Some may think this an inconsequential stunt. Not me. There’s nothing more important to a space program’s survival than capturing the imagination of the public. Remember how invested we were in the Gemini and Apollo missions?
Hadfield’s enthusiasm for his mission, accessibility and beautiful images of Earth from above have single-handedly rekindled my interest in space.
I’m opposed to the practice of hydraulic fracking, particularly in residential areas. It’s a foul business that allows gas companies to pillage and poison the land. Locals are left holding the bag and the contents of said bag are often deadly and debilitating.
Not so fast. Yes, the ban was signed into law by Governor Peter Shumlin on Wednesday. But there’s a catch, and it can be found in the sixth paragraph:
Vermont’s ban will have little to no immediate effect here, as there is no drilling taking place, none proposed and no solid information that Vermont has the underground gas to draw interest in fracturing. After signing the bill Wednesday, Shumlin conceded that this made enacting a ban easier here than it would be in states where land has been leased and drilling operations are in place.
Talk about burying the lead!
This issue is of particular concern for me because I grew up in what could be considered the heartland of fracking intent. Western New York and Central Pennsylvania are home to the Marcellus Shale formation, which is believed to house enough natural gas to supply the entire US for two years and create 250,000 new jobs in the process.
That sounds like a panacea in light of our existing unemployment and fossil fuel concerns. But at what expense?
Let’s explore all alternative energies, but let’s do it responsibly. Fracking is not environmentally responsible.
If you want some insight into the process and consequences of fracking I suggest you view Gasland, