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#71 The Picture Taker

2016-07-28

Rachel was a faithful user of a photo storage website called Picturelife, until one day all of her photos disappeared. As she investigated, she realized that every Picturelife user was having the same problem. Alex tries to find out if there's any hope of getting her photos back. Also, a preview of the new Gimlet show, Science Vs!

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by better for him a new podcast from eighty people. In each episode Francesca Ramsay talks to visionaries in business leaders about mistakes. They ve made how they work their way through them and came out better for listen on Spotify or wherever you get. Your pot casts from gimlet. With reply off and leave a mouse Alex yes for you worked in pod you're ninety man, yes, and sometimes on the show people write to us with technical support questions and we try to solve them for them illegally. Tivoli you try to solve them for them right. It's called super export. There's a theme song you have in this way
You have a super export case. Yes, so I got an email from a listener name Rachel. She lives in New York City And she's having a big problem with this apt that she uses called picture life picture life yeah. It's is apt that, like automatically backs up all the pictures you take on your phone or put on your computer to the cloud. Its tagline is Poland, where we find it it's tagline is forget. Hard drives, give up on organizing file names, there's a better, to find and share pictures and Rachel's got these two little girls they're one and three and Millions of photos of them so wench, picture life she absolutely loved him. The sounds are totally like I'm a lunatic, but I'm not organise, and he really was this good feeling of ivy. So response of all that I am paying for this really lovely service. That's doing this amazing thing for me.
And it just worked in just worked Rachel, also really like this feature, that picture life had called memories where everyone who I June, email, which was like hey, here's some photos from this date, but like from a year ago or two years ago, it has nostalgia built into right, yeah, and I think that that's very appealing to people, people who I suppose you with kids could it's like, oh my god, their growing so fast? Yes, that's exactly what appealing to the stranger dancer. Now, for some reason, you're, tired and identify as a father all the time, I'm tired of being pegged so quickly as a father like I'd like for people to think like oh Alex Colvin is a guy as radio show he's really into music. You know the Qatar now where people like Alex's is dead. He also has a radius pod cast anyway picture life. So
the problem is that one day she goes to log in a picture life and it's just not working the site is down and it stays down for a couple of days like it's. Just she can't access it. No one can access, it is gone and then, after those companies, This comes back up, but when Rachel would go into pitcher life, which he would get is not her images she would get. Very strange what looked like, where the photos we're supposed to go, but instead of photos being there, it was just like colors, solid colors here I'll show you picture here. This is the interface oh yeah, I paints watches yeah and she keeps going back to the website clicking around. If there's a way to download her photos, just get them off the service, that's not working she's tries Conti.
In the company, a company that you said, you'd have really good customer service and she's. Just not getting any response. Should it's just like a black hole? God will you for him out of this point yeah she was totally freaking out. Let's say all of your pictures are gone. What what have you lost that the idea that their guys? So what if I I have created this incredible record of the lives of these two. Oh girls, up to this moment and so to lose? It would just be truly heartbreaking. I would lose my mind if I were in your position. I have sixty muffled son if I didn't have a million pictures that kid I go crazy, this is so are the sound search. I feel like I'm turning into a hallmark card whenever I say this, but like childhood flies by and the thought of not having
Hundreds upon hundreds of photos I have of my son, they make me feel like a little it like makes me choke up a little bit. That's exactly it! It's almost there's this crazy thought. I have where I think. What are the photos that I don't even remember taking that are now gone because I love this He had so friggin much that I just I don't wanna. I wanted all saved. I want to be able to look at it. I want to remember it and the aid It is correct that then it was carelessly lost. I is its though I'm it's beyond the worst
I she feels when I was a kid I was really excited about, or according things like recording sizes, radio, recurring simpsons items of tv, errands episodes, the Azores, Simpsons upsurge of tv, I record over. Like a knot, Jeffrey amount of are like irreplaceable family home movies with like tree has a horror. Seven makes me feel so bad that I can't think about it. While it has gone is gone here and now is like this asylum. Worse, because it's not they had every reasonable expectation that the pictures would be where they left them. Yes, exactly it's like you pay for the service you expected to do it. It says it all,
and, like this service has just swallowed. Everybody's photos, hole so I'm gonna go see what's going on, ok, so why Did you decide to do so? The first thing I did was I just wanted to see. If Rachel was the only person eminence problem or if everybody who is using picture life was having the same issue and yes, Everybody is having the same issue. If you go to twitter and search picture life at about the beginning of April, you start to see people we're saying that their having the same promise Rachel and they can't see their images and that they cant download their pictures and then, if you keeps
