The Widdershins

Activist Wednesday: No Fracking Way! Part Deux

Posted on: December 5, 2012

Members of New Yorkers Against Fracking, a broad-based coalition, deliver hundreds of thousands of ban-fracking petitions to Gov. Andrew Cuomo
(L-R) Daniele Gerard of Three Parks Independent Democrats, Zack Malitz of Credo Action, Betta Broad of Frack Action, Alex Beauchamp of Food & Water Watch

Many of us have weighed in about the holidays and how we feel various degrees of excitement or “bah humbug” about them. Well, count me in on the thankfulness side, because I feel like this has been a banner year for activism!

I’ll do more of a summary before the New Year, but let me just use one example: Fracking in New York has been stopped again! Our water is safe for now.

New York started 2012 promising to open vast areas of countryside in five Southern Tier counties to industrial gas drilling. In the face of unprecedented opposition—including a record 66,000 comments sent by people like you—New York ended the year in retreat. Fracking regulations for the Delaware River Basin were not finalized and New York has agreed to review fracking’s impact on public health, a key Riverkeeper concern.

There’s a lot going on with fracking. Matt Damon is making a movie about it that is freaking frackers out.

The premiere of a Hollywood film featuring hydraulic fracturing is months away, but the energy industry already is preparing for battle.

“Promised Land” stars Matt Damon as a gas-company salesman trying to lease natural-gas drilling rights in rural Pennsylvania, where fracking has become a widespread, though sometimes controversial, technique to release natural gas from shale deposits.

Worried that the movie will portray fracking in a negative light, the [energy] industry is working up responses that it says could include bombarding film reviewers with scientific studies, distributing leaflets to moviegoers and mounting a “truth-squad” effort on Twitter and FaceBook.


“We’ve been surprised at the emergence of what looks like a concerted campaign targeting the film even before anyone’s seen it,” said James Schamus, chief executive of Focus Features, a unit of Comcast Corp.’s Universal that produced and will distribute “Promised Land” in collaboration with Participant Media LLC. The film was written by Mr. Damon and actor John Krasinski and directed by Gus Van Sant.

Mr. Schamus might find it surprising that the oil and gas industry would be so threatened by the movie, but I don’t. Given the fact that it has spent untold millions (perhaps billions) on obscuring the very real and toxic effects of consuming and creating oil and gas products, it seems to me that the oil and gas industry’s actions are quite predictable. The bullies are back in action, trying to stay in business just long enough to enjoy their private islands in the Caribbean before they’re washed away by rising ocean levels.

Whatever the “truth squad” efforts produce will be just more sludge, fueled by the darkest of dark money. Awareness of how bad fracking is for the environment is growing. People are coming out in unprecedented numbers to protect their water against it, and it’s no wonder: the ramifications keep being revealed as worse and worse.

Despite the alarming water crisis the world is facing, private interests are polluting, exploiting and selling water — a resource essential for all life. A 2009 publication, sponsored by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and several for-profit multinational companies, predicted that by 2030 global freshwater demand would exceed available supplies by 40 percent.1 In addition to the increasing pollution and overuse of the available freshwater supply, climate change will exacerbate water shortages worldwide. In fact, a UN-Water report said, “…climate change is expected to account for about 20 percent of the global increase in water scarcity.”2

Yet the oil and gas industry continues to contribute to climate change and the water crisis by drilling and fracking for fossil fuels and siphoning off the water in our aquifers and watersheds. Water resources need to be protected, and the public’s best interest should be put before the interests of multinational corporations.

Heavens, what an old-fashioned thought! Thank goodness that old-fashioned is, like, totally “in” for the holidays. (Don’t believe me? Then why is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” on right now? HMMMMMMM?)

Yup, I’m definitely feeling festive this year. Chanukkah starts on Saturday at sundown, and since I don’t like Adam Sandler or “Dreidl Dreidl Dreidl” all that much, I’ll leave you with one of my favorites from Barbra. Oh, sure, it’s not about Chanukkah, but it’s soooooo Jewish. She is even lighting candles…

Enjoy! This is an open thread.


29 Responses to "Activist Wednesday: No Fracking Way! Part Deux"

What really frosts my cookies is that on a local level any edifice that is labeled “historical” by the community requires an “act of god” to make one small change to the structure. The law prohibits even the attachment of a mailbox that may not “fit into” the era of construction.

