After 2 long years away it’s time to reenter the fray…..EaRtHQuAkE!!!!! anyone?

Well….if you live in SW Michigan you either experienced first-hand (or heard about from nearly everyone you know) our 4.2 magnitude earthquake. All you Californian’s take a deep breath…we don’t get earthquakes here. Not like this! This was a big deal for many of us.

I live beside a small airport that added helicopters to the things that fly around several years ago, at that point I was forced to remove small loose items from shelves, and all my paintings on the walls are not just hung from nails, but also stuck to the walls by Velcro in the corners, because I was tired of straightening them every five minutes. My daughter-in-law five houses away wasn’t as prepared as I. Her story of wondering why things were jumping off the walls, shelves and counters is quite comical the way she tells it.

Saturday morning was beautiful. Sunny, pleasant and warmed up quickly. Even though a pesky helicopter was buzzing around and around and around the airport, I opened windows to let the fresh air in. At about 12:21, as I was talking to my son on the phone, I heard a loud boom followed by immediate shuddering of the entire house. I sort of hollered and jumped up and ran from the house knowing the only thing that could account for that kind of noise and shaking of the house was if that chopper had crashed into my house. I knew with that kind of impact the fuel tank would explode in moments, so yeah, I ran from the house! My son actually heard the crash over the phone and was asking me what the heck had just happened.

When I got outside and saw no sign of a chopper or airplane protruding from my roof, I went toward the street to see if a semi truck had slammed through the front wall…nope. At this point, I still wasn’t thinking “earthquake”. I figured, along with the neighbors who were also outside now and just as perplexed as I, that there was an explosion somewhere close by. I was too flabbergasted to even think to call 911, but the neighbor was more “together”. He came over a few minutes later to tell me they suspected an earthquake at the 911 call center due to the humongous number of phone calls they were getting.

Well, the epicenter was only about 50 miles from me (as the crow flies) and even closer to areas of fracking…so, I guess it’s time for me to get back into the fray again. I learned this past weekend, that I never want to experience any stronger quake than the one I did. At least you Californian’s don’t also have to deal with snow and ice…this is just too much.

Escapades at the Fair-Monday

Monday 7/16/2012

I helped two other fractivists get our booth up and running. I returned at 6 p.m. to take my shift with getting petition signatures.

Many people didn’t know what fracking is, so a lot of time was spent repeatedly informing people of the risk involved with this particular method of drilling. It was incredibly hot!

Around 8 p.m. two couples walked by and I asked if they were familiar with the process of fracking. They said, “yes” so I pressed on asking them if they’d had a chance to sign our petition to put ban language on the November 2014 ballot.

The short version is that they did not. From what I gathered both the men worked in the fracking industry out in N. Dakota and it was the only job allowing them to support their families. The one woman told me as much. Her husband, with some urging, stayed around to answer a few of my questions.

He said he is a truck driver and that to his knowledge there had never been an accident, spill or release in N. Dakota. He believes fracking is a good thing and he wants to see it in Michigan.

Fracking Considered in Ionia County – FOX 17

Fracking Considered in Ionia County – FOX 17.

The beginning of the end of “Pure Michigan” and still the lies promulgated by the oil industry receive the most press while the dangers are downplayed.

Food For Thought

It came to me this morning, that many of you who are still straddling the fence on the whole fracking issue may not have thought of two things…

1) There are a lot of TV ads proclaiming the safety of fracking…if that were true, do you really think the oil/gas companies would spend so much money on commercials to convince you?

2) Let’s say you didn’t sell or lease your mineral rights and you aren’t worried about it. Take a drive two miles from your home (Google Earth will do it with satellites so you can map your route before leaving home) and if you see an area of land about the size of four-football fields THAT is an area where a frack well could sit.

What does that mean to you? Well, once they turn that drill bit horizontally they can drill up to two miles away. That means they could drill under your land…yes, right in your back yard. And guess what? Your well water is now at risk for contamination.  Your neighbor, who is two miles away from you, will be the person getting that nice fat check for the lease of their mineral rights and residual income if the well produces…..and you get nothing…except perhaps water that you can’t drink or bathe in.

How is that fair?

Go to http://www.letsbanfracking.org and find out where you can sign a petition to get this on the ballot in 2014. Better yet, sign up and commit to getting 12 or more signatures in the next two weeks. We still have time to slow this down now and stop it in 2014.

Call or write your state representative (find your state representative and how to contact them here):

http://www.house.mi.gov/mhrpublic/

and your state senator (find your state senator and how to contact him/her here):

http://www.senate.michigan.gov/fysenator/fysenator.htm

and

Governor Rick Snyder:

PHONE: (517) 373-3400
PHONE: (517) 335-7858 – Constituent Services
FAX:(517) 335-6863

Mail: Governor Rick Snyder
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909

Talk to your local government and let them know you are against fracking.

Industrial Scars

Industrial Scars.

This is an amazing pictorial piece. Click on each photo to move to the next one. We really need to stop this from happening anywhere else.

Let’s get involved with phone calls to our elected officials; phone calls, emails and regular mail to the national groups who are simply asking for “more legislation” to make it safer. You can’t make poisoning the earth “safer” we can only put a stop to it.