telling people just start getting more and more panicked and more and more angry and they're saying that picture life is not responding to their customer support tickets. There's no way to download their photos, people are just totally stock and for the most part picture life is just not responding at all. So it's like everybody whose off their voters like standing outside the castle and their screaming at the photo service inside a Catholic. Please help them and whoever runs a voter services just like an imperious king, There's like not even listening to the cries of the commoners blow right. So that's the way it was for quite a while and then on. May fifth picture life, tweeted all cats, important message and then in lower case we have an issue with our hosting company. Your photos are safe, we'll keep you posted, sorry about the silence that is denied, coming late, like you, don't acknowledge the problem, you just say it's not a problem. It feels like someone trying to cover their but yeah so
I decided to look into this company, and the first thing that I found out was that picture life was founded by three guys a few years ago, like two thousand eleven. Then in January of twenty fifteen, it was sold to a company called stream nation and they, in March of this year stream nation basically said we are closing down, but we promised that picture life will keep going so so they said that in March and April, everything stops working right, and this is where it gets really interesting. Ok. When I was looking into this issue, I found a facebook group, which is all people who having the same problem that Rachel's having called picture life users there's about a couple hundred people in there and all just sort of commiserating asking each other. What's going on, seeing if anybody's heard back from the company and one of the people who is in that picture, like users group, is this guy, Charles Foreman, who was one of the original cofounder?
So Charles has over twenty years worth of digital photos in the and he was on his facebook group is because the only place where a bunch of those pictures are saved is on paper Unfortunately, I, as the majority of the photos that I have are, are exclusively on picture life. How how many photos is that? Ninety three thousand? Oh, my God, ninety three thousand, it's it's the worst feeling because It's these are memories that you captured and you can go back and look and they evoke so many memories. These things are, these things are priceless. And now there now they're gone, and so I asked Charles, like what are you gonna do with your picture from now on?
I'm going to save them to a hard drive on a red system, which means its physical set of discs in my apartment. I just feel like. I cannot. I cannot trust, I can't trust cloud services anymore, As a person who founded surfaced, that's like a really big thing to say that, like a really big statement, well, you can count on really anything in this life. Flight two to place your trust in a company that doesn't have your best interests at heart. I think, especially when it pertains to you know, memories that you have in and the photos that you have is not it's. It's not the best that the best idea right now. So when picture life went down Charles
remember is the founder and former ceo of picture life was having the exact same problem. And same anxieties about us photos that thousands of other picture life users we're having, but what Charles had that? No other picture life users had because they contact information for the currency. You gotta so Charles contacted the currency. Oh, who is basically like oh we're having little trouble, but everything will be fine. It was exactly the same as that treats terrorists and you just got like their hand, grafted personal. I worry about it, so I said to him I was like: can you forward me the correspondence you had with the sea like this. This is I'm shooting the moon here, but I guess I'm a guy named I'll see if he'll talk to me and ten minutes later, he got back to me. Can you do me a favor and tell me what you had for breakfast for breakfast, I had a coffee:
a waffle with new teller, I see that sounds pretty good. Honest way. I'm having the same breakfast is most three other kids. I see things. Doing this? I really appreciate it any did anytime. Anything for our users. This is Jonathan, Minnesota, the guy who bought picture life and the one person who might be able to provide some answers, and let me tell you the story from the very beginning. So first, as you can hear, I'm french, yes, I had the chance to I found the music service called. These are, which is one of the most famous in Europe. And Jonathan told me that, after this big success he had with these he moved to California any Did this company consternation stream, Nay was a site where you could store you
these like in the cloud and stream them from the cloud, but he always wanted a picture component to the same. So when he found out about picture life, he was a great I'm. Gonna buy this company integrated industry nation It will become the one location where people were store, all their movies in their photos. Like the one thing that you need so picture life is trucking along he's got like eighteen employees, but then, in February a round of funding. The Jonathan thought was basically a sure thing for Fraid. So Jonathan ended up having to shut down stream nation but picture they. Ve already has like.
