“Fracking” was the second most popular UK search term in the “what is?” category on Google in 2014.
(The top ten were: Love; Fracking; Gluten; FGM; Lupus; Anxiety; Twerking; Instagram; Gout; Bitcoin).
What this tells you is that capitalism in general and the fracking industry in particular is losing the argument.
How does it tell you this?
Because what it instantly suggests is that “fracking” is a controversial process.
And indeed fracking is a controversial process. But only because it has been tarred that way as a result of several years of very successful propagandising by the green movement, which the fracking industry and its allies in government have proved hopelessly inadequate at countering.
Let me give you an example of how frackers are losing the culture war. It’s a front page story in today’s Telegraph headlined “National parks to be saved from fracking.”
All right, so the Telegraph is no longer a very conservative newspaper. But it’s still not –yet – the Guardian. Yet here it is, the paper of the Tory shires, taking a line on fracking which might just have come straight off a Friends of the Earth press release.
“Saved” – there in the headline is a heavily loaded term which conjures up the image of fracking as some kind of monster.
Then in the standfirst, there’s this similarly-charged phrase. “Victory for countryside campaigners as new curbs are set on drilling for shale gas.”
Countryside campaigners? Eh? Since when did the raggle-taggle rentamob of urban crusties, greenies, Occupy-style perma-protestors, anti-capitalists, Caroline Lucas etc who descended on Balcombe last year earn that honorific? These are the people who want to carpet our landscape with wind turbines. I call that “anti-countryside.” With knobs on.
And what about this weasel phrase: “Campaigners have warned that fracking could lead to water contamination and the destruction of wildlife habitats”? Nope. The more accurate verb is “claimed” or “alleged.” There is no evidence to support this dishonest, heavily-politicised mischief-making.
Who controls the language claims the culture. Who controls the culture wins the ideological war.
Horizontal fracking – the marvellous technology which enables oil and gas companies to drill, sideways, thousands of feet below the surface and extract, at almost no environmental cost, hitherto unrecoverable resources of cheap, abundant energy – is one of the modern miracles of Western civilisation.
Time we ignored the green propagandists and faced up to the facts.