Natural gas & google

If you punch in “Howarth” and “fracking” in the go-ogling engine, you would expect to get to papers authored by prof. Howarth of Cornell U. on the environmental effects of gas extraction by fracking. For instance this one, or this other paper. But the first item you get is a link to a page where proponents of natural gas attempt to destroy Howarth’s credibility. I don’t know the scientific issue, but I’d like to have access to interesting arguments and counter-arguments, not ridiculous ad hominem attacks. I would expect google’s algorithm to spit out a link to and its page attacking Howarth’s conclusions somewhere down the first page of results. But first, on top? even with the usual comfortably peachy color background signaling this is an ad, paid for by anga (American Natural Gas Alliance)? See on this affair. Hey, google, “do no harm,” right.

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