Please help stop the threat of fracking in New York by joining the statewide protest on JUNE 25.
If June 25 turns into a statewide protest, it might finally get the attention of the broadcast media, which, so far as I know, has said absolutely nothing about the issue. Is that because they’re taking in millions (billions?) from the gas and oil industry in advertising how “natural gas” is the solution to our energy needs for the next 100 years?
Those of us who are tuned in to environmental networks, or who read the New York Times, TIME magazine, or Newsweek, know something about this issue even if only that it exists. However, most people today get their information from mainstream television, which, so far as I know, has been utterly silent on the issue. Mention fracking to your friends from areas other than environmental activism. Unless you live in the area that’s targeted for drilling, you’ll be shocked at how many intelligent and thoughtful people know nothing about it, or even what the word fracking means.
We have a lot of catching up to do, for after explaining the problem, we then have to explain that there is a solution. Good news indeed, but only to those who understand the problem.
Along with the dangers of drilling, we have to let people know that there’s no need to dig down thousands of feet into the earth for gas that’s so much easier and cheaper to make right up here on the earth’s surface. America is lagging behind in the worldwide effort to provide cooking and heating gas from the methane that arises naturally from rotting vegetation and animal manure. Type biogas into google and you’ll find dozens of articles on gas creating systems of all sizes from little ones on small dairy farms in Scandinavia and rice paddies in India to big municipal plants in Sweden and jobs in Kansas.
These installations, if created with government help, would solve at once five of our worst problems:
1) they would provide cooking and heating fuel at a fraction of the price of the gas being sold by the industry, using the same delivery systems already in place; 2) they would remove a large percentage of the greenhouse gases that are causing global warming; 3) they would rid our towns and cities of their stinking, disgusting landfills; 4) they would eliminate any incentive to destroy our national heritage and pollute our drinking water with invasive drilling; and 5) they would bring employment to areas of the state where it’s most needed, both temporary jobs, to build the facilities, and permanent jobs, to run them.
Because each situation is different, building biogas plants will also give employment to engineers in the field and chemists working in the lab on gas mixtures that will achieve the goal of total neutralizion (zero carbon footprint). True, biogas is highly flammable, but no more so than the “natural” gas and propane we’ve been using for years. With modern engineering and proper maintainence there need never be an accident, certainly nothing to compare with the explosions, leakage and spills associated with hydro-fracking.
With a governor who’s dedicated to the environment it looks like we’ve got a chance in New York that they didn’t have in Pennsylvania, but he needs to hear from us how much we hate fracking and how much we want biogas installations instead. As our representative, we can’t expect him to stand alone, and no one, including the Governor himself, will know how many voters would be behind him if only they got their news in some other way than television. It’s great to go to Albany and protest in person, and we should certainly continue to do that, but unless we can find a way to get our protests into the broadcast news reports, the message will go no further than the capitol steps. With a deadline of sorts coming up in July, we can use this June 25th demonstration as a way of standing together against mindless corporate greed.
Here in Rockland
On June 25th we’ll be having a picnic on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River where we’ll hear speakers explain the different factors involved in the dispute, and where we, and our elected officials, will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss with each other the best way to proceed. Earlier in the month, on June 1st, there will be a showing of the film Gasland at the Nyack Community Center. Its Oscar nomination was a major factor in getting the EPA to force Halliburton just this past December to tell us what’s in the solvent they’ve been using to flush out the gas and poison the soil and water of dozens of states in the process.
Not all communities are the same. What works in one may not be what’s right for another. Even if all you do is to stand on a corner near where people do their shopping and hand out leaflets, it can count as a public event and will help to swell the count of environmental organizations around the state joining the protest. It could be a showing of Gasland, a lecture in a hall, a private party with key county politicians, a dance to benefit the local food bank that breaks for a speech by an environmentalist. Imagine if we could get several events on that date in every county in the state!
• Please sign on to this protest and plan and advertise in your community some sort of public action for June 25. It doesn’t have to be a blockbuster, although if it is we’d love to hear about it. Whatever you decide to do, please let us know about it so we can add your group and your county to our list. And please take photos and videos to share on Facebook and YouTube.
• Please share this website with your fellow environmentalists and with other organizations that you belong to or know about. By signing up you’ll automatically become a member of the New York Environmental Coalition. All this means is that your name and email address will be listed here along with other New York and national environmental organizations in lists based on divisions of primary focus. There are many such lists available online, but this one is aimed directly at turning the search for more sources of energy in the right direction, for starting something good, not just stopping something bad.
• Please give us your input. You can do this best through comments here and by emailing us. We want to hear your discoveries, your personal experiences, your ideas, what you’ve written. As word of more events in more counties comes in we will share it through our website. We want to build a statewide network for the benefit of all, for no change ever comes about without dedicated people working together for the common good.
• Let’s talk about fracking, then work together to stop it by starting something better.