Built user base has been going for a couple of years, so we decided to keep picture of going. The problem is the place where all pictures pictures are stored, which is a data center Kolokolo picture life is in debt to this data center and they want Jonathan to an end and uses when things started to go to go south, so I had to pay the debt. The company had not enough money to pay the debt, so I have personally loan money to the company to pay the outstanding debt. But then he got bad news from the people who were in the data center. Then they ask us to decrease the footprint of the platform by two third in sixty days. What does it mean it visit picture? Life was Nick on one hundred and twenty servers, and we had to bringing down to forty and so he had this decision to make. Basically, which was he could either put up a thing.
Hey, I'm shutting down picture like your sixty days to get your stuff, otherwise it will be totally deleted or he could try to save the company. So crunches the numbers, and he says I think I can do this. I think I can with everything down to just forty servers, if you said that to me, have you said like the place where you store all your memories. I think I can save it. I'd be like give me my money back. Give me my pictures back but imagine that your picture left user, that as fifty thousand photos on there's something and you checking on at once every ninety days the great chance that you would have missed that window and you would not have been able to get your photos off. That's true, so Jonathan furiously got to work, trying to move all of these pictures, problem. Is he had a move everything so fast that he couldn't update the database? That said where the photos lived and so imagine a library loses its lease and it has like four days to move to a new space and
in order to move in time they just toss all the books in the back of the EU. Without any concern for order, and then they moved to the new space. It's like all the books are still there, but their totally out of order So if you ask the librarian like hey, can you help me find to kill a mocking bird, the library doesn't know where to look. The librarian is basically the database in this situation like it knows, the pictures are still there. It just doesn't know where to look for them. So when you go to the website, what you're seeing are just blanks by just these colours watches, so he basically to break the service to save this. I got to say, though, a ten like you know, he sounds like he's doing the right thing I see my nightmares are more people who are like I got this. I don't need to explain it. I'm gonna fix it I'm not going to tell you what you would need to do to protect yourself. Could I got this like actually those people now that he's doing ideology or making those people often do yeah? I agree and at the very least he could have just like. Let people know what was going on. I definitely didn't do it.
Job come, Nicky was users, but there is no more employees into company I'm the only one- and I was so focused on trying to find solutions that I forgot to date to deal with the Delia Daily routine And- and this is gonna- be changed pretty soon. What does it feel like to be in that situation? to keep this company that you just bought a float with this sort of massive technical issue that you're doing with well. The feeling is before, addressing you with their memories and you not able to give them a straight answer, an add other hand. You have to make sure that they are not shutting down the server and deleting all defiles and on the other, and you need you a company was your personal money. While you have three kids at home and you need to make sure you don't you don't take too much risk? Is your family and a new tried to find a solution to find a new home,
the company. So I would say to be honest with you: it's been a nightmare for me and I am now in a position where I know that picture life will be back in a couple of weeks to wait was before. Then says that it can take about four weeks for weeks and all the photos will be restored. I guess that I guess that. What I'm thinking right now is you have a user base that unable to access their photos for two months there there frustrated they feel like I've been communicated with what makes you think
once you get everything back to normal than not just gonna migrate off of your service. That's fine Erin Life is a trade off and I prefer those guys to leave with all their content Dan and then them leaving without their content. I say one thing attics that I think would be also listened for everyone. We always needed backup in The case we always need to back up a backup plan and for my case, beyond peach life, I use a service which cause me five dollars a month is unlimited. It's an older computers of of our home is like a dumb storage. Everything is there and its way better
So I mean the thing that I guess, as a consumer seem strange to me, is like Silicon Valley does not advertise Ashley, use our service. Us he's a backup. You know, there's silk, Ellie is always sort of advertising. This is the we solution you'll need, should we just be more sceptical than that yeah you need to always be sceptical about marketing in general. I'm telling you that, because I am the ones telling you that your d need one thing. What do you then say to Rachel like the person to actually wanted you to fix this? I got together and I told her what Jonathan told me I'm curious how you feel about
sky and about picture life after hearing everything, I've told you, though, the comforting thing to me is that there is a human being at the centre of this. So I would say I'm that hearing all this makes cautiously optimistic. The other thing that he said, which I found fascinating, was basically dont trust the service dont trust any serve, any of these services that we use, Google, Dr Amazon, whatever guy we, let's totally insane. That is not. That makes no sense to a normal human being you pay, for. I think because you trusted the thing is the thing that you're paying for that actually just taxes via sense of the world. In a way that night, I don't wanna live like I'd rather big to. The storm print them all out. I guess you, don't I really combined with this three backups, that's so stupid! It's like all good advice. It's like! Yes,
you should use a cloud and also have a redundant back up on an external hard drive, and then you should take that extra are driving put in safe deposit box and put that safe deposit box in the care of a private army like I'm going to save stuff on my desktop and when it goes away, I'm going to be angry and sad, was to file this morning. No one is no one. Is that well organised I mean there are. While her that will arise narrow, like your eighty at spoke, whatever their brother drunk drivers or something stop man. I just mean everybody. Everybody thinks the risks that they take Fine and the rest. Other people take are obviously stupid. End. I think everybody in the story acted pretty reasonably end. You, a bad thing, happened anyway. Yeah.
