Fracking has the potential to be as controversial and as damaging as thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos, a report from the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser warns.
The technology has been developed to help oil companies extract gas trapped in shale rock but, the report fears, it could prove to be another innovation that takes society in the wrong direction.
Drawing a direct comparison with fracking technology chief scientist Mark Walport’s annual report said: “History presents plenty of examples of innovation trajectories that later proved to be problematic — for instance involving asbestos, benzene, thalidomide, dioxins, lead in petrol, tobacco, many pesticides, mercury, chlorine and endocrine-disrupting compounds, as well as CFCs, high-sulphur fuels and fossil fuels in general.
“In all these and many other…
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