Importance of Natural Resources

Hey Bill Nye, “Are You For or Against Fracking?”


Hi Bill. My name is Susan, aka primordial
soup, and I have a question about fracking. Are you for it or against it and why? And
on the subject of energies what’s the holdup with the green energies? Is it that there’s
not enough investment money, not enough profits, not enough public interest, other, all of
the above? Thank you for answering my question. Are you primal or primordial? If it’s a
primordial soup I love you. So let’s talk about fracking. I left Boeing because they
wanted me to work on the 767 airplane which wasn’t going to fly for 15 years. And when
you’re a young guy that just seems like a really long time. So I took a job as an
engineer in a shipyard at the place where they skim oil slicks. They made at that time
the best or the most popular oil slick skimming boat. And then that led to a job for me in
the oil field. I worked in the oil patch for a while where they frack. Now my uncle, my
beloved mother’s younger brother really was this guy. He was a geologist, graduated
from Johns Hopkins and he got a job with – then he was in the army during the Korean War as
an engineer. And then he worked for DuPont Dynamite going all over the world blowing
stuff up. He loved to blow stuff up. It was big fun for him. He was – you’re not supposed
to say your favorite but he was my beloved uncle. Anyway I have his books on this business
and I have – he’s not living anymore. And I have a torpedo – and a torpedo is
something that they used to use in the oil field and in mining. It’s a tube. In English
units it’s two and a half inches in diameter and four and a half feet long. And it has
a crude funnel soldered on the top or brazed on the top. And according to him – now look
I wasn’t there and the guy was a storyteller. He’s a raconteur. They would usually stuff the torpedo with
dynamite but sometimes they would pour liquid nitroglycerine into this thing, this tube.
I mean if it blew up that’s it. You wouldn’t even know it. You wouldn’t even know what
happened. You’d just be powder or liquid powder, droplets. All right you’ve just
got to keep it cold Bill. You just keep it cold, 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Just keep it
cold. You’ll be able to – what? So anyway they would lower it into the oil well and
then apparently in his day they would have wired electricity and they would set it off
– boom – dynamite or nitroglycerine. But in the old, old days – I’ve seen his book
– they had something like a shotgun shell and a rope and they would yank it – boom.
So that would be fracturing or fracking right at the bottom of the well straight down. That
was the state of the art. But what’s happened now we can steer drill bits in just three
meters, in just ten feet from the floor to the ceiling in this room I’m sitting in.
So now you can drill down like this and go sideways. And this has led to irresponsible
fracturing or fracking. And this is where it’s not inherently a bad idea, it just
can’t be unregulated. And apparently that’s been the problem where people – oil companies
especially are not – or the foreman on the job, the tool push as he’s called, are able
to get away with this irresponsible practice. And so the thing about it, you know, usually
these gas bearing shales, this rock real down deep is a layer formed from an ancient sea
or what have you. So I like to describe it this way. I don’t’ know if you’ve ever
been around an obnoxious kid at a sandwich shop. But he or she may take the straw – it’s
usually a boy – take the straw and poke it into the sandwich and then suck sandwich
out of the end of the straw. Now when you do that you’re going to get a little pastrami
but you’re going to get a lot of bread. But imagine if you could go into the sandwich
sideways. Then you can get all the pastrami or tuna salad or chicken salad or cheese or
whatever vegan meal, whatever it is. You could get it all that way. And that’s the principle
behind modern – it’s called hydraulic fracturing, fracking. You drill sideways and
then you pump fracking fluid – it’s incompressible stuff and give it a pow and then it cracks
everything and the gas comes up. The gas doesn’t always come out the tube that you put it in
or the opening you put it in. Sometimes it comes out in somebody’s sink. So fracturing
is not inherently bad. The problem with renewable energy right now is multipronged as you might
imagine. The first thing is oil and coal are so cheap. Nobody pays for putting the carbon
in the atmosphere. That’s the drag right now. We are all – and I did it my whole
life. I mean hey man. We were all able to drive cars, burn gasoline, make carbon dioxide,
make a greenhouse gas, leave open containers of gasoline around making – that’s also
