What the frack?!

Last month, a report confirmed that close to 3 billion gallons of wastewater containing toxic chemicals like arsenic and thalium (also found in rat poison) were dumped into California aquifers, contaminating clean drinking water and jeopardizing the health of countless residents.  The chemical wastewater is a biproduct of hydraulic fracturing or, fracking, a process of extracting fossil fuels by drilling into the ground with a mixture of cement, chemicals, and, ironically, a lot of water.  Fracking is already an incredibly water-intensive process, and so the pollution that has resulted from dumping this wastewater into CLEAN water only adds insult to injury.  Actually, it adds undrinkable water to a dwindling amount of drinkable water. Great.  With water already in such drastically short supply in California, this act of carelessness by all those involved is another example of energy (and ultimately) money-minded individuals ruining things for the rest of us.

But it’s too easy to create an “us vs. them” scenario here.  That doesn’t help us as a collective society.  Whether you’re an oil executive, politician, a government regulatory agency employee, or just an average citizen, we all need to be aware of the implications of both our actions and our apathy.

Don’t let the term, “Natural Gas” fool you.  Fossil fuels are fossil fuels, and we have to be aware of the consequences of the blatant disregard for safety and health regulations that seem to occur wherever fracking occurs, whether in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and now, Virginia.  Specifically, the George Washington National Park.  Were the same sort of incident to occur here, it could potentially contaminate both the James and Potomac rivers.  We need to be very careful about this.


 

We all need to address fracking, oil drilling, coal mining, and other ways we power our homes, appliances, and livelihoods. Just like with food, we cannot ignore where our energy comes from, how it’s produced, and what that means for us, the planet, and our future.  Unless we are truly and honestly conscious of our own actions, we cannot possibly help anything or anyone else.

Reducing your water, electricity, and gasoline use doesn’t have to be seen as a limitation in your daily life.  Instead, see it as the ability to live your life without being dependent on companies for comfort.  Consuming less of everything isn’t a downgrade.  It’s an empowering process that can help lead you away from “stuff,” and towards true happiness and contentment.  Don’t even do it for environmental or social reasons, do it for yourself.  Because you can’t save the world without saving yourself first.

P.S. Here are 5 more strange reasons why we need to take the effects of fracking seriously.

Fracking in Wyoming.

Fracking in Wyoming.

A Cold Happiness

A cool autumn wind

Rustles leaves

Red, orange, brown, yellow.

Death never looked so vibrant.

I watched one leaf fall from a tree.

As he spiraled downward to the

                                                  cold

       damp

                earthen floor,

                                                   he twirled

                                                   and whirled

a final dance of death.

No one cries, for he will be back by springtime.

I am no bigger than a leaf,

nor is my performance of mortality

any more (or any less) choreographed than his.

Landscapes of a Lifetime

A collection of photographs from our journey through India and Nepal.

The Rape Culture of Ecological Destruction

If corporations are people, can we send Exxon, Shell, and BP to jail for raping our Mother Earth?

Can we at least have a word with the drills, mines, and Mother-frackers who have thus far acted without her consent?

Their intrusive, penetrating, and poisoning actions are bad enough, but what does it say about our civilization, way of life, and global economy– all of which are based on the success of these rapists?

How quickly we rush to justifications. ‘Sure we raped her, but look how beautiful the baby is… Don’t worry, we’ll just rape her more gently. We need more good-hearted and compassionate rapists in charge, and everything will be fine.’ Eco-friendly rape-technology is all the rage, and it’s good for the economy too!

We live in a system that rewards those who destroy the Earth the most. A tree has no monetary value until it’s been mutilated into straight lines. Illusory red-blue glasses give off the impression of a three-dimensional political system, but it’s all a distraction, one that complicates the simplest of realities:

You can’t drink oil, and you can’t eat money.

All the while, our scarred and bloodied Mother, the victim of thoughtlessness and ignorance waits silently. She waits for her daughters and sons to stand up and fight against the few greedy, small-minded boys, whose empathy fails to include the beauty of Nature all around them.

Please Mother, forgive my anger.

7 Things I Miss Most About India

Our 6 month journey through India and Nepal came to a close earlier this month, and we miss it dearly. After traveling for so long, it’s utterly impossible to try and summarize our experiences properly and succinctly here. But after a conversation with Sarah where we listed the things we’d miss most about India, I figured that could be a good place to start. So, after being in Western society again for exactly 2 weeks now, here are a few things I already miss about India:

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