Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Every Day is Earth Day

My beloved So. Yarmouth, MA beach. Quote by Sandra Steingraber.

Dear Ocean,

You are my home - 
from newborn to adult, I grew up on your shores.
You are my inspiration - 
as a child I sat in a rock cave on your beach and wrote poems of my joys and sorrows.
You are my lullaby - 
the sound of your waves lulled me to sleep at night, in my bed with sandy sheets.
You are my playground - 
I hula hoop on your sand and do somersaults in your waves.
You are my medicine - 
your salinity cleanses my wounds and eases the soreness in my muscles.
You are my favorite hair stylist - 
I never want to wash the salt and wind out of my wild hair.
You are my god - 
I love the whole world a little bit more every time I'm with you.
You are my gym - 
swimming in your water and running in your sand strengthens my lungs and heart.
You are my best audience - 
I sing songs into the shoreline wind I would never sing for another.
You are my source of nourishment - 
shrimp, dulse, scallops, nori, from your belly to mine.
You are my arts and crafts supplier - 
I fill my home with seaglass, shells, driftwood, and photos of you.
You are my teacher - 
you show me how to be strong and gentle both, stable and yet constantly evolving.
You are my home - 
What can I give to you, for all that you give to me? 

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What I give to my beloved ocean:
a promise to oppose fracking and the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, every chance I get!  Water, along with air, is our most precious resource.  Fracking, the process of drilling deep into the bedrock and blasting huge amounts of sand, water, and chemicals into it in order to create cracks that release natural gas, is a dangerous activity in many ways.  One of its biggest harms is that it removes millions of gallons of fresh, clean water from the water cycle forever.  Fracking gobbles up millions of gallons of water that becomes so poisoned by hundreds of chemicals that it can never be used again.  Fracking is wrong, and cannot be done safely, and must be stopped.  No amount of money made from fracking could possibly make fracking "worth it."  Money is paper, and money isn't real.  Water is.  Water is life.  We humans do not literally need money to stay alive, but try spending even one day without water.  Then ask yourself, which is more valuable?  Even if someone offered me a million dollars to put a drilling rig in my backyard, I would say no.  NO to the destruction of the Earth and water, and NO to the water in my kitchen sink being so full of chemicals that you can set it on fire as it comes out of the tap.  As Sandra Steingraber explains in her (brilliant, fierce) Earth Day letter from jail, some fracking wastes will be used to make plastics, a large portion of which will eventually add bulk to the already-inexcusably-huge garbage patch in the ocean.  Fracking is the enemy of all water, of all types.

Ocean, Water, I promise you, I love you most of all.  I will do what I can to protect you and urge others to do the same.

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If you want to oppose fracking, too, here's a starting place - http://apps.toxicstargeting.com/ms_email_template.php
It's a template letter that you can send to Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of NY.  Currently there is a moratorium on fracking in NY to gather more information about it.  Many activists, scientists, health professionals, parents, and concerned citizens are asking Gov. Cuomo to JUST SAY NO to fracking.  If you live in NY, write to Gov. Cuomo and tell him to protect your home!  If you don't live in NY, write anyway!  It's not like toxic chemicals respect state boundaries, you know?  The pollution from fracking in any location could end up in your body or mine, via the air we breathe or the food we eat.

If you first want to learn more about fracking, I recommend the documentary "Gasland," which is available to stream on Netflix, or go to http://www.nyagainstfracking.org.  The latter is a group that Sandra Steingraber helped start.  She won a $100,000 award for the work she has done (as a biologist and writer, educating the public about the environmental links to cancer), and despite the fact that her family really could have used that money, she donated it all to the anti-fracking movement.  Because she knows that ALL of our well-being depends on the Earth's well-being.

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