those volatiles are also are greenhouse. Methane – yes you can talk about cows but natural
gas being flared or just leaked is another greenhouse gas. All that stuff we’ve been
able to do for centuries and nobody said anything. There’s no tax on it.
Renewables are not – it’s hard to make them compete when these other energy sources
are so heavily subsidized. Just think about this. Having a military on the other side
of the world protecting oil fields. That is essentially a subsidy for oil and gas. But
then in the next bigger picture the problem we have technically or from a physics standpoint
is the sun doesn’t shine all the time. We have – you’re probably familiar with it,
a phenomenon called night. And then the wind doesn’t blow strongly all the time. It blows
strongest in the evening and the morning. So what we need is the better battery. And
when I say battery I mean writ large. We need better energy storage systems or new or just
enhanced or amazing. Now the Tesla Motor Company is now selling batteries for your garage wall
that have 10 kilowatt hours I think which is a lot that can run your refrigerator for
a day and a half, you know, two days. It’s pretty cool. But we need energy storage in
a much – like on the scale of Hoover Dam, or Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River.
Enormous energy storage capability. And there’s an idea that I am just thoroughly charmed
by. And that is you would make a huge hole in
the ground on purpose and we are really good at this. I mentioned – we talked about fracking
a moment ago. We, it was me doing the talking about fracking. We are really good at explosives,
you know. We use almost half a billion pounds which in old unit it’s like a quarter billion
kilos of explosives every year just in the U.S. Imagine trying to dig all that stuff
up without explosives. Put it out of your mind. It ain’t going to happen. That’s
how Nobel got so crazy rich that he could just give away a million dollars five or six
times a year and not think about it. The same with DuPont inventing explosives. Good idea.
All right. Blow a big hole in the ground and use the tailings or the leftover rock to create
a giant piston, a giant thing that you would lift up every day with solar or wind energy
let’s say – or even – I mean I’m not trying to get carried away. Even a nuclear
power plant. A smaller one than you would have to build otherwise. And you would pump
water under this piston, lift it up and then at night or when the power is not running
or just to deal with a peak load at a power plant you let that piston fall down, squeeze
the water back up, run it through a nice Francis turbine is a very popular style – by popular
I mean they’re very efficient way to make – to run an electric generator. That’s
what they use at dams and stuff. It’s a style where the water comes through the inside
instead of running like a paddle wheel. Anyway, we would do that and you might have like a
giant gravity weight cylinder water pump farm. You might have ten of these things. And then you start getting into being able
to store megawatt hours of electricity. You’d be on an industrial scale. And the thing is
it wouldn’t cost that much. We have the technology. We have explosives. We have guys
that people that love to make concrete things. You take the broken up the rip rap rock and
make it into a giant piston. We have turbines. We have pumps. We’re good at all this stuff.
No nuclear waste. No having to dam a river and screw up an ecosystem. And we have places
around the country where we have power plants which have a big environmental impact already.
And we could build these things. And if you want to get crazy you could have a forest
on top of them. I mean that’s a lot to ask but this technology really charms me. What
we need is energy storage. And the other thing we need primordial soup is better electrical
transmission. We’re pretty good at it but I had the rare opportunity and this is one
thing that happens to you and I’m just some guy. I interviewed Rick Smalley who unlike
many of us here in the studio had a Nobel Prize. Anybody? I guess nobody here at Big
Think has a Nobel Prize either. Anyway, he got a Nobel Prize for discovering buckeyballs.
The buckminsterfullerenes. These are spheres of carbon. And his dream as a chemist was
to stir it up soup woman and they would – this tube like you cut the sphere in half and a
tube grows with the same pattern of interstices and network where you get this nanotube that
not be a few nanometers or billionths of a meter long but be meters long or kilometers
long. And then the electrons would flow through these things with hardly any electrical resistance.
If we could develop those things and run let’s say direct current power lines around. It
would, dare I say it, change the world. That’s a great question primordial soup. Thank you
for asking.


