People use the same data, the same stories to argue both sides of the question

Jeff Glor talks to Tom Chiarella, Writer at Large of Esquire Magazine.

Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the article?

Tom Chiarella: I like writing about work, and the idea was to see if I could work on a tracking site. It’s a dangerous job though, requiring months, sometimes years of training, and the liability issued are legion. So eventually it became another sort of investigation— I just took a ride into the world of fracking to see what could be gleaned.

JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?

TC: The magnitude of belief on both sides. People use the same data, the same stories to argue both sides of the question. I would say the gas companies over simplify and the antifrackers over complicate the issue. But on both sides the argument is rooted mostly in desired end result. I believe it’s called motivated reasoning.

JG: What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?

TC: I would be building houses.

JG: What else are you reading right now?

TC: I’m reading John Green, an excellent writer who know lives in Indianapolis, and shares my passionate for Alabama football (I went to grad school at U of A), many people call his work «young adult» novels, but it is really clean, smart storytelling,

JG: What’s next for you?

TC: I have an upcoming profile in esquire. I was recently ordained as a. Minister and I’m looking hard for work. I’ve also been reading lots of books about crows. Writing a novel about crows.


Tom Chiarella talks about what he sees as the likely inevitability of fracking continuing and if so, how best to deal with its risks.

Tom Chiarella talks about how both sides in the fracking debate are pitted against one another.

For more on Tom Chiarella’s article visit the Esquire website.

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