It's been about four weeks since I talked to Jonathan, so I decided to call him in checking on the progress he was having a picture life and he sounded a lot less stressed out than he did in our first conversation? Yes, so thank your headache for reaching out progress moving forward on, so the addition is and is done now, we're fixing that at a base already millions of funds over of already been six, I have risen, he's working smoothly, slower and unexpected buddies moving forward, and he said we're about twenty percent finnish twenty percent with fixing the database, but he says really dont worry. The photos are definitely on their way. Everything is going
be fixed. I feel good about the future of these things so stage and are right. Well, I really appreciate you taken the time to talk to me. Well, we started this relationship, so that's the way it should be I feel skin equally optimistic about this, and I would like you to keep keeping track of it totally will Rachel all your picture left there? I will stay on top of this. I, I'll. Let you know if there are any updates after the break
a lake that is on fire yeah the ground. This episode is brought to you by better for it a new podcast from eighty peed hosted by Francesca Ramsay. We all make mistakes
better, for it looks at how mistakes have shaped the lives and careers of visionaries and business leaders and helps them think differently about what their working forty you'll hear from an entrepreneur who ventured out on his, and so I went out. I took seven hundred dollars. I had in the bank, but my own pickup truck took some flyers business cards. In a week later I had a business and in each hour, rule breaker, whose learned why we all care about work in the first place. You wanted to proud of the work that you do. You want to be able to tell your friends about you, wanna, be able to feel like you're, making a difference, you'll hear how they work their way through their mistakes and came out better for listen on Spotify or wherever you get your pockets. Welcome back.
So we re special guessing this to do with his right now it is Windows workmen, who is the host of the new gimlet podcast science versus high Wendy, hell ay, I Alex. So this is a big weak again, my areas very side, because last year you are making signs verses in Australia. Is popular thing that people really light, kidnapped by gimlet brought to America. What was the weirdest part of american culture? They, like you, were not prepared for waffle, fries. What what's weird about waffle fries its is! There were again, you know: waffle rise, where illegal, but most reasons why it makes sense to us. Do you have a logo, and you already have prize what did we do need to mix the use of animals that have pockets on that point? Related
yeah, but I feel like their totally robs. You have the ability to discredit, to talk about. What's weird and what's not so science verses, I feel it gets a show where your culture shock about America actually comes in handy yeah. I think that's that's j, I think being an outsider in this strange land of extreme opinions in the middle of an election is a is a very fun, an interesting time to be peeling away politics and looking up because what you do is like you all take topics that everybody argues about without knowing very much about, unlike actually walk through the facts of them. Yes, yes M, we announced, One thing I may not be the best of a lot of things. I am definitely not the vessel of things, but I am very good at knowing. Where am I why is it coming in and just kick in amounts to saying this? Is we just need to talk about science? And that is something that I feel is missing from a lot of the discussion that we have about the topics that where hitting hopefully with these things,
fracking gun control, organic food, pesticides, in general, big chemical corporations. Things like that. I won't, you're trying to convince me that it I wasn't good idea they during ten diet, cokes a day definitely go. Look at artificial sweaters at some point. There is a really interesting sides there at how they're good, uh huh, I'll give you our okay, so the one we're gonna hear preview of today is tracking, yet, which is, I think that I think I have been at arguments. I have sat through our I dont, like our Europa basically worthy flagging shouldn't, be politics live it's an engineering that their resigns science there about the risks and- and I guess politics is where we want to invest our money. The fact that you that good for your first connection, to fracturing ways I don't like to get involved in politics right, is an interesting thing in itself. I've heard are you
