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Political Ecology: Mapping the Shale Gas Boom

Political Ecology: Mapping the Shale Gas Boom | Geography Education |
Where in the United States is fracking unlocking natural gas from shale rock?

Seth Dixon's insight:

New to the APHG course content is term political ecology.  Briefly, the Political Ecology Society defines it as the study of the political and economic principles controlling the relations of human beings to one another and to the environment.  Anytime people are managing the environment in a way that is politically contentious (such as fracking in the USA), that topic can be analyzed using political ecology.


Tags: political ecology, fracking, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 29, 2013 9:53 PM

In class we studied "fracking," or the fracturing of shale deep in the Earth with blasts of fluid, which produces a harvestable oil yield and much pollution to aquifers in the area.  I live at a house sometimes, where the water is rusty- and it really prevents me from doing much of anything with the water.  I can't cook with it, I can't shower in it, I can't drink it, I have to use bottled water to even brush my teeth because the simple rust content is so vile.  I cannot even imagine what the industrial acid- hydrochloric acid, as well as other contaminants in the water- would do to the water someone relies on...  I think of situations where neighbors trees are dangling over someone else's property, and how branches may be required to be cut down because of their interference with neighboring property, and I would hope that something can be done about protection of aquifers, along the same times... If there is something negative or unwanted affecting someone's water, something really should be done about it.  Knowing that there are negative consequences that come along with fracking, I really can't fathom why people do it!  I live in a protected watershed area in Scituate that does not allow development of any kind on one side of the road because of the Scituate Reservoir.  People are not allowed in the Reservoir Property at all, let alone not allowed to dump waste or cause any sort of harm to the environment, because a huge portion of the state of RI gets their water from that reservoir.  I am not an absolute tree-hugger, but I also don't think that such problematic activites should be 'stirred up' in areas that affect something that humans rely on and need to survive.  While I see that I am not affected by these shale fracking ops as are indicated on the map, I also DO care about the peope in those areas! Why should they be subjected to such putrification of their water resources?  I am once again perplexed by the darkness of humanity.

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, December 10, 2013 3:48 PM

This was a very interesting topic to read about,  its clear the issue of fracking has so many cracks to it(haha). While whats occuring is completly unnatural, the economic forces behind it are clear, this is a big way to help give amercans cheeper gas. However the effects it has locally are increadibly destuctive and will likely have futher consiquences as fracking continues. I noticed by looking at this map that policialy it seem like fracking is occuring in the red states, seems they want to use there land for the resouces even though it might destroy. While politicaly librals want to protect there enviorments of there blue states. This really adds anouther levle to it and how the placment of these new gas companys is panning out arcosss america.

Kyle Kampe's curator insight, May 28, 11:06 PM

In AP Human Geo., this relates to the concept of the ecological perspective of geography because it describes the relationship between political geography and the ecological makeup of a region.

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