Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Yoga, the Bible, and Hydrofracking

At yoga class this afternoon, my teacher talked about the Eight Limbs of Yoga. The first limb is the yamas. The first jama is ahimsa or universal morality. It means showing compassion for all living things. One is not to injure or show cruelty to any creature or any person in any way whatsoever. In every situation one adopts a considerate attitude and does no harm.

Hydrofracking, the method used by gas companies to extract natural gas from deep in the earth, is a very violent, toxic, and harmful procedure, causing harm to people, animals, and, equally important, Mother Earth, who supports us with all our needs, if we but treat her with respect and care.

A friend of mine who lives in Dimock, PA, wrote a post yesterday about her frustration that no politicians will listen to her story. Furthermore, her neighbors want more gas wells. They want the money. Here is what she wrote:

Have you wondered how many of our "elected" officials or their friends and affiliates have leased with the gas company? Just a thought. I spoke at length to Senator Baker's office-Tom Uneski. He told me they do represent the constituents and the constituents want the leases and they want them now-not later-not after the studies are done or safety regulations- now. When I told him another neighbor reported orange and filthy household water this weekend(great New Year's start!) he said well DID they sign a lease? Whether you signed a lease or not is not the point! We were lied to, mislead and have lost our homes as we once knew them and not one elected official in PA will do anything about it! I suppose they figure since we are already a mess out here why not let them keep drilling! Let's double the wells next year! Who cares? I ask Baker, Yaw, Carney, Pickett, Majors-Who will YOUR constituents be? Who will live here? Who will be able to live here? Who will pay the taxes(NOT THE GAS COMPANY!)Pickett wants to lease the state lands for income-no tax on the gas company. Do they really believe Dimock is the exception? This won't happen in Wyoming County or Luzurne County? So please, if you haven't called the elected officials regarding the very real incidents and concerns that you are aware of-please call them and ask your friends and neighbors to call. Flood them with calls-This is it folks. The window is just about shut- it will be shut and nailed shut by our Senators, our Governor, Sec. Hangar, Congress, the blissfully ignorant citizens of PA who obviously refuse to educate themselves and continue to delude themselves that the money makes it all worth it. Call Senator Yaw tomorrow 717-787-3280- he won't be in because he is too busy making commercials for Chesapeake(Carney' s good guys)!

When I read her post, I could not help but think about a Bible story- the parable of the rich man (Luke 16:19-31). Lazarus, as you may recall, was living in terrible conditions with sores all over his body. The rich man paid no attention to him, even though he sat at the rich man's gate. One day both men died. Lazarus went to be with Abraham. The rich man ended up in Hades where he was in torment. He saw Abraham and Lazarus far away. As the story goes, the rich man tried to get Abraham and Lazarus to help him. But they would not, saying that the rich man had had every luxury in life, and now he was reaping his reward. Furthermore, no one could cross over the great chasm to help him. Next the rich man asked if Lazarus could go back and warn his five brothers so that they would mend their ways and not end up in Hades, too. Abraham said, "They have Moses and the prophets; let them listen to them." But the rich man, knowing that his brothers would not listen to Moses, he pleaded with Abraham because he thought,if someone came back from the dead, his brothers would pay attention. Abraham said, "If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets they will pay no heed even if someone should rise from the dead."

I constantly see the blindness of people who want money from a gas lease, but who purposely refuse to look upon the Earth, the animals, and human beings, who are all irreversibly harmed by the dirty business of extracting gas from the Marcellus Shale. The only benefit I know of from gas drilling is profits- MONEY. Most of the profits go to the gas industry, especially the CEOs. A few landowners get a lot of money. But there is absolutely no other reason to support the industry. The money will not make any difference in the long run after water is contaminated, the air is lethal to breathe, and the soil will no longer sustain animals or crops since all well pads become superfund sites.

Why won't anyone listen to my friend in Dimock?


Martha Speaks said...

You seem to be making the same mistakes we made, selling out to the oil and gas companies for a bit of cash now and a lot of toxic waste cleanup headaches later. Learn from our mistakes.

Peacegirl said...

Thank you, Martha! I am praying my family in PA will learn from the experiences of others. But, knowing the cousins, who will be making the decision to sign a lease or not, it doesn't look too promising.

Anonymous said...

Martha, I so dearly wish that PA would learn from your mistakes, but it's been proven time again that PA (or, rather, our greedy politicians) doesn't learn from our past mistakes. Perfect example in our area is the aftermath of coal mining. Most of our major streams are dead now, we're slowly cleaning up the Acid Mine Drainage - and then our lovely state government decided to lease off state lands (that were formerly coal lands and already irreversibly polluted) for gas drilling.

I guess it is hard to learn when you're distracted by all that lobby money.

Martha Speaks said...

In Martha, Kentucky we sure wish we could turn back the clock and restore our water table and land. However, the best we can probably hope for now is removing the worst of the offending radiation from the land. The water table is lost for centuries.

If you are going to play with these companies our recommendation would be to work with other neighbors to hire an independent inspector to keep and eye on the well drilling and production.

It's difficult to clean up the mess after it is made.