in my family that start above racking, inadequate people, mailing people, mailing other people, Chernobyl pictures we ve nailing where that is exactly. That is exactly where sites where, since that is what what was the link between fracturing in general, was a just when industry go awry when we put money in renewables. I could see these tenuous connections, but I can also see how this big domino effect of opinion and little fact mine have kicked into your fellow conversation as the person who sent the pictures. I cannot remember wise, urges waiting just really wanted ask who it was who sent? Of course, of course, of course you knew you knew in your stupid hard. I hear recital was on: do you land, I it's good or bad or deal and on a like, if you think it's anything hears why you should think it were. I think when there is
I do want to give it away, but when there is a lot of science for something or not a lot of science forthcoming, then we come away telling you exactly what the situation is with Frankie. I guess you gotta, wait and see and see how you take the the science all right. So this is signs versus racking Wendy no worries guy. Hi, I'm Wendy's argument and your listening to science verses from gimblet media. This is the show where we paid back against the greatest is on today's show? Signs versus racking is packing reeling, making a sick and ruining environments. He's stories about fucking. They often go like this.
A gas company comes to town starts drilling wells, and then terrible things not happening James Shoes says this is exactly what happened to him when the Frank Many cynical resources came to his town in Pennsylvania, this shows that the Mai doorstep and says drawing walls on your property, it was the big nightmare I ever went through. They moved into property not My one will this from a town home meeting held in two thousand and fourteen when a local township was so freaked out about Senecas operations that they were deciding whether or not to hire a lawyer to fight them I got my one will no doubt my wanna well during the part played by the time give me my new water. Well, it was on fire for six months. My family could as it could have running water- and I broke my heart
so meanwhile journalists, time compose the so called She's got an authority on the phone. Just tell us, give us a result, this is what fracturing has driven Americans to do right, more folk song, this is more Prague Rock, just the lack of acoustic what this have, of course, he's not peer review. Research and neither is a lot of the conversation happening around fracturing flagging the disaster holding across Pennsylvania of unprecedented proportions.
I dropped fracturing is spreading across the globe. The rivers fire there is, the thing is the Anti Frank, is love to use, hyperbolic statements and have true but they aren't alone. On the other side of this debate, the proof racket pulling their own kind of crap too, and to demonstrate a conversation that I had with racking company cynical resources. This is dug Kepler, the vice president of environmental engineering and rob. Beware who works media relations quicker? Ever I dont believe there has been a problem with cracking the problems. Are you here and immediate those all related back in some fashion to something that has to do with the actual drilling other? Well, not the fraction of the way in which we say backing. As as generous as that as the media,
and in the public we made the entire process of getting gas from underground to your home is composed of environmental directives were at MIT and also, if you are, you have created unbelievably serious problem with this perception, nay, answering the question: has there ever been a problem with racking? only address be very specific and very technical definition of franking cracking the rocks, not the whole process of fraction which would include drilling a well getting the gas out of the well and also to stuff that most people, think of when they think of fracturing without any kind of process talk, but within the whole negativity on fractions become so no you're have a process tat, so the entire process of fracturing has there
but that in warlike emanated as a result in the entire process, a fractured you're talking about from drawing pursued but surely take your most willing, but racking say that's cynical. Resources the very same company that inspired chief undercut ever happen like this, no need to play that again and now, with the folk song love with the vagueness down tracks and this eighty definitions way here to look at this since today well and how franking effects for major things, our water, how health earthquakes and, finally, our climate, let's start with a detailed look at how fracturing actually work when they think of fracturing. Whenever process a process. Talk but within the whole negatively on frack in this would become so here we Pennsylvania the entire site itself.
