Saturday, July 9, 2011

Disturbed. (Not the Band).

Sometimes I feel like I live in a bubble because my brain has so many things going on that I can’t pay attention to every detail that passes by. I used to be able to, but then I started my Ph.D. program, moved, had a kid, got foreclosed on (and worried about money), etc., and yeah, my brain’s a little shot to you-know-what right now. So sometimes things stick. Sometimes they do the proverbial wash – in one ear and out the other. Or as psychologists talk about, lack of concentration on stimuli leads to lack of storage. My husband talks a lot about different things (this morning was…oh what was it…oops lack of storage), so the next time he asks me if I remember him saying something I’ll have to tell him, “Lack of storage, sorry.”

But I do remember one thing he was talking about a week or so back. Some guy in NY, he said, lit his tap water on fire. Don’t ask me how or why (why would you have a lighter near your water unless you were looking for it to light on fire), but his tap water literally lit up. Mike (my husband) didn’t know why but he was sure it was due to chemicals in the water, which makes sense.

Now I’ve been trying (TRYING) to keep up with life outside this house (and my office) this summer because I have a little more time, and I’ve been blogging (as you see) and reading a lot of other blogs. A week or so ago Diane at Big Green Purse wrote about “fracking” and I read her post and thought, “WTF is fracking?” My educated brain said that from the looks of the word it had something to do with fracturing land perhaps. After that, I got nothing.

Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. I won’t go into the details of how it works because you can learn more from Josh Fox’s movie “Gasland.” But what I will tell you is this – companies dig wells and pump large amounts of water, sand, and chemicals into the well. This creates pressure which fractures the Earth, sending the oil and natural gas up into the well. Sounds kosher so far (well, I guess). But then those chemicals end up seeping into other areas, such as, oh, the water table and into wells. That water flows to where? Eventually, your house (and that guy who lit his water on fire, his house too obviously). It waters the plants that animals eat (that eventually become your food). Hell, it even waters your produce. *Awesome* <<-- sarcasm (I hope you got that). So what chemicals are involved you ask? Good question. It’s a secret (shh). No really. According to Barry Estabrook, the chemicals used are considered a trade secret. Really? But animals who have drank contaminated water have foamed, bled at the mouth, and died. So there’s something more than, oh, sodium going on in that water. Are you pissed yet? You should be. I am.

Over 35 states allow fracking while certain countries including France are talking about banning it or have banned it according to Theodora Filis. The Environmental Protection Agency is now looking into certain counties in the US and some of the practices, and will include a pre-test/post-test design of sorts to study the environment before and after fracking occurs in an area, according to The Huffington Post. Texas recently became the first state to require (starting in 2012) companies to disclose the chemicals used in fracking (according to The Huffington Post), and hopefully this will start a trend in other states. While it’s not stopping the entire process, at least it’s a step (right? Kind of?). States like NY are currently battling over this issue, and I encourage anyone who lives in a state that practices fracking to petition their leaders against it.

What do I see here? I see money. I don’t see people and their welfare. Humans, animals, ecology, the Earth, I don’t see those things as being important in many of these decisions. I see money (and natural gas and oil, hence money). I am well aware that our current economy and ways of life need these things. But continuing this behavior, even though we know it’s detrimental to animals, the Earth, and humans, indicates to me that money and resources have gained the stronghold in many decisions, and that disturbs me.

Well, I’m off to try to light my water on fire. Got my fire-resistant gear on and fire-extinguishers at the ready. Wish me luck.

This is ridiculous.


  1. If you're a Battlestar Galactica fan, you would ask, "what the frack is fracking?" Good post!