Fracking Politics and Propaganda The Spiked web page often turns a suspicious gaze on media hype. Spiked deputy editor Rob Lyons does that again in Gasland: How to Turn Good News into Bad (http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/10156/). The background is that fracturing layers of shale in the ground could yield a couple centuries of affordable natural gas for heating homes and running industries. Of course, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” There may be some dangers of natural gas or other chemicals leaking into the water supplies above the shale deposits. Gasland makes that case. However, Lyons’ complaint is that Gasland is short on confirmable evidence and long on polemics. Some wells in the Pennsylvania area shown in the film have long had natural gas contamination that was, well, natural. What are the verifiable costs, and how do they compare with a potential game changer bigger than Col. Edwin Drake’s first well drilling rock oil? The stakes are high.