Actually inside a national forest, which means that, as you drive in you, seen tons of treason be the dams and even Pennsylvania's state bird, the ruffled grouse. Ah, what Doug shifted to growth record, but, as you approach the frack, things look a little different. We see a couple of huge cranes connected to a bundle of narrow pipes, and it's right here. The border gets pushed under the sun, this intense pressures, which is what cracks the rock to release the natural gas, rapidly froggy right now underground. So there is a five year Diane the that water being pumped Brill, we're pumping about what thousand gallons per minute: a water supply This amount of water in a very quick time, the pressure from adequate breakthrough came so Caitlin Kenny is here with me right now:
rocks and ring. I can't believe it, but it's not just water going down. That pipe is also sand and chemicals conveyor belt. All this and through the blunder or the water knows paint and one that, along with the chemicals and underpin the town hall, the sand is used to keep the cracks in the rocks open so that the gas can flow out while the chemicals they do. A couple of things Terry aside is added to prevent bacteria growing down the hall and to get the fraction fluid moving very quickly through a very narrow pipe. They add friction reduces, and this brings us to the first fear that people have about Frank can these chemicals get into our drinking water when Rocks
and cracked more than a mile underground, which is below drinking water supplies. Studies have shown that there is a very low risk of the fraction chemicals seeping up through the rocks up into your drinking water. It could happen, but one study estimated that it would take several thousand or even millions of years, and the thing is one report estimate that. Ninety five percent of fracturing wells in America are being frank. This far below the surface in Australia. Thy we're tracking is happening higher up. It is risky yeah, that's cracks in rocks, but there is also the potential of chemicals leaking into our water through, in pipes, but how often does that happen? Well, a study found in Pennsylvania. Six percent of pipes had some kind of problem, so it's not widespread, but it is happening.
So that's what's happening below ground, but the biggest risk. Of contamination, it seems is happening above ground on the surface. What am I dug from Seneca explains that once you ve cracked, the rocks open to release the natural gas, the gas comes up and the pressure from the gas carries cracking more back up with that, for you had shut watered down. Then we pump it down under pressure the fracture, the rock and then the pressure that Ass, carries water back up out of the ground with the gas and that we separate gas from the water. Water, which has the fraction chemicals in it plus salts and heavy metals from underground. Is now known as waste anyway. You ve got all these wastewater, that's up at the surface and it gets trucked or piped away from the fracture site, and then Seneca has to figure out what to do with it. Right now
this storing some of it and they showed us the storage site. It looked like three giant watercolors This is how many gallons, each one of those three times over two million gallons of water management. That is, It is a lot of water when you look entire franking industry, its billion of gallons of wastewater per year and while the chinese hanks, that we saw looked watertight not off racking restoring their wastewater. This way sometimes in companies, use pigs, large halls that they ve dug in the ground and then lined with a plastic? Now this plastic is thick, but still if KEN rip allowing wastewater to lake when you slapping vats of wastewater plus vats, racking chemicals around there's, just lots of and suspects spills, but he's the question and it's a really important question
guess there's lots of chances, leaks and spills, but how often They actually happen. It's time to talk to Axe Ben Bullfrog, this robot Jackson, a professor at Stanford and he's one of the top experts on fracturing in America. He all does a very impressive from poetry. This is the green tree, frog or key point. Blank so remember when I said at the beginning of the Sharia that both sides of this debate went being straight with the facts. Well, that can make it hard to know who to trust on this fucking debate, but Robert Jackson he's my guy, I do trust what he says and it's not because of the frog, poetry. Well, it's partly because of the front poetry, but it's also because, This honestly, I could beat up from everybody depending on whether what a pretty
Her steady says when we published a study that says we find no evidence of our continent. Sure drinking water in a place like the FED will feel I get calls and emails from people saying. Oh, how can you say that, and you know you're the only one a hundred or heard fifty houses and and this in this and that an end. I promise you every time I say we find water contamination or publish a man six thousand leagues in Washington D c I get beat up from from people in industry who say your fearmongering near promoting the you know that nine of our industry and all that I gave it from all sides. Tat lady research in the field pieces of both sides of this debate. What does he about how often fracturing contaminates mortar it does contain, drinking water. It has contaminated drinking water, but me to the time it doesn't so here, it can happen. It doesn't happen very often, but when happens to you or your, bird or you think it could happen to you. Nothing to be afraid of, and I think that's
people latch onto so most of the time it's completely safe once in a while. It isn't it's really hard for scientists to put a figure on what that once in a while is a report made public by the Environmental Protection Agency last year, put the number at between a hundred to three thousand seven hundred spills from fracturing each year in the United States bullets think about that for a second EPA doesn't know if there are one hundred or three Thou in seven hundred spills. We're gonna put a sound effect on that come from fracturing each year why so much uncertainty? Well, there's a few reasons, but one of them
is that if scientists go to a town and test the water and find out that its dodgy, if no one tested that water before the fractious came to town than the scientists can say for sure what made it dodgy something's, just naturally in the water, they come from the rocks in the geology nearby, and currently we don't have a lot These independently gathered baseline data and to these issues Tori, asleep difficult to get franking companies to acknowledge spills and to explain what happened. Seneca. Does this to take example. When we ask dug from Santa come about with a fraction, chemicals had ever contaminated water he and Rob denied. It has an idle I don't think we could find a document case of that, but we could we use the internet and found that there were two hundred and seventy instances where an oil and gas company affected someone's water supply in Pennsylvania in each of them.