Reader Comments

  1. I work in the oil industry he's an idiot his uncle lied to him they never did use nitroglycerin to Frack Wells or Dynamite to Frack wells

  2. As an ice free arctic emerges this autumn or spring 2019 we'll have a Havana Xmas, a Sahara spring and a scorching Venus summer, then poof, after 8 billion perish and humans go extinct, Trump can emerge from his bunker with all the Nazi preppers and they can survive on radioactive gay frogs and rule the toxic, 140F world…what's left of it.

  3. Bill Nye the now political science bs guy. Totally uneasy and socially strange, muttle headed and tacky….Bill Nye for 8th grade Chess Club President.

  4. you're not s'posed to say your favorite child. uncles are ok. if you're trying to figure it out it's usually the one who didn't touch you inappropriately or forget you in the stadium after the final four to go out and do some rioting

  5. Great! Nye giving his expert opinion in his actual area of expertise, engineering. Now if he could just remember that's his only area of expertise, he might be a cool guy.

  6. you can tell he is being paid out of his arse by his donors for this just by how well rehearsed and memorised this speech seems

  7. Germany tried getting rid of all their emissions… they increased… maybe its because you shouldn't be pouring money into something we dont have the technology to advance… maybe wait till its efficiency… also what do plants eat? What is a greenhouse? You act like you know the solution to everything when you dont. What's the solution to global warming? We dont have one. And we dont need one. Your ideas are moronic and far to expensive. Your plan is tax the shit out of the people you dont like and use that money to subsidize the people you dom that's called theft. Also solar and wind was subsidized and it didnt take off. The reason is we dont have the technology. It would be like inventing the hdmi cable 50 years ago and having the TV Makers taxed to subsidize it. Sure its cool but without surrounding technology its pointless and a waste of money. Or here is another one it's like taking the brand new bill nye show and then saying to everyone elts who runs a show. You must fire employees, you can only produce 1 episode every two weeks, and you cant hire new people. Bill nye you get the money we raise from them and have no restrictions. Compete.
    You would say that's theft and it's wrong. But when it's someone you hate in the crosshairs you turn the other way.

  8. I disagree with ol' Bill a lot and he never really answered the original question, but advanced Energy Storage is something I've been saying we need for a long time, and that piston idea is an interesting concept.
    Solar Power and Wind Farms do not produce enough power or consistent power to ever be a primary power source, and our power grid is still working off 1950s technology because it's so heavily regulated, for the power companies there is no profit in upgrading therefore there is no incentive.

  9. Yeah and its all.along the San Andreas Fault and all.over California! Which makes.the Fault.line weaker. Also fracking causes earthquakes!!! Wth !! Stop!!!

  10. And btw why arent you saying these go to from.a few.hundred feet.to a few thousand feet into the ground!!! Trying to defer.what it really does thats dangerous to us!

  11. oil companies make billions they dont give a fock about your family or enviorment hazards.. to shut them down can you use your explosive idea on them first and bury all our hazardous issues underground please

  12. Bill Nye is an engineer. He has no training in geology or environmental science. His opinion on this subject is no better than my dog's opinion.

  13. the question went unanswered, with fracking there is a real risk of groundwater pollution, this has happened over and over again, waste water is contaminated with radio active substances and as the chemicals used in frack fluids are held as intellectual property they are not revealed. this waste water has to be contained in lagoons and a lot of it has been discharged into the ocean, frack fluids do not stop but go on and on into the geology. seismic events could become very serious. there are massive cover ups of the ill health resuting from this industry.
    Bill Nye should be talking about the Audit by Dr John McClean for his PhD thesis of the HadCRUT4 Data Set which is used by the IPCC for Climate Modelling. It has been found to be totally unreliable due to a multitude of errors and eroneous data collection (if collected at all).