Yet the idea of “fracking” which will effect millions along the way is carried out regardless of the harm that is generated below ground that will eventually lead to more environmental destruction particularly when it comes to clean drinking water.

We seem to have our priorities a little mixed up when a fine can be slapped on the owner of an historical edifice who “is not following the rules” but allow corporations to inflict untold harm on the rest of us for the sake of profit.


I’d also like to add that you have my sympathy for being forced year after year with the constant playing of Christmas music that plays nonstop for 30 days.

The assault on the senses, particularly when this has nothing to do with your faith and beliefs, has to be aggravating.

It would drive me nuts to be subjected to “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel” for an entire month, or listen to Adam Sandler warbling his tribute.

Also, if I hear “Dominick the Reindeer” one more time I may end it all! What the hell this song has to do with any meaning of Christmas is beyond my comprehension.

Hee haw, hee haw. Moronic.

CORRECTION That should be “Dominick the Donkey”.

See how crazed I’m getting?

@2 – Hahahaha, Pat! Let’s just say I have decades of experience tuning that out. Also, I do a lot of shopping online. Definitely helps!

What makes me laugh too is that people actually claim there is a “war on Christmas.” You couldn’t prove it by the music that is played all over America from Halloween to January 2nd!

Thank you for being in the blogging forefront of this crisis. This is huge and will have enormous impact on the future of our country. With the help of bloggers like you and the arts community, people will become aware of the fossil fuel industry’s attempted rape of our natural resources and the steps we can all take to stop it.

@5 – Awareness and action is what we all want to happen, Janicen! I hope I am contributing to the awareness in some small way.

I didn’t know till I looked it up on Food and Water Watch, that there is proposed new fracking in so many states! My goddess, what are these idiots thinking to keep doing this after so many negative consequences are already known? What has been happening to the water and environment in Pennsylvania and other states should be a huge clue that the technique should be discarded for good!

Glad to hear that fracking is on the run,
Envious of your holiday music. Love all holiday music = Christmas, Hannukah, Solstice, Kwanza. makes me no never mind.

Ten million here, ten million there, pretty soon you will see legions of zombie-like junk scientists puking out reports that say fracking is actually good for the environment sorta like God’s own little ipecac for burping up natural gas.

Sorry to be Dilbert Downer, but I have watched it for decades in Appalachia — blow the tops off mountains, throw the detritus into the valleys, block the watershed, and just let the hazards fill it up until it destroys lakes and streams. All the while you have miners who are put at risk every single day defending the owners who are playing roulette with their lives and health.

You can just see the Wall Street types who are salivating at the bounty fracking will deliver — calling the U.S. the new Saudi Arabia of natural gas — responsible stewardship of the environment is never too high a price to pay for a clean place to live.

MB, a flourish and a most noble hat tip to you for being on the forefront of this issue — you are making our world a better place — frack yeah you are!

@7 – That is a great song, isn’t it? I love Christmas songs too, but as you know, I go more for the classical carols than “Dominick the Donkey.” 😉

@8 – Oh Prolix, you are just telling it like it is. That is how these f*cktards operate. As you say, they’ve been doing it for years. I think the density of information has started to penetrate public consciousness now, but the evil jerks , with their abundance of dark money, have had free rein for far too long.

Don’t give me too much credit, guys! I’m just one woman bloviating on a blog. While I suppose every little bit counts, I am in awe of the organizations that dedicate their time to generating action on these issues. That’s why I post and sign their petitions and donate whenever I can. They deserve whatever we can give them!

@Pat!!!! I knew there was someone who had the thing for Dominick the Donkey! When i did the Christmas-Holiday Bah post I could not remember who or where that song came before, but I remembered it!

On the fracking issue, even I, as a “pro-energy” (?) person have to draw the line at this one. While I know we have to have energy sources from “point A” while we work to get to “point B” (renewal, sustainable) this one just screams at me, “NO”!

R.I.P. Dave Brubeck. Just saw the news from kat at skydancing.

Hell yes, there’s a War on Christmas! Every year more and more people are fed up with the whole thing and just want the holdays to go away. The shock troop in the battle is a small drummer boy, aided and abetted by some old geezer who’s always on about white Christmases and a reindeer (who’d probably rather be in Lapland but has no rights and can’t get away). Also too googah singers about jingle bells who’ve had way more coffee than is good for them. I start saying, Bah, humbug! in mid-November and don’t stop until well into the New Year, and there’s more like me every year.

