352 pages, 16 illustrations
When philosophy professor Adam Briggle moved to Denton, Texas, he had never heard of fracking. Less than three years later he would successfully lead a citizens' initiative to ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton – the first Texas town to challenge the oil and gas industry. On his journey to learn about fracking and its effect on communities, he leaped from the ivory tower into the fray. In beautifully narrated chapters, Briggle brings us to town hall debates and neighborhood meetings where citizens wrestle with issues few fully understand. Is fracking safe? How does it affect the local economy? Why are bakeries prohibited in neighborhoods while gas wells are permitted next to playgrounds? In his quest to answer such questions, our "field philosopher" turns from policy advisor to activist. Granting an insider look at the struggle between citizen and industry, Briggle gives us a completely new way to think about the politics of innovation.
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Adam Briggle teaches philosophy at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where he also serves on a local citizens' advisory group. He contributes as a fracking expert to Slate, Truthout, and other publications.