  14. The gas can't escape to surface due to fracking…the reservoir rock traps everything inside except from one side where it recieves the fluids from the source rock

    Also how can gas escapes through thousands feets of xground layers

  15. Around 70% of the Earth is covered in water. The boundary of Earth's molten core is around 10500 degrees F. Humans are good at drilling holes. Put the three together and install electricity generating turbines and you have virtually free energy for a few thousand years.

  16. Always thought you were a fracking smart ass..and yes, I'm a card carrying MENSAn so I guess I'm one too, exception being, I won't have to hire pall bearers when I die.

  17. I'm blessed to be in a position here I'm able to share a few facts. Bill Nye is a member of a very unique club. He and his cohort, Neil Tyson Grasse, both fill the same role in this club, ..the club of paid pundits peddling government disinformation. Sadly, the same was true for 'ex-club' member Carl Sagan, whom, just like Bill Nye, had gained quite a following from 'his' TV show Cosmos, making it necessary to for him to "volunteer" for a government style lobotomy and military indoctrination.
    Post-op, Bill Nye freely and apparently without any conscious, supports every "official" government narrative on everything from fish farts to UFO's.

    Okay, Key moment in the video so, lets recap: When speaking about "sustainable green energy", Bill Nye the Science Guy just uttered the most "telling" comment ever by stating, "what we need is a better battery". Big Thinker or purveyor of disinformation?

  18. Bill WTF, 10kw/h doesn't run a fridge for a day. The average family sized fridge uses between 100-200w of power.
    And the fridge isn't on all the time, it only turns on when the inside is higher than the thermostat. Fridges are on around 30% of the time on average, meaning that in 24 hours it would be running for around 7.2 hours. Now 7.2 hours at 150w power is only 1.08kw/h bill. You could run this fridge for nearly 10 days, not 1 day.

  19. >^..^< Mr. Nye, Respectfully I Ask where was the answer to how you feel about the current state of the art of fracking practiced on planet Earth in the 10+ min video linked to this page??? After all, she diid not ask about "Pie in the Sky" fracking.

  20. You're a corrupt scientist. Saying fracking is not bad. Except it's the most criminal thing on the planet especially because it uses so much fresh water that it poisons forever. Humans can live sustainably without fossil fuels as proven by earthships. But governments and media are covering up and outright banning and taxing ethical and sustainable lifestyle. Tesla batteries are not a solution nor are Tesla cars. How much money did you get to say fracking is not inheritly bad? There's people with real solutions and who are ethical and sustainable and guess what none of them got a degree in science in fact they've proven that University level science is unnecessary to live an ethical comfortable happy sustainable life. I suspect you are bought by corporation to psy-op manipulate and make our lives hell without conscience that pervades the authorities and politicians and media.

  21. On the topic of fracking, why didn’t you mention that it contaminates the environment, and causes earthquakes? It inherently causes earthquakes, because you’re destabilizing the ground (idk a lot about earthquakes but I know all the research sees huge rises in them around fracking places)

  22. They don't work………….a friends solar panels cost three times what his car cost in CO2 to produce…..they take 4 days to make enough energy to make a pot of coffee….they are bullshit! A car weighing the same as a cornflake packet and the same surface area as a cadillac, managed to travel North South up Australia, at 16mph for 7hrs a day, driven by a skinny 14yr old…….Most of this Green power is smoking mirrors !

  23. Make a huge hole in the ground………where do you put the spoil? Seal it? Replace the Seal? Where do you put the water you use? How much Diesel will you have to burn to make this thing?…………..

  24. Bill obviously knows a lot about science as a whole but you can tell, when he slips into his mechanical engineering wheelhouse, that he really knows a lot about engineering.

  25. The financial shenanigans behind fracking are on another level. People question if it's even profitable considering the amount of energy put in.

  26. Bill Nye is the same guy who, instead of responding to "what makes you think climate change is caused by humans" replied "You're an idiot if you don't believe…" please excuse if I typo a couple words, but that's a really messed up way to reply to something you supposedly have knowledge about. Bullying tactics from a guy that probably lost to bullies in high school. This guy should be disowned by all of his followers.

