Ban Fracking

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in environment, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Reading the wonderful news about Governor Cuomo’s position on fracking. I just hope it’s not too good to be true. We need light like this, hope like this, in the darkest time of the year.

The following is a repost of something I wrote almost exactly a year ago…


Today I went to an anti-fracking rally at the Empire State Plaza in Albany NY. I almost didn’t go—it’s not like I don’t have a hundred and seventeen other things to do, and besides I knew I would never find a parking space. But at the last minute I decided to show up. Me and two thousand other people.

Everyone was carrying signs. Most of the signs just read “Ban Fracking.” But some of the signs really had some carefully worded and worthwhile points to make.

I’ll spare you the lecture about hydrofracking and just let some of the more thoughtful signs speak for themselves.

rally 045

rally 060 rally 057











There was a small group of pro-fracking supporters there, and for a while things got sort of testy. Chants of “Drill, baby, drill!” were competing with “Hey hey, ho ho, hydrofracking has to go!” and it was getting louder and louder. But then someone showed up carrying the best sign of all.rally 063

Pete Seeger (ninety-three, my God) brought his banjo. On which is written: This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender. (I’ve seen that banjo many times before. At a Five Rivers Fall Festival.  At a NYS Outdoor Educators’ conference. At a Clearwater concert. I suspect it’s the same one he was carrying when he listened to Martin Luther King tell about having a dream back in 1963.) rally 064

Anyway, the chanting died down and the huge crowd broke into a chorus of the song.

The song. You know it, right? Hum a few bars. This land is your land, this land is my  land…

And that’s what it’s all about right? That’s the whole point. This land is ours and we must be responsible stewards of it. We must not sell it for a short-term profit.

We need to look at the whole picture—not only the critical need for jobs and economic stimulus, but fracking’s long-term impact on drinking water, human health, wildlife, wilderness, climate. We need to look down the road at the future that’s coming for our children—oh, sorry, I said I’d skip the lecture.

One last thought. Once an area is fracked it will never be quite the same again. When land is drilled, logged–fundamentally damaged–it’s not so easily repaired.rally 051

This land was made for you and me.

(And I scored a parking space right in front of the plaza.)rally 071

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