'Fracking Is Fun' -- Writer Describes New Museum Exhibit Opening With Funding From Big Oil

Here's a firsthand account of a trip to the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

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This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.

Writing for the Dallas News, environmental journalist Randy Lee Loftis described what visitors can expect from the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, which opens on December 1. The museum includes an energy hall made possible by $10 million from oil giant Hunt Petroleum. I bet you can see where this is going ...

Loftis writes:

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The energy hall's first and most prominent message could be put as: Fracking is fun.

A model of a drill bit, 10 times bigger than a real one, rotates through pretend earth, and real drill bits are set up for people to handle and turn.

Visitors can sit in the Shale Voyager, a small theater, and imagine themselves shrunk to golf ball size and dropped down a Barnett Shale borehole to experience fracking firsthand.

There's a list of all the safety and environmental rules that urban frackers must obey, conveyed in a song.

Visitors can see some smaller displays on renewables says Loftis, but nuclear and coal are passed over. A few other things are passed over as well, as Loftis writes:

The fossil-fuels part of the energy hall skips over well-known downsides -- smog and global warming, for example -- and myriad complaints, ranging from noise and truck traffic to air and water pollution, that have made fracking nearly synonymous with fighting in many North Texas neighborhoods.

Not shocking, when you consider where the funding is coming from, but still disappointing. It's no Creation Museum but is a classic example of what can go wrong when you mix corporate money and public education. 

Read the whole story here.

Tara Lohan is a freelance writer and former senior editor at AlterNet. She is the editor of two books on the global water crisis, including Water Matters: Why We Need to Act Now to Save Our Most Critical Resource. Follow her on Twitter @TaraLohan.