Fracking (Hydraulic Fracturing) 6 of 7

Last spring I did a pretty thorough look into fracking so here a copy. Necessarily due to the length it is broken into multiple parts. Here are the links for all parts: Fracking: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Citations.

Methods & Results II

A third small study was conducted using the Google Trends program (url: http://www.google.com/trends/ ). Fracking keywords (see Methods & Results I for the list) as described above were submitted through the Trends Program to examine the types of internet queries conducted in the Google search engine. All of these queries except “Fracking” returned poor or no results, due to low search volume. For this reason, only the “Fracking” trends information was examined, due to the other 13 searches having insufficient data to draw conclusions other than, “People are not querying these terms in the Google search engine very frequently.”

Examining the “Fracking” set for interest over time, it was observed that prior to 2010 there was barely anyone searching for “Fracking”, which agrees with the results from the database analysis presented earlier in this paper. The trends software identified 11 significant peaks where the number of people querying “Fracking” increased significantly, and identified the following article list as the reasons for those peaks:

  • CBS – September 13, 2010 – Natural Gas “Fracking” Debate Draws Hundreds
  • The Washington Times – April 12, 2011 – Fracking shale for gas brings wealth, concerns
  • The Wall Street Journal – August 11, 2011 – Gov’t panel: Fracking chemicals should be revealed
  • Fox News – November 02, 2011 – English Tremors Blamed on Shale ‘Fracking’
  • The Raw Story – January 3, 2012 – Quakes halt Ohio ‘fracking’ waste water well
  • Reuters – May 4, 2012 – U.S. proposes new rules for fracking on federal lands
  • Spiegel Online – February 25, 2013 – Gas production: Altmaier and Rösler agree on fracking law
  • Canadian Business – May 5, 2013 – In S. Illinois, residents debate economic lure of ‘fracking,’ preserving area’s rugged beauty
  • Yahoo! News – August 19, 2013 – UK lawmaker arrested at anti-fracking protest
  • USA Today – October 19, 2013 – Calif. finds more instances of offshore fracking
  • BBC News – January 13, 2014 – Cameron urges fracking opponents to ‘get on board’

The trends tool also analyzed what countries internationally had the most users querying fracking:

Trends Charts A & B) For both charts 100 score is given to the country/city with the most searches, then other scores are converted to a percent of that score e.x. in the countries chart the United States had 97% of the search volume that South Africa did. Note: The third county is United Kingdom. Full data can be found in the appendix section.
Trends Charts A & B) For both charts 100 score is given to the country/city with the most searches, then other scores are converted to a percent of that score e.x. in the countries chart the United States had 97% of the search volume that South Africa did. Note: The third county is United Kingdom. Full data can be found in the appendix section.

Trends also identified the top 10 queries containing the word “Fracking”:

  • What is fracking – 1.00
  • Fracking gas – .95
  • Oil fracking – .60
  • Water fracking – .55
  • Fracking shale – .40
  • Shale – .40
  • Fracking definition – .40
  • Fracking natural gas – .35
  • Hydraulic fracking – .25
  • Fracking uk – .25

This list contains both “what is fracking” and “fracking definition”, indicating once again that most people who search the internet for fracking do not have a clear understanding of fracking. Considered in conjunction with the previously discussed information and the trends charts, it becomes even more apparent that if someone were survey the public outside of South Africa and the United States, the $65 trillion secret debate becomes even more secret. An additional comparison that was made is a correlation check between the “Internet Searches by Country”/”Internet Searches by City” data sets and the populations of said countries/cities to determine if population is a reasonable explanation for the observed differences. Data were input to an excel spreadsheet, scatterplots were created using the standard gui scatter plot excel function. Linear regression trend lines were created and  values were determined. Next, values were converted to Pearson’s correlation coefficient values (r) by taking the square root of . Positive or negative values were determined based on the trend line equations. The highlights can be examined in the images and text boxes below and full data can be found in the appendix.

This scatterplot shows a strong negative correlation between the population of the city and how many people conduct Google searches in those cities. This mean that according to this data the smaller the city population the more Google searches the citizens will conduct including the word “Fracking”. Clearly we can assume that city size is not the cause of increased searches.  r = -0.503
This scatterplot shows a strong negative correlation between the population of the city and how many people conduct Google searches in those cities. This mean that according to this data the smaller the city population the more Google searches the citizens will conduct including the word “Fracking”. Clearly we can assume that city size is not the cause of increased searches.
r = -0.503
This scatterplot has a negligible correlation the Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r, is 0.124. The full data however, if the outlier is kept ,had a strong positive correlation (r=0.540). Below are various combinations of outliers. Bolded are the statistically removed outliers. Please see the appendix for outlier calculations (q1-1.5 (IQR), q3+1.5(IQR)).
This scatterplot has a negligible correlation the Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r, is 0.124. The full data however, if the outlier is kept ,had a strong positive correlation (r=0.540). Below are various combinations of outliers. Bolded are the statistically removed outliers. Please see the appendix for outlier calculations (q1-1.5 (IQR), q3+1.5(IQR)).
In bold, the statistically recommended outliers have been removed and data values provided. The remaining analyses are included for comparison based on visual observations of the full data set. In both groups, the removal of outliers did in fact significantly change the outcome.
In bold, the statistically recommended outliers have been removed and data values provided. The remaining analyses are included for comparison based on visual observations of the full data set. In both groups, the removal of outliers did in fact significantly change the outcome.