Introduction and overview : the role of shale gas in securing our energy future / Peter Hardy -- Shale gas boom, trade and environmental policies : global economic and environmental analyses in a multidisciplinary modeling framework / Farzad Taheripour, Wallace E. Tyner and Kemal Sarica -- Exploration for unconventional hydrocarbons : shale gas and shale oil / Iain C. Scotchman -- Climate change impacts of shale gas production / John Broderick and Ruth Wood -- The hydrogeological aspects of shale gas extraction in the UK / Robert S. Ward, Marianne E. Stuart and John P. Bloomfield -- Coal seam gas recovery in Australia : economic, environmental and policy issues / Alan Randall -- Prospects for shale gas development in China / Shu Jiang -- Unconventional and unburnable : why going all out for shale gas is the wrong direction for the UK's energy policy / Tony Bosworth. Fracking has the potential to extract hydrocarbons from previously inaccessible sources of gas and oil, but is regularly in the news because of environmental concerns surrounding the process. First used commercially in the mid-20th Century, only recently has fracking been deployed on a large scale, revolutionising the energy industry in the USA. As more nations seek to adopt or ban fracking, do the economic benefits outweigh the environmental costs? Presenting both sides of the debate, this latest volume of Issues in Environmental Science and Technology draws on a wealth of international expertise, ranging from the oil and gas industry to Friends of the Earth. The technology of fracking is examined in detail, as well as the associated economic, societal and global climate change considerations. Individual chapters focus on exploration for unconventional hydrocarbons, the hydrogeological aspects and risks of water contamination, coal seam gas extraction in Australia and current developments in China. Anyone wishing to gain a balanced view of hydraulic fracturing will benefit from reading this book, which is aimed at researchers in academia and industry, policy makers, environmental science students and the interested layman.