@12 – OH NO. I love Dave Brubeck! Hubby has a ton of his records on vinyl. The man was a titanic talent. RIP!

@13 – Well, maybe if the “warriors” weren’t a bunch of commie pinko pacifist hippie types, you would be making more headway. 😉

The fracking insanity seems like it blew up out of nowhere. We’ll get cheap gas and $10 per gallon drinking water. Whee!

I live near Los Angeles, which has water shortages you folks in the East Coast would barely believe. And oil and gas right under LA. So what’s the smart thing to do? Why, frack right in LA neighborhoods, right next to the Inglewood fault, which isn’t all that far from the San Andreas. The executives making the decisions don’t live in Inglewood, of course.

@15 – They don’t live in Inglewood, but they live SOMEWHERE! That’s what gets me – the complete and utter short-sightedness. Are they really not aware that once the environment is screwed, it’s screwed?! Do they all have stock in BioDome companies? Me no understand….

quixote: Spoken like a true scrooge! 😉

@MB; Yep, sad day in the music world. 😦

quixote@15: Incredibly dumb! 🙄

I love you all so much and miss you….

I am now taking:

Albuterol- open up lungs
Flonase- open up sinus
zyrtec-open up sinuses
Benzonatate-for cough
clarithromycin-anti-biotic clear up any possible infection

I swear who ever gave me this…

this to get over the effect that allergies and a cold had on me!

Now who can ever forget those immortal songs – I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus, or Grandma got run over by a Reindeer – or something like that? And if I hear Jingle Bell Rock one more time I swear I won’t be held accountable for the insane ranting. That plus that idiot drummer boy parumpa rump pumpa-ing and so many more insane, inane atrocities pretending to be music. And that goes for Adam Sandler’s Chanukah’s ditty as well.
As an atheist, there are some songs that grab me, because of the beauty and majesty of the melody, but the rest of it is just crap. Although I will give Mel Torme credit for Chestnuts roasting – I like that one.
Insofar as fracking is involved we have the gutless greedy wonders up here as well. I’ve signed petitions to stop it, but the speculators really are insidious and lobbying like crazy. Seeing as we are the country with the most fresh water in the world, and with vast gas resources that these guys want to exploit, it’s a fit for them. But if they get a hold here, there goes the fresh water and I haven’t heard of a way to make ocean water drinkable. Not that you would want to with the myriad ways we have been polluting the oceans. Some days I just shake my head and retreat into my shell, because it doesn’t seem that any one who runs for political office can see the forest for the trees.


Oh….poor Fuzzy. 😦

The *pearls*, Benonatate are good for the cough. I’ve taken those before. The others, chat would know more about. I’ve used the flonase too. It helps. Hate to say it, but with all those meds, no toddy for you. 😉

Take care and chicken soup *will* help!

madamab@16: me no understand either. Maybe they flunked Common Sense 101? Maybe they think the air and water in their gated communities is special air and water?

Michael, I missed your comment – must have been typing. You are under strict orders to take care of yourself and get well. Chat will know, but as someone who can’t take a lot of drugs (allergies) that sure seems like a lot of medication. Regardless rest, lots of fluids (but not the hot toddy genre as Fredster said) and get lots of rest. We miss you buddy. Just get well.

Fuzzy – you are so loved and missed. Please get well soon!

Fuzzy, so sorry to hear you are still suffering! I agree with HT – that sounds like a lot of meds to be taking together. You might want to call your local hospital pharmacy ( even if you don’t get your meds there ) and tell a pharmacist ( not a pharmacy tech ) all the meds you are taking and ask if there are any possible harmful interactions among them. They will check for free. I have done that with my mother’s meds many times. Often a hospital pharmacist knows more than the doctors and will find some meds should not be taken with each other. Hope you feel much better soon! We miss you. And if you are on antibiotics, have some yogurt every day to keep the good bacteria alive! xoxo

Each Christmas season, “Lessons and Carols” begins with this lovely song. King’s College does it best.

I can’t stand 99% of xmas songs. I like a few, especially Feliz Navidad.

Beata@25: Good info on the yogurt!! When I was taking those two different antibiotics I was eating two containers a day just to be on the safe side.

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