Books in Brief by Barbara Kiser, December 17, 2015, Vol 528 Nature, International weekly journal of science
Barbara Kiser reviews five of the week’s best science picks
Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand against the World’s Most Powerful Industry Andrew Nikiforuk GREYSTONE (2015)
This meticulously researched study by journalist Andrew Nikiforuk lifts the lid on the costs of that vast geological-engineering experiment, fracking. It centres on Canadian environmental impact assessor Jessica Ernst, who in 2005 found explosive levels of methane in her well water, fingered the culprit as fracking and launched a legal battle. Interwoven with her story is a deft history of fracking from the 1850s (when torpedoes and nitroglycerin were used) through the 1960s (nuclear explosions) to modern hydraulic fracturing.