Study: Gas from ‘fracking’ worse than coal on climate – The Hill’s E2-Wire

Study: Gas from ‘fracking’ worse than coal on climate – The Hill’s E2-Wire.

You can run from Global Warming, but you can’t hide from the truth of the weather we are currently experiencing. To continue to claim that Global Warming is anything other than a reality, is to look at what IS and claim it isn’t. WE need to commit to wind and solar before it’s too late. More development in, and use of, fossil fuels could spell the end of humanity. Are you really ready to die? Are you willing to sign the death warrant for your family? It appears your elected officials are.

Get out of your comfort zone, get a petition to ammend the Michigan constitution in your hand and commit to getting 10 or 12 signatures.

It’ll be good for you and good for all the rest of us too. Visit http://letsbanfracking.org/index.html to find where you can get a petition to pass around. There are several other petitions making the rounds, put out by other groups. I won’t state that they are trying to cloud the issue and keep the legitimate petition from gaining the signatures it needs to be put on the ballot. But, I will state that you need to pay close attention to what it is you really want, and what you are signing.

Ready for the Triple-Team

Wednesday 7/18/2012

Again, the 6 p.m. -10 p.m. shift 🙂 I asked the person who’d done the afternoon shift if they’d been approached by anyone working in the oil company telling them they were crazy to be trying to ban the wonderful opportunity of fracking. They had not. It appears then that they save their time and talent until my shift. Oh, lucky, lucky me 😉

After Tuesday nights triple team, I went home and did some research on the fracking boom in North Dakota…so far, the two people who most loudly proclaimed the safety of the practice, and claiming they worked in N. Dakota were very, very wrong. I printed out the documentation so I could prove my points to them…they didn’t return.

Wednesday night was a fellow who said he worked for an oil/gas exploration company out of Grand Rapids, MI and that fracking was totally safe.  He told me he knew more about fracking than I did. I agreed with him that he probably did.

I then asked him if he considered the New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters or the AP to be fairly credible news sources…he did. I asked if he thought legislative subcommittees could be trusted to submit fairly accurate information…he did.

I pointed to the table full of papers that were articles from those credible news sources and sub-committee reports from State and Federal committees on the topic of “fracking”…all of which contained information that any reasonable human being who can look a few years into the future would see as damning.

He wished us luck and walked away. I wished him luck also and continued good health.

http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2012/07/19/north-dakotas-fracking-boom-brings-complications-with-it/

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/02/142695152/oil-boom-puts-strain-on-north-dakota-towns

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/in-north-dakota-the-gritty-side-of-an-oil-boom/2012/07/18/gJQAZk5ZuW_story.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/15/us/for-oil-workers-deadliest-danger-is-driving.html?_r=1

http://www.propublica.org/search/search.php?q=Oil+boom+brings+wealth+and+waste+to+north+dakota&o=r&p=2

http://www.propublica.org/article/feds-link-water-contamination-to-fracking-for-first-time

Okay, now I’m armed with even more facts! Where are those oil/gas guys when you have ample ammunition… 😉

Under Attack

Tuesday 7/17/2012

Back at the fair, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Around 8 p.m. two fellows walked up and started asking questions about what fracking is. The lady with me began explaining but when they got to some questions she couldn’t answer, she deferred to me. I answered the question and then their attention was focused on me. In a matter of moments, we had a lively conversation going when they looked up and smiled at another fellow who was approaching from the opposite direction.

It appeared they knew each other. The third fellow came up and took control of the conversation. He was on the attack. He explained that they worked for a gas company doing fracking in N. Dakota and that it was perfectly safe (he’s making money at it, so of course it’s safe). He insisted that we were crazy trying to stop fracking in Michigan because it’s such a good thing, he’s making good money at it, and everyone in Michigan can make good money at it…..

He, again, like the others, had no documentation, no hard evidence and his entire impassioned speech was based on how fracking creates jobs, people (namely him) make money, it’s completely safe (but he couldn’t name well-sites or communities that would or could prove that point while I had nearly a ream of paper with documentation from news media, governmental reports, etc. to prove differently). I had a lot of fun playing with him and his singular viewpoint.

I asked him exactly what his job was, he refused to answer by changing the subject. I am not easily put off, I asked him again, he said, “just some low end job” and went on to talk about my erroneous take on fracking. Again, I asked him, “What exactly is the job you do for the fracking industry?” After several rounds of this, he finally looked down (as if searching for an answer) then looked up and said he inspects the well sites. Everything in his body language said he was not being truthful.

So, if he is a well-inspector, then he’s being paid by the companies that stand to gain the most profit to report what they want to hear. By the time he left, we were both smiling and laughing because we knew we were at an impasse…he’s being paid by the corporations causing all the problems for regular folks in N. Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Pennsylvania and Canada…and I’m one of the regular folks trying to keep my state pure.

The three walked away together toward the exit where the first two had come from in the first place. I have to wonder how much they were paid to come in and try to disrupt the petition process and/or try to scare us off….

Over 2200 signatures

and counting…

With only 10 circulators at the meeting last night (most of whom are at almost every meeting) we had additional petitions turned in, and 10 petitions not counted because they had to be returned for circulator signature, and our count is over 2200! Way to go Barry County fractivists! 🙂