Summer Solstice 2011

SUBHEAD: We are going to have to live on this planet without turning her inside out for a case of Mountain Dew. By Juan Wilson on 21 June 2011 for Island Breath - ( Image above: Day Lilies and Queen Anne's Lace in ditch along road between East Gwillimbury and Uxbridge, Ontario. From (
White daisies stand in crowds along the damp ditch awaiting the dusty wind of your car to make them sway to the radio. by Juan Wilson - Summer Growth 1999 (
Familiar but different, a new season turns the corner. Here comes summer. I am away from my home Kauai, Hawaii, and back in the land I came from, Chautauqua, New York. I've lived in other places, however this is the place in western New York is where I learned the feel of the land. To the Iroquois Nation this place was the Western Gate of their civilization. Since then it has had many masters, including Swedish dairymen and then Amish plowmen. Ever since the last Great Depression, regardless of their efforts to tame the forests, there has been a slow return of the wild. When I was a boy here in the 1950's there were a few shade trees around the house but beyond were buzzing fields of alfalfa, chewed pastures and low orchards. From the top of our hill you could see south across five ridges into Pennsylvania. Today you can see across the drive to a wall of woods made up of maple, beach, and thorn apples. The bears, bobcats, turkeys, and wolves are moving south from Canada to reclaim what they can. Those people that have stayed mostly live in what were farmhouses and have to drive far for work, food or fun. That is not to say that Nature is safe in these parts. The greatest threat by human activity in Chautauqua is likely to be a rush for the natural gas and oil that couldn't be reached when oil was first discovered in this "Quaker State" area in the 19th century. The car, the plane and imperial America would not have existed otherwise. Today energy company geologists are eager to tap what's under the old Quaker State oil - the great Marcellus Shale deposit. Deep and hard to get is a huge quantity of natural gas and oil. To get it economically means using the technique of "fracking" to get at it. Fracking means injecting millions of gallons of chemically poison fresh water, under great pressure, deep under the earth. The process breaks up bedrock that is saturated with methane, freeing it. The process also poisons the water table and requires the processing of lakes of contaminated waste water. After going for the natural gas they'll go for the shale oil recovery. So long nature. On Kauai we have the problem of "FERC You!" Here in Chautauqua it's "Frack You!". Fracking in Chautauqua is the step-sister to Appalachian mountaintop removal for coal in Virginia; and the cousin to shale oil removal from the Green River Basin in Wyoming. It's ugly, destructive, and short-sided. Anything for a fix! All is not lost. We have a short reprieve. Just two weeks ago the New York State Assembly passed a one year extension of a moratorium on permits for fracking gas - this in order to have time to resolve how to extract CO2 producing fuels without destroying the drinking water. A year delay may be enough make the issue moot if this summer ends as some are predicting - in doomsday. It could be economic or cosmic depending on who you listen to. Those betting on economic are looking to the Greek sovereign debt crisis getting out of control and infecting the world with another financial crisis to top that of 2008. On the cosmic scale, just a short time after the Autumn Equinox we are scheduled to have a near flyby of the comet Eleinin (named after it's Russian discoverer and scientifically labelled C/2010 X1). The less scientifically oriented have been calling it Planet X, Nibiru and other things. Elenin is the focus of several theories that include everything from a natural cosmic apocalypse to a planned alien invasion. Whether Elenin turns out to be a bang or a bust, it should grab increasing headlines as the summer wears on. Rather than planning on surviving an early entrance of the end of days we should be getting our houses in order. We are going to have to live on this planet without turning her inside out for a case of Mountain Dew. Should be an interesting summer. .

No comments :

Post a Comment