The governor of New York is responsible for making a decision as to the future of allowing hydraulic fracturing in the state. This is a heavy decision that he doesn’t appear to be taking lightly, though his hesitation is alarming, for it appears as each day progresses that he is more and more willing to side with oil and gas industry and thereby sell the health, safety, and indeed future of millions of New York residents. Nearly every other gas rich state in the Union has already sold its future to a handful of very influential and powerful corporations. They have done this under the guise of economic growth, steady employment for citizens, and freedom from foreign oil. What hydraulic fracturing looks instead is; the rapid industrialization of our rural country side; quick-burn-out jobs and a legacy of scars, pits, drill pads and millions of gallons of toxic waste water.
I am not against drilling for natural gas. I use it to heat the place where I live. I use it to cook. And I know that as a fuel it is often a better decision than the others that we have. However, I am against the rapid unregulated robbery that is occurring. I am against the complete disregard for humanity’s future. I am against the ideology that places company profits over culture and quality of life.
As a nation we have learned very little from the past. The founding of our country was largely based on the tenants of colonialism. As a result, the brief history of America has seen the demise of the Eastern old growth forest, the extinction of wild game and fish stocks, the forced relocation and genocide of indigenous peoples, and numerous other crimes and wars. There have been moments of democratic clarity, humanity, and compassion, but those moments and advancements have not been transferred to all people, regardless of class, race, and gender. Now in the second decade of the twenty-first century the growing gap between rich and poor is beginning to show us just how fragile the social advancements are in this a new century. Facking represent one of these examples.
Currently our political leaders speak of American Exceptionalism. Their worldview, clouded by the haze of self-interests, seeks not to raise America up but rather to redefine what it means to be exceptional. And we as citizens have bought what they are selling to us, literally and ideologically. Science tells us we need to curb our carbon emissions, and instead we wait for more “scientist” to tell us otherwise. We wait for misinformation to inform our decisions. We as Americans choose to believe, quite literally, the edited versions of ancient text before we’ll listen to the voices of scientific seers and cultural critics who are our prophets. The ones who we as Americans are willing to stone, imprison, and caste out.
This is what fracking looks like. It is the manifestation of all the problems we face. It is inequality. It is class warfare. It is environmentally unsound. It is greed. It is reckless. It is undemocratic. It is inhumane. It is our future. Prepare for it.