Fracking and Public Health
Fracking doesn’t sound like something the earth, or any community, or any language would wish upon itself. What is it exactly? Fracking is a technique that involves the injection of enormous volumes of water and chemicals underground at very high pressure in order to create fractures in underlying shale rock formations in order to extract the natural gas below the surface. Fracking is rapidly expanding all across the U.S. and Canada. It is touted by big corporations as a practical solution to energy needs. Citizen groups oppose fracking because of its huge water use, its high carbon emissions, its impacts on human health, the disruption it causes to wildlife, and the peril it poses to groundwater and local drinking water. They are insisting that people’s health and the environment are non-negotiable. And, that this widespread and dangerous practice of fracking be stopped.
Sandra Steingraber is a biologist, professor, writer and environmental health expert. She is a leading voice alerting the public to the dangers posed by fracking. She is the author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment and Raising Elijah.
Steingraber is fabulous! She reveals so much about the poisoning of our environment by fracking. I knew it was bad, but I never knew how bad. I’d love to have my discussion group just sit and listen to her. Her credentials are unassailable and she speaks well, especially when she talks about her own cancer and then leads us into what the fracking corporations are doing to us. I have long thought that my own breast cancer could probably be traced to the epidemic of PCBs in cow’s milk during the 50s-60s.
Valerie Vaughn –
I was utterly riveted as I listened to Sandra. With each lingering sentence, statement, and fact revealed, I found myself intuitively linked with her. From the first time I learned of fracking, I knew it wasn’t a good thing for the Earth. How could it be? So when I heard Sandra, I knew I had to research further this unsettling issue. More than just disturbing, it is life threatening. My first introduction to the connection with cancer and the environment came with the Hanford Nuclear Power Plant in Washington State. Understanding that we are destined to repeat our past – we must step up to the powers that be to voice our outrage and conviction. I am deeply grateful to Sandra and those who have paved the road for her, and for those who will follow in this path. Thank you.
I was driving in my car, on my way to pick up my niece. I tuned into 95.1 KRCC and heard Sandra Steingraber’s speech. It wasn’t like any speech I’ve heard before. It was truly touching. She is well educated, well researched, and, on top of it all, an amazing writer and story-teller.
Thank you, Sandra, for writing this piece and for your inspiration!!
meg rinaldi –
This talk is extraordinary. I just happened to catch it while tending to an errand this evening. As one who had the great fortune of growing up in the bucolic countryside of upstate NY this education that Sandra Steingraber offers pulled hard on my heart.
To the first reviewer who could not afford the recording: I will purchase it for you. And I agree, this information should not be for sale, but available to all. Please contact me: [email protected]
Michael Moore –
I agree with all of the reviews above, I can’t remember when last I’ve heard such poetry spoken to such an argument.
I couldn’t wait to share what I’ve heard with my other upstate New York friends and there in lies my dilemma. Why would anyone charge money to dispense such important dialogue? I for one can’t afford it and don’t know what to do given the important subject at hand.
I understand economics however I must admit I am terribly disappointed.
Raina Whan –
This was the most compelling and informative discussion I’ve heard or read yet on this subject, a must for everyone interested in knowing what’s really going on!
Diane Lee –
I caught Sandra Steingraber’s presentation on “fracking” NPR. Exellent! why isn’t the officials of NYS listening to her. Our precious Earth can”t take an assault like this anymore than we need North Korea to let go of a nuclear warhead, even if it ends up in the ocean. The ocean can’t take anymore assaults either.
I have ordered the transcript to read it in its entirety.
Thank you, Diane Lee
David Livingstone Fore –
I stopped everything when I heard Sandra’s voice and what she was trying to tell me. Don’t let the dry title of the talk mislead you: this is a moving, poetic, and in the end bone-chilling story of a scientist, a mother, and a poet stalked by the twin threats to our existence: local pollution (especially fracking) and global climate change. You get to hear a fine mind weave several fascinating and moving stories together into a coherent whole; while she starts with her ‘downstream’ life that she believes probably led to her cancer in her 20s, the story travels through her work as a professional scientist and ultimately to he chosen home in upstate New York which is now beset by the fracking industry.
David Landskov –
Sandra weaves her personal story into how she came to understand the dangers of fracking. Her story is emotionally engaging and convincing that she is scientifically qualified to perform her analysis. And what a worrying analysis it is. It is serious science explained well on the multiple problems fracking causes. You do not have to be a scientist to understand her, but she is convincing even if you are.
Robert Hastings –
Fracking is a collection of technologies.
Before I heard this AR talk, I thought fracking was bad, but couldn’t tell you why.
More importantly, I couldn’t address a pro-fracking person in a coherent manner.
In breaking the process into its component parts, Steingraber distills her voluminous
knowledge in a way that’s comprehensive, comprehensible and gives me
a framework to discuss fracking in a way that’s more articulate than my
previous position of: “fracking – evil !!!”.
I heard this, and in looking it up realized she was the author of “Living Downstream”, which
which masterfully correlates the industrial processes we use daily and cancer epidemiology.
She’s survived cancer, and the personal part of her book is poignant.
This woman knows what she’s talking about, and you can too by listening to this talk.