals in Europe have gone. Europeans killed them all, exploited every imagined mineral from the earth to develop themselves because they could not stand poverty. But here in Africa it is accepted to remain poor while we have abundant natural resources that can take us out of poverty. Why not they tell Saudi Arabia to stop oil operations due to emissions. We need to dig for this gas and other minerals to fight poverty, develop ourselves and later on we can divest into other technologies on full stomachs as the Europeans and the US have done.

      Looter - 2011-05-30 17:13

      to answer your question they are yes! without the environments health, you and your family wont have any! If you complain about job and food then stop having millions of children so we dont need so many jobs. I must say, you obviously dont know how many people truly are on this planet! Dont worry, when the water and food runs dry... we will see how mankind responds!

      Telara - 2011-05-30 20:47

      They don't 'dig' for the gas as you put it. Obviously you have internet access, try a google search on 'fracking'. They blast millions of litres of water, combined with a ton of chemicals into the ground to break apart the rock to release the gas. 'Dig', please....

  • Zakhele - 2011-05-30 16:45

    Brother Muna Lakhani of Earthlife Africa- Did you know that a MacDonald burger is more dangerous to your health than Shale Gas Fracking? Did you know that Jack Daniel and all other good old spirits are more harmfull to your health than Fracking? Did you know that cigarette smoking probably 10 time more harmful than Shale Gas fracking? Did you know that flying an aircraft (carrier) is more dangerous and that the probability of someone dying is 1000% higher than Shale Gas Fracking? You only need 3 tcf to design, run and operate an oil refinery for 25 years @ 34.5 barrel per day. If the 450 tcf is true-there South Africa is in for a treasure trough-that means 112 years at current South Africa’s oil consumption rate. Basically we can stick our middle finger up and say up yours to the world-for now. Lastly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Shale Gas Fracking. The government just to come to the party to absorb all te costs of minimizing the environmental threats. But with the former teachers (monkey see monkey do boys and girls) running the Energy ministry- the papers and your news24 will continue feeding the public with lies and fears of the sissies. I have told these buggers that the Cape (or South Africa for that matter) is at the bottom of the Gondwanaland-this means we will be the last to get the gas that depressurizes out of the ocean floor. When Gondwanaland cleaved- two things happened. Some large gigantic animals and plants got buried in the Persian Gulf Sea. Everything slide to the upper (Canada) and bottom (South Africa) oceans-hence you have shale gas in Canada and South Africa. Everywhere else it’s either oil, continuous gas, coal, or nothing. Lastly, shut up and let us do our work- we will deal with the environmental problems as we develop the project. Stop being a sissie man! Okay!

      Looter - 2011-05-30 17:16

      you should walk in the karoo!

      kaapnaar - 2011-05-30 18:03

      Well said. South Africa needs to go big. We are sitting on our treasures. Gauteng would not have been Gauteng and the powerhouse of Africa had it been allowed that nimbies got their way against gold digging. But the gold is running out. What's next to keep us going? It's high time we get off our laurels & make use of what we have been blessed with for our benefit and economic survival. Government should not allow any further delays. It will already take years to get this massive project started.

      thebee - 2011-05-30 19:03

      No Zakhele, its not okay actually! Have you no respect for nature and the breathtaking awesomeness of the Karoo? Have you driven the Swartberg pass on a clear day and been speechless at the beauty of it? Where do you get your facts Zakhele? References please. I wouldn't trust you with environmental issues further than I could throw a baby-grand Steinway.

      Telara - 2011-05-30 20:50

      You're more than welcome to stuff yourself with McDonalds, liquor, smokes, whatever. If it only affects you, knock yourself out. As it stands, fracking will affect entire communities. And it'll pollute our underground water aquifers. Jackass...

      george - 2011-05-31 08:14

      Zakhele, you correct. If we dont shale gas out of the karoo, we will continue to degrade economically. All developed countries of the world have fully exploited their underground resources for development purposes. Look at China, USA, Europe and the middle east. Dubai exploited their oil and atre now divesting into a financial hub. Oil gave them the kickstart. The windmill story is Don Quixote at his best.

