I have a rule about not arguing on the internet, so I don't mean to turn this into a debate about the pro/cons of fracking (about which I am not, and do not know any experts). Instead I'd like to discuss logical arguments and marketing.
I got home after work today to find the third unsolicited junk mail notice marketing the benefits of fracking in the Denton area. This time selling the message that fracking is "For the children!" demonstrated by the currently happy child on a swing then contrasted with the broken toy over dry, lifeless, soil. Next to the emotional-heart-strings-tug-of-war-but-void-of-substance pictorial argument were 3 bullet points of drafted reasons to further convince voters of the sanity of their pro-fracking message.
* We will lose million we now use for creating and maintaining our parks and recreation areas.
* Ill-maintained playground equipment = Denton children at risk
* Property rights lawsuits will drain even more from city coffers
Of those, the first seems a valid item to consider. I have no concept of the dollar amounts involved, such as if Denton could afford to keep the current programs maintained or make up the funds elsewhere. But it is a reason to consider action one way or another.
The second bullet (along with the heavy handed pictures) are where this starts to fall apart for me. It is probably true that ill-maintained playground equipment is not recommended, and probably could cause harm, likely to a child. But no one is arguing otherwise, and at no point has anyone suggested that banning fracking should cause hordes to start breaking toddlers slides. I understand that marketing is about a quick sound byte message, not necessarily a well reasoned argument, but I'm sort of offended by the logical fallacy.
The last bullet I found comical and was the impetus for writing about this at all. To threaten a local populace for deciding how they wish to utilize the local land and public space, and then to use the concept of that threat as an argument for decide the initial vote (which is argumentum ad baculum), strikes me as unsavory at best with strong potential for evil.
All in all, I have no idea how effective these types of campaigns are. I can only assume it is expected to sway a percentage of the voting populace since money was spent on their existence and distribution. Whatever the outcome, hopefully the citizenry will choose their own path based on reason and not emotional panic.