Why Does Geisinger Continue to Advance Fractivist Junk Science?

peer reviewed health - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Turned down for funding by the gas industry, Geisinger continues to seek revenge with junk science studies funded through NIH and its own pet funder.

Geisinger Health Systems has been helping advance one fractivist junk science study after another, the latest being an attempt to implicitly link fracking with depression and disordered sleep. Energy In Depth exposes it for the junk science it is, but the bigger question is why Geisinger keeps doing this. The likely answer is money, political correctness and revenge.

Geisinger hit the gas industry up a few years seeking $25 million for health care research. I told the whole story here. The Geisinger pitch for money was dressed up in the language of neutrality, but everything else was one piece of hyperbole after another implying shale gas was a threat. Not particularly relishing the idea of funding of such a two-faced initiative, the industry wisely gave them nothing. Geisinger then went the Degenstein Foundation to get some small grants and Geisinger’s Research Connections newsletter soon reported big-time fractivist Brian S. Schwartz had become a member of their team and they began to advance a series of fractivist junk science initiatives under his leadership.

This was the same Brian Schwartz who wrote, in a 2008 Baltimore Sun article entitled “The Coming Black Plague,” about peak oil (remember that?) and said this (emphasis added):

“Countries are not prepared for this at all,” Schwartz said. “And because they are not prepared, they will tend to go toward temporary solutions like burning more coal and oil shale that will only make climate change worse.”

Schwartz is also a fellow at the Post Carbon Institute who, as I noted earlier, “is a shale hater” and anything but an unbiased researcher.  “He’s also produced one junk science study after another using Geisinger’s data irresponsibly to suggest a host of calamities might caused by drilling and/or fracking although he offers no causation evidence whatsoever. There was the low birth weight study, debunked here. There was the radon study, the migraine study and the asthma study – all 100% junk.”

Here’s what the Post Carbon Institute, where Brian Schwartz is a fellow, is all about (try hard to get through all the crap from this sad sack about the “urgent need to reshape society” to fit his socialist utopian dreams):

Well, I’m depressed. Aren’t you?

So, add depression and sleep disorder to the list of problems caused by fracking according to this fractivist. What’s next? Sinus problems? It sure looks like it. Schwartz, Geisinger and Northwestern University of Chicago lined up a big two-year National Institutes for Health grant ($2.2 million) in 2016 to study allergy, nasal and sinus issues. They’ve been collecting NIH money for several years to fund their various junk science initiatives and Geisinger’s pet funder, the Degenstein Foundation has been right there with them. See the “Acknowledgements” section of the study (bottom of page 9) and you’ll note the sinus grant was, in fact, was already used to help fund the depression and sleep disorder nonsense.

Indeed, Schwartz has already implied fracking causes sinus problems with this statement:

In a previous study, we found an association between UNGD and nasal and sinus, migraine, and fatigue symptoms. These outcomes may co-occur or lie on the pathway between UNGD and mental health outcomes and sleep disturbances. In addition, the findings could have relevance to our prior reported associations of UNGD with asthma exacerbations; as stress could be a plausible mediator between both UNGD and depression symptoms and UNGD and asthma exacerbations.

See how junk science is done? Talk about association rather than causation. Use the language of “maybe,” “could have,” “sort of” and “plausibility.” Link to previous work produced using the same template. This is pure BS that Geisinger, NIH and the Degenstein Foundation are funding. They know who Brian Schwartz is. They knew he was a big-time fractivist from the outset, well before they put him on the case. There is no science here. This is politics, political correctness and revenge mixed up with some money-grabbing. That’s how I see it and shame on Geisinger.

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4 thoughts on “Why Does Geisinger Continue to Advance Fractivist Junk Science?

  1. You see all opposition in the same way;
    fake and politics….

    nothing new here about Tom’s “correctness and politics” and his myopic method of assessing a situation
    with his bias for supporting fracking under all and any circumstances…

    • you would think that a woman who has such a low opinion of fossil fuels would still be on them after 10 years of protesting against them? I find it lacking imagination, foresight, or intellectual insight to ask others to abandon fossil fuels while still buying them themselves. How come no solar energy at your home?

  2. Geisinger is half right. Gas does cause depression in those who are being denied their property rights to drill for natural gas. An obvious case of discrimination. Geisinger just has their study backwards. As my statistics teacher said when I was in college, “You can prove anything with statistics, all you have to do is select only the data you want to support your theory.” Pure politics again.

  3. hey, I have a gas well 1/3 mile from my home, we sleep like babies. But drilling is a polar situation. My wife lost her best friend because of differences of opinion. Whose fault is that? there should be room enough to disagree.

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