      Robbie.wp - 2011-05-31 10:14

      "Lastly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Shale Gas Fracking. The government just to come to the party to absorb all te costs of minimizing the environmental threats. But with the former teachers (monkey see monkey do boys and girls) running the Energy ministry- the papers and your news24 will continue feeding the public with lies and fears of the sissies." friggin LOL man!!! what i find contradictory about this (and most of what you said) is that you say there's nothing wrong with fracking but in the very next sentence you say that the government has to cover costs of environmental damges?!?!? Are those the same monkey-see monkey-do teachers? Zakhlele, we are not sissies but merely concerned citizens.. but to major oil companies we're all expendable, THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH!!!!!

      Zakhele - 2011-05-31 12:33

      @Robbie.wp- correct. What I meant was that there is nothing wrong with a Macdonald burger and chips provided you take care of the oil and all the nastes used afterwards. If you let the oil and the other nasty chemicals drain into the sewer we might have an environmental problem. Worse still, if yu have a family feeding on McDonal burger every day-that family will not see the back end of McDonald.. Haha.. I got you ......Robbie.wp!

  • TheRealist - 2011-05-30 16:54

    ...didn't know the Karoo had trees to hug

      Looter - 2011-05-30 17:17

      wish they did..... the very air you breath is filtered and cleaned by these organisms!

  • Wollie - 2011-05-30 17:19

    All I can say is that I own one of the farms that is earmarked for fracking. I have already appointed a lawyer in the Netherlands and will be taking shell to court there should they come within a mile of my farm. I have also asked my lawyers to draft the necessary documentation to ask the EU to investigate the possibility of bribery or other legal violations by Shell, should this go ahead. I have also informed Shell to this effect. What most people do not understand is that we, the actual land owners in the Karoo, do not want this. Or is this a case of every person here supporting fracking, also supporting nationalisation of farmland? That is afterall what you are advocating - that the owners of the land should have no say or rights here. FYI I am not some country bumpkin farmer, I own several international companies and I know what the law says.

      kaapnaar - 2011-05-30 18:06

      Wollie, I hope the govt will revoke your land ownership rights, because you foreigners should not buy up our land. You do not live nor belong here. Therefore you should not be allowed to dictate to what is to the benefit of the real citizens of this country.

      thebee - 2011-05-30 19:05

      Good luck Wollie, take them to the cleaners!

      Wollie - 2011-06-01 13:30

      @kaapnaar ... huh? like you i am a born and bred Capetonian. Have lived hear all my life, only took my businesses offshore so that SA can benefit fromthe FDI coming back.

  • Markusman - 2011-05-30 19:31

    Trade off: Karoo destroyed forever in exchange for a couple of jobs and a couple wealthy tenderpreneurs

  • Fundi42 - 2011-05-30 19:40

    Ironically, natural gas is the only way that renewable energy can ever be rolled out in South Africa on the scale proposed by Earthlife Africa. Renewables are by their very nature feast or famine. When the sun shines/wind blows, thy generate power. When the sun stops shining/wind stops blowing, you need something else to make up the shortfall. In Europe and North America that something else is cheap natural gas.

      Marina - 2011-06-09 00:36

      Fundi you don't know what you are talking about. The peer-previewed Cornell study Muna Lakhani is referring to clearly proved that shale gas is AS DIRTY as coal, in other words it has the same detrimental effect. The International Energy Agency recently said that reliance on shale gas will raise earth's temperature by 3.5 degrees (we have to keep it under 2 percent!) and lead to run-away climate change - shale gas is NOT a bridging fuel to renewable energy! That is a lie that has been bandied about by the big oil companies who want to make the next quick buck.


  • Yetypu - 2011-05-31 00:35

    Professor Phillip Lloyd seems outside the ball-park with "hundreds of thousands of job", but hydraulic fracturing generally does not negatively impact groundwater. On balance, I'd say Prof Lloyd is better informed than Muna Lakhani or Earthlife Africa. People who reference "592 chemicals", spell it 'fracking' or think Gaslands is a documentary, are really pretty ill-informed.

      umlaut - 2011-06-01 20:30

      "but hydraulic fracturing generally does not negatively impact groundwater." Yetypoo, you use the word "generally", not the words "never ever affects groundwater". The Karoo might just be the exception and then there is less water, if any, for survival of living things. Did Lloyd qualify as a professor on a internet web site or is he a real professor? You are probably a Shell employee. If people say 592 chemicals or 3 chemicals it doesn't matter, 3 chemicals could be just bad enough to destroy or hurt life forms. How wonderful it would have been if the big oil companies could have a future strategy as to chanel some of their funds towards development of other energy types. Researchers have discovered that bacteria can be a power source, and Americans are making oil from sugar and algae. This can also be job creation and not the killing of the world.

