I’ve tried to avoid the topic of hydraulic fracturing or fracking as it is now more readily known, for a number of reasons, one being, fracking is actually not a new technique.  It was first used over sixty years, and was just as controversial then, as it is proving to be today.

Sixty years ago it was also creating an environmental stir particularly in areas where fracking took place. The scale of fracking back then was almost on a level with that of today, the only difference being, today engineers are going for a different layer of rock that happens to be deeper than the layer of rock being fractured over sixty years ago.

The environmental issues are certainly valid, as still many questions remain unanswered as to the long term effects and dangers of hydraulic fracturing. Contamination is a real threat and many cases have been cited where fracking had taken place. Computers and drill operators have improved many times over in the past 60 years but where this technology still falls short is in predicting the consequences of contamination to the environment.

Exhaust gases such as methane gas and hydrogen sulphide are both not very nice if an accident occurs because of the miscalculation of disposal. Then there is the question of the vast amounts of water needed for the exercise, this "used" water then needs to be decontaminated and even then it can still be quite harmful to the environment if not treated correctly.

These are just some of the problems, and of course there are many positives in terms of an alternative energy source, however the scale of the potential risks has at least made France announce its ban of any fracking operations.