Ask Josh Fox Anything: Why Should Republicans Care About Fracking?

The Gasland filmmaker discusses how fracking collides with private property rights:

A reader writes:

Your dissents to Fox’s seemingly biased presentation of the facts around fracking raise a larger issue that I’d be interested in seeing the Dish cover. Specifically, while the preponderance of scientific evidence for global warming tends to be embraced by liberals, issues such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), nuclear power, environmental issues related to the Keystone Pipeline, and fracking are areas where liberals seem more willing to ignore scientific evidence or embrace questionable science in their opposition.  Why is that?

The fear of “Frankencorn” is a somewhat legitimate concern, but does that slight fear outweigh the far more realistic danger from excessive pesticide, land or water usage, all of which are areas that GMOs offer tremendous environmental benefits?  Similarly, given the danger of global warming and the safety record of the nuclear industry (not to mention that recent studies may show nuclear power has actually saved lives), why are so many liberals hell-bent on opposing nuclear power?  In both cases, the opposition seems to be based on a remotely-plausible worst-case scenario, while the scientific evidence seems to strongly support for the opposite position that supposedly pro-science liberals advocate. I have very good, very well-educated liberal friends who are adamant in their support for reducing global warming, but equally adamant in their opposition to nuclear power or fracking, and I honestly don’t understand this seeming dichotomy.

I don’t either. If your concern is climate change, and you believe that slowing or preventing it is your fundamental priority, then nuclear power should be high up on the list for energy-production. On GMOs, I side with my reader, depending on the specific case. I’m always amused by liberal stoners who oppose genetically modified plants. What on earth do they think they’re smoking? As for fracking, I think it’s worth airing Josh’s case, but I remain unconvinced. If it provides energy while lowering carbon emissions, I’m for it, without some overwhelming argument against. I’ve yet to hear one.

Gasland Part II will air on HBO this summer. Fox’s other Ask Anything answers are here. Full AA archive here.