WHAT DO YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND TO TEACH ABOUT HYDROFRACKING?
It would be ideal if we knew what it meant to be "hydrofracking literate" before determining what specialized skills and knowledge are needed to teach toward such a goal. However, waiting for a scientific consensus regarding the environmental impacts of hydrofracking before defining fracking literacy is not really an option. Part of the specialized knowledge needed for teaching fracking therefore includes knowledge about teaching uncertainty. It is also essential to contextualize fracking and its associated issues in the larger energy system and, indeed, in the context of Earth system science. Further, understanding scale is essential to have a deep understanding of fracking.
The fundamental question about unconventional gas extraction is not, "Is this bad for the environment?" All large scale energy development is bad for the environment. The question is something closer to, "Is this less bad for the environment than things we are doing now (to get energy) or might reasonably do in the near future?" This is complicated work.
This presentation will address these issues and more without advocating for or against unconventional drilling.