  • Peter - 2011-05-31 07:10

    The world was also told that drilling in the Gulf of Mexico was a safe option. When will the powers that be understand big business is only interested in profit - at any expense? - which may even include a little bribe to help smooth the path.

  • Rallyround - 2011-05-31 10:47

    Shell have failed to show that they will not be using endocrine disruptors in the hydraulic franking process. The Government is acutely aware that endocrine disruptors causes sterility and transgendered children. The Government will not allow fracking if Shell does not come up with a satisfactory method of fracking which will not endanger the sex lives of reptiles, birds, animals and humans. "Fracking has an increasingly tainted reputation around the world and South Africa has made history by imposing a moratorium before an exploration licence has even been issued. TKAG is completely confident that the moratorium affirmed by our Cabinet will not be amended or lifted until the DMR team has reported back to Cabinet. This process entails months of research work" So says .Jonathan Deal of TKAG

  • g t - 2011-05-31 16:26

    NEWS24 censors comments for odd reasons. Maybe they don't approve of links to other (better?) websites. So here goes again. I refer to the following BBC link This refers to earthquakes which have recently occured in England as a probable result of fracking

  • bradleystilwell - 2011-06-01 13:08

  • Deirdre - 2011-06-01 21:03

    read COLLAPSE by Jarryd Diamond, and realise that once started, the damage caused by mining for MANS INSTANT GATIFICATION continues for hundreds of years. For what reason should we allow SHELLS greed to take hold of our ancient landscape??? we will reap NO BENEFIT!!!!!!!

  • pitbull - 2011-06-04 07:15

    I agree that Shell is greedy but wait? Look at the government who is granting the rights. What is in it for them and specifically Mr Zuma and his cronies. How much money is he getting through the back door? Does any one remember what happened a few years ago with the arms deal? Mr Shaik took the fall, for what I believe was an exorbitant amount of money. Mr Zuma's part in the deal was squashed. Shell should never have been granted permission if an proper Environmental plan had been submitted to the correct experts, not the politicians.

  • Zion - 2011-06-05 08:24

    I just love the contradictions found in the garbage we read and that presented to us. Science can prove that fracking is dangerous but that same science cannot prove fracking is not dangerous. And so too with earth warming. Scientists may prove that Earth warming is a myth but those same scientists may not prove the reality of Earth warming and it they do then they are threatened with Violence (Australia) Science has the credentials to prove that Dagga is not harmful and that is hunky-dory but if those same scientists prove that dagga causes psychosis then they are conniving liars with an agenda and a conspiracy against the oil companies. Still trying to get my mind around the amount of dagga required to fill a 500ml castrol tin with Dagga oil. These subjects always conjure up a flurry of comments antagonism and internet sites to prove Piets point. And when they are displayed they are promptly deleted.

  • REALIST - 2011-06-07 13:18


  • Mara - 2011-06-08 21:01

    Well said Muna and Dr Rianne Teule, many of us agreed with you and are right with you. Thank you for being our "spokespeople".

  • Mara - 2011-06-08 21:10

    Another thing....Fossil fuels and just that, old fossils from the past! We need to move into the future and use what is given to us by nature...renewable energy ie the sun and wind, both everlasting. I say, use only renewables.

  • mama kalisa - 2011-06-09 06:56

    What about the jobs that will be lost in the agriculture & tourism industries? Has anyone seen what a fracked landscape looks like? Can anyone restore the purity of fracked water? Have they heard about renewable energy?

  • John - 2011-06-09 20:19

    Leave the Karoo alone with it's splendor....Nothing like big industrial Fracking equipment on the horizon to attract the tourists..This is not even worth thinking about..

  • simone.s.govender - 2012-05-07 18:50

    thanks to these great activists we are aware of whats going on around us and we can have our say, whether for or against a cause. i vote against fracking. even though it might give rise to the economy and job creation it would serve no purpose if the people or environment this is meant to help are dying from harmful pollutants.

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