Friday, April 13, 2012

Fracking Earthquakes and the Deep Ecology of the Planet - NPM #3

Fracking Sludge Tanks, Youngstown OH. Photo by Dan Pompeii
Photograph by Dan Pompili/Warren Tribune-Chronicle/AP PhotoPerhaps you have heard about the recent spate of earthquakes here in northeast Ohio.  Scientists from the US Geological Survey have determined they are caused by high pressure disposal of waste liquid from hydraulic fracturing into wastewater injection wells. Hydraulic fracturing is the process by which a toxic stew of chemicals (the list has not been fully revealed) is injected in the ground to break up shale rock formations that contain natural gas.  The natural gas and fluids come back up to the surface after picking up contaminants from deep in the earth. The wastewater, composed of contain sodium and calcium salts, barium, oil, strontium, iron, numerous heavy metals, soap, radiation and other components. Most of the wastewater that arrives in Ohio originates in Pennsylvania since there are prohibitions against injection wells in the state.  

Tectonic Plate Map
Earthquakes happen.  They are the manifestations of the deep  structures of our planet.  What we call natural gas and crude oil are part of that ecology.  We humans ride the tectonic plates of our planet's continuing evolution, and it seems, increasingly find ways of disrupting it in thoughtless and generally unnecessary ways.  Here's an oil-drilling poem:

Drilling For Oil

flesh colored ghosts
walking through the
oil fields... carrying

mannequin babies
on their shoulders.

draped in American flags,
carrying Bibles, and
pearl handled revolvers.

past rusted out chevrolets,
stepping on books that
were banned....

singing the songs of Jesus
to corpses that cant hear....

past tomblike houses
where strangers lived and
died... pictures of dead presidents...

empty Jim Beam bottles in
the windows, covered with soot!

drilling for oil... 
Eric Cockrell

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome comments on any topic covered in Urban Ecology. I may not respond immediately but I do read them all.