  27. Frack chemicals pumped into the ground then ‘flow back’ hitting water table, yes, Bill, that is inherently bad.

  28. Why not convert excess energy into hydrogen so we can use the existing petroleum infrastructure, convert coal and gas plants to hydrogen plants run vehicles and homes on hydrogen?

  29. Renewable energy takes resources and the resources have a life span, they ware out. Also, the amount of energy we use is an unbelievable rate. We would need so much infrastructure and have to replace it every few years.

  30. What about thorium ??????????????

    Nobody want to hear that,because powers not to be take money from them …

  31. These problems can be solved. We have to build technology but it can be done. We can make hydrogen gas as
    a fuel that burns completely clean. We can make hydrogen with salt water and electrolysis. We can store the
    hydrogen to provide power on cloudy days. We can make hydrogen anywhere there is salt water and sunlight so
    we can reduce the size of our electrical power grids. We can replace the copper wire with graphene wire.
    There are other power storage solutions. Salt batteries and solid state batteries and flywheels, which is like what
    he was talking about at the end there. Fracking produces waste water which will contaminate communities
    also it is highly unlikely that oil companies won't destroy the land and water with their pipes and drilling. The abandoned well heads will leak methane and we would need to retool America's automobiles to burn LPG so
    why not make EV's and fuel cell cars instead. We don't need fracking, oil companies need fracking and they don't
    care about you!

  32. Racoon Mountain in Tennessee. Look it up. It's been there for decades. Pumped storage. Bill Nye is a "stealer" of ideas. Oh yeah, AND a toxic liberal leftist gooney goof.

  33. This guy is a professional comedian, you are just asking him science questions because he made a kid's show on science.

  34. I live in North Dakota and the oil rigs up here are killing wildlife in the area and it’s sad. The truckers don’t care for the wildlife and I’ve seen more deer/random animals on the side of the road the past 3 years than I have ever seen in my entire life. I know some may be caused by random citizens but I’ve seen a few trucks just graze these deer like it’s nothing and don’t even report it! They just leave the poor deer on the road to decompose! Some of these truckers are crazy, too! They harass (sexually mostly) women in this area like crazy! I’ve had several experiences myself working at a gas station for the truckers that pass through my town. The oil companies and their “base locations” don’t care about their surroundings and just keep getting bigger!! It’s killing this beautiful land up here. I miss seeing the stars at night because the flairs are always lighting up the sky to the point where the only thing shining is the moon. Outside of the Bakken (the oil area in ND) there are at least 30 wind generators outside of Minot, ND. Half of them work and half of them don’t. I wanna know why there arent more of those wind generators and why only some of them work and not all of them? Also, love the video!! It brought so much light onto some of the things I didnt understand about the oil industry.

  35. 6:52 does anyone know any sources for this idea he is talking about? I’m very curious and would love to do some research on this, but I’ve been having a bit of trouble finding reliable sources on the topic

  36. Bill Nye is a Progressive mouthpiece. He pretends his opinions are based
    on 'science' but actually he is Barack Obama who worked to keep the
    price of oil high for his masters.
    If you've never worked for a living, your comment is biased. You are
    repeating the ideas of your 'teachers' who actually know less than you
    do. Stop acting like a 'herd of wild turkeys, farting your way to relevance'

  37. Fracturing isn’t inherently bad? Horse shit. They sluff off three different radioactive materials and dump it in the ocean.

  38. We are making towers for windmills where I work, lots of them. Companies are seeing wind power as a money maker, and investing to expand their test projects.

  39. So…irresponsible fracking and lack of controls on environmental pollution/greenhouse gases is the problem.  A layered answer.

  40. Fracking is amazing technology, has advanced along over the past 80 years – it's safe – regulations coupled with technology made it so. America now produced 12 million barrels a day – we don't need to go to war in the middle east anymore as we are now 90% self sufficient because of fracking – saving thousands of American lives (since 2001, over 50,000 Americans injured in wars for middle east oils…don't believe it's for anything else).

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