Fracked Up

November 26th, 2016

fracked-up    God bless good science fiction. It often seems, in retrospect, to forewarn of what will one day become reality. Take Battlestar Gallactica. It was definitely prescient. I don’t mean by predicting that our smart technology will get out of control or that we’ll trash our planet. Nope. The most absolutely prophetic aspect of Battlestar G is that they use the word FRACK as their most obscene swear word! As in dude, we’re fracked, or, man what a fracking mess.

And now, right now today, we are living in fracked up times.

To continue to feed our addiction to fossil fuels we are drilling, pumping, blasting and fracturing land all over this country – a process known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” – to get to oil and natural gas we couldn’t get to before.

As a result Oklahoma has become the earthquake capital of the world. Other fracking zones are also being hit with unprecedented earthquakes. The fracking liquids that are pumped at high pressure down into the earth to fracture the rock formations are toxic and flammable and have contaminated drinking water in numerous communities. And fracking operations release massive amounts of methane, one of the most potent pollutants driving climate change.

And it gets fracking worse. Just recently the U.S. Geological Survey announced it had found the largest continuous oil and gas deposit ever discovered in the United States. It is only accessible via fracking. Accessing the oil will damage or destroy some of Texas’ most treasured natural places. And it comes at a time when scientists are saying we must keep much of newly discovered oil and gas in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate changes.

And now we have Trump, who has vowed to deregulate, boost and expand the fossil fuel industry. The election that got him into the presidency was a fracking fiasco due to media and political party shenanigans. Further evidence that our democracy too, is fractured.

Yep, things are pretty fracked up. Old ways, old systems and familiar institutions are all in flux.

It could lead to general destruction or it could be an opening for creative destruction and eventual progress. Evolution doesn’t happen until a species, or a nation, faces great pressure and life-threatening circumstances that they must adapt to or risk being eliminated. There is a chance this could prove to be just such a pressure point.

What do you think?

 

Cylvia Hayes

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