Cases, the Department of Environmental Protection, or do you pay, sent a letter firming. The contamination to the company that was responsible and Seneca was called out in a handful of those letters when we talked a cynical about this. They kept denying that there chemicals were responsible for contaminating people's water and that's when we finally took out for checking so like. Like this, I say these letters Department of Environmental, section in Pennsylvania. This is this is too Seneca and is now for a visual and what you're about to hear this was happening in robes car right outside the franking side, The conversation went on for a while and by the time I took the lead us out of my backpack. It was actually suit and that the windows had steamed up titanic style. Shore Finally, how these letters doesn't mean we actually polluted something a means of responding to a complaint. It was, I think this is. It actually is determined that there was
because my assurances from Warsaw, Pouch of Jefferson County a crescendo, sodium chloride and total dissolve solid. This look like there was some type of impact at that time, because of sodium would come from the drilling itself remember what it was, but it appears there was a temporary and back on this one thing I wasn't looking at the contagion. Things were doing now. What you're talking about? Let's guys increase when we went back, you read the EPA report on hydraulic occurring and the effects of it. We are talking about from the surface bills that we're talking about exactly where something might go wrong, and you even mention like firm.
And what we ve done, it seneca that we have not had those issues sent the letter, because this is not fragmented and they didn't have the process of fracturing we'd be net as well. But what, if you had to do it? rag. Looks to me, as as without it would have probably been some type of surface spell next door. Anything else sprang on why we, this spills into people's into people's water supply. Why did this happen? related to surface yet it was a very careless, by a contractor on the location is build that one that temporarily impact it s brain so, yes, it did have I'm not making light of it? It wasn't, will for it was an accident, but this was this was one incident that happened at year. Three hundred and somewhat or drought and it didn't happen every year, but I would say we probably outraged, maybe one or so
me, maybe to some years- maybe not, but maybe one or two years on the like what happened with the three hundred Well programme, when the regulations were very lacks compared to what they are now. So that's what it is. To get these guys to agree to publicly confirmed facts that you can find on the internet. Now. Those regulations Doug mentioned at the end, we're not gonna go in. The details of how regulations on fracturing have changed in different parts of America or the world regulations on fracturing continue to get tied up and looking around us today at cynical storage site and the phrasing site you can see the effects of them here site. There was aligning under everything those water coolers that were filled with waste they were sitting on what looked like a giant kid swimming pool, made out of metal and then under that was another layer of protection containment case a tank would have from total failure All of this was designed to stop a leak. If say, Somethin busted,
one of those border containers. Conclusion chemicals used in franking can contaminate drinking water. They lived through damaged pipes, oil spills upon the surface, but from what we know These instances are rare again, the scary stuff used in fracturing doesnt getting to drinking water very often, but when it does, it make you sick. After the break, I drink- some franking chemicals and we find out of definite or go to bed. We will talk to scientists about the potential health risks. That was the first half of Science versus racking episode. For more go check out science, says wherever you download broadcasts.
Requires hosted by Pga Vote and me Alex Kuhlmann they showed produced by but even in any fear, Benton Coy Proceed and down Myanmar carry our executive produced TIM Howard are editor, is Peter clowning production assistance by Tom Cody. We were mixed by required. That labour is tubing down, leasing river telling us expect our theme song The mysterious break, master cylinder and are add music is by build buildings. You can listen to the show on Itunes or on any other podcast app thanks for listening and we'll see next week,
Transcript generated on 2020-02-13.