Oil and natural gas production through hydraulic fracturing (fracking) leads to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases, environmental extremists claim in a desperate new attack. The desperate attack comes as natural gas, rather than wind and solar power, replaces coal power throughout the United States.
Outlandish claims about global warming causing more wife beatings, school violence, genocide, etc., are common in the global warming debate. Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health now seek to takes such ridiculous claims to the next level by applying them to fracking.
According to the Yale researchers, incidences of gonorrhea and chlamydia in nine Ohio counties with the most fracking activity in the states are approximately 20% higher than in counties without fracking. The researchers claim fracking is the cause. However, as the researchers admit, fracking itself does not cause the modest rise in these sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Instead, the researchers claim economic growth lures workers with higher rates of STDs to the region.
When a strong economy creates new jobs that exceed the local labor pool, workers with high mobility migrate to the region to fill the jobs. More workers with high mobility, the researchers assert, tend to have higher rates of STDs.
The objection that fracking causes an increase in STD rates is, therefore, an argument against strong economic growth of any kind. Deliberately overlooking the very real harms caused by economic squalor in the previously depressed Appalachian economies in Eastern Ohio where fracking is most prevalent, environmental extremists argue it is better for people to remain economic squalor because more jobs, higher incomes, better schools, and higher living standards might tangentially attract workers who have higher rates of STDS.
Try telling that to people living in poverty.