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Just because someone tells you that a majority of scientists agree this matter is settled, that doesn’t make it so. Ask Columbus, Galileo, Einstein and a host of scientists over history who were called “deniers.” I have nothing against wind and solar sources of energy (other than the visual pollution) but I can assure you they aren’t competitive nor preferable to hydrocarbons, unless you live on a mountaintop or a remote island that cannot be reached by conventional power. Government subsidies will not make them economically viable; only the marketplace will.

Earth science and the dynamics of temperature, CO2 concentrations, ocean levels and long-term climate projections are complicated and the theories are unsettled by any measure. One thing that’s certain is that natural sources of CO2 overwhelm that generated by man-made emissions. In fact, most scientists say that only 3 to 4 percent of the CO2 in the lower atmosphere is from synthetic sources. The U.S. is the world leader in reducing these emissions, mostly due to improved technology and its gradual conversion from coal to natural gas for power generation.

This resulted from the abundance of cheap and cleaner-burning natural gas due to the application of the fracking/horizontal drilling technology. The extraction of oil and gas from previously thought to be depleted reservoirs, and from our vast shale deposits, will make us energy independent for centuries. This should be celebrated by all.

Instead, people who utilize and promote this technology are accused of willfully wanting to poison your drinking water, deform your baby and give you cancer, even if they know this has never happened in the 70 years that fracking has been practiced.

They do this because they have allowed their ideology to become the science, so nothing can convince them otherwise. Some even resort to criminal activity to stop the construction of pipelines to safely transport and use this new-found energy.

Politicians in some states take donations from these protest groups and the media fuels their adverse views. They introduce bills to ban the process solely on the premise that bad things might happen, even though numerous credible studies and results have concluded otherwise.

The scientific method is not speculation and fearmongering; it is conclusive evidence and demonstrative results. Life is a series of risk versus reward decisions. The next time someone tells you we must ban fracking ask them to show you evidence of the risks and then let them know the rewards.

Ahearn, Ph.D., was entrepreneur of the year for Northeast Ohio in 2001. A former CEO, he co-founded and built two international chemical companies. He was employed at Exxon for 28 years, 10 of which were in research on oil production, recovery and fracturing techniques.

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