I’m just back from a three week vacation, which was a much-needed, refreshing break from my full-time contract work and my climate activism, as well as a chance to reconnect with my family. We had lots of fresh air and exercise during a week-long bike trip in the Loire Valley, and then spent time relaxing and eating great Italian food (we especially the enjoyed the gelati!) in Tuscany.
I also got a chance to do some reading while away, and got caught up on some movie-watching on the long (and yes, carbon-producing) airplane flights. I will talk more about Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Sleeping Naked is Green on upcoming blogs.
But right now, let’s talk “fracking”. One of the inflight videos I watched was Gasland – and all I can say is yikes – it’s very alarming!! I’m posting a video that explains what fracking for natural gas is, and why all of us should be very, very concerned about the huge push by the oil and gas industry to frame natural gas as a “green” energy source that is cheaper than wind and solar. While there are studies that claim burning gas in power stations releases about half the carbon emissions of coal, a new study out of Cornell University found that generating electricity from shale gas – because of the difficulty in extracting it from rocks – produces at least as much carbon dioxide as coal-fired power, and perhaps more. As Jenny Banks from WWF-U.K. said recently,
“It would be ridiculous to encourage shale gas when in reality its greenhouse gas footprint could be as bad as or worse than coal. We need to reject this source of gas, and have a clear plan to move away from our dependency on fossil fuels and harness the full potential of renewable technologies.”
And besides the dubious green claims of the oil and gas industry (why is anybody listening to these amoral money-grubbers anymore?!?), there’s the “small” problem of the contamination of entire watersheds by the 500+ toxic, volatile chemicals used to access the natural gas locked in the shale. There’s no going back once that happens, as the people who live close to fracking operations all over the U.S. have found out. Right now, there is no fracking industry in Canada but Big Oil and Gas sure would like there to be, and are making plans to get started. Let’s join together to stop it while we have time. Not sure why it’s important? Check out “My Water’s On Fire Tonight: The Fracking Song”:
- If you haven’t yet, watch Gasland. You can check out some excerpts, and an interview with film maker Josh Fox, here (thanks to Alan over at Climate Insight for the link).
- Go to StopFrackingOntario.wordpress.com for information on campaigns to stop fracking across Canada and other countries.
- Spread the word in your circle of friends and family. You could even organize an evening event with them, watching “Gasland” and then writing letters to your elected officials (don’t forget to include some food and drink in your evening!)
*thanks to both Kathy and Kathryn for the recent fracking links*