I don’t know if all of you who read these posts – particularly those from the western parts of the country – are familiar with what is known as Marcellus Shale, a geologic formation that covers territory from West Virginia through Pennsylvania and into New York State. The Marcellus Shale is very rich in underground natural gas. I would like to do two things with this post: introduce you to a tireless activist; and point you in the direction of two well-researched and well-documented articles concerning the toxic repercussions of fracking, sadly just a couple of so many which the politicos that are making decisions continue to ignore.
First things first. Michele Novak Thomas. Michele lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Her energy and outrage are inexhaustible, and she’s the ecologist/activist messenger for the rest of us. Every EPA report, every NRDC report, articles in newspapers throughout the country, farm news, medical reports, political decisions – none of it escapes Michele’s critical exposure. And she puts her body on the line as well, protesting at Eastern Pennsylvania’s fracking sites. Through Michele, we know where Pennsylvania dumps its toxic waste (New York); we know about proposed legislation; we know about beef cattle, sickened and dying from the chemical toxins used in the fracking process. And this is only scratching the surface!
In her Thanksgiving message she posted “We’re thankful to all of our many neighbors across New York and elsewhere who work tirelessly to protect our clean water, air, and the health and well-being of our communities.”
I just want to thank Michele for her courage, her commitment, and her unwavering sense of justice!
This next link makes the connection between fracking, livestock, food sources, and all creatures – human and non-human – who are eating the food contaminated by the fracking process.
What will it take, I wonder – how much more disaster, death, disease – for the humans among us (the us referring to all being) – to make the connections between our consumptive greed for power and wealth, our lifestyles which refuse to reflect a universal reality, and a misguided economy based on production and trade, and the indisputable fact of the interconnectedness of the human and non-human world, our interdependence, and our roles and responsibilities?
What will it take, I wonder, for the humans among us to understand that social justice and eco-justice are intricately entwined, that eco-justice is the very ground for the values of equity and opportunity that we claim we hold dear.
What blinds us to the connection between cattle dying in Wyoming and Burger King employees, (along with Wendy’s and MacDonald’s) employees walking off the job?
One last and slightly less rhetorical question, how do those of us who have find and are continuing to find our voices, establish agency? That’s a personal question for me. I continue to write and blog because I’ve been given a vision that won’t keep still. Few people respond, mostly my friends who want to keep me of stout heart, and so I have to wonder if anybody is out there.
What is it that can keep a Michele Novak Thomas, for example, stout of heart and stout in her commitment to her role of messenger/activist?
I’ll close with this statement from Sourcewatch: “Although no complete list of the cocktail of chemicals used in this process exists, information obtained from environmental clean-up sites demonstrates that known toxins are routinely being used, including hydrochloric acid, diesel fuel (which contains benzene, tuolene, and xylene) as well as formaldehyde, polyacrylimides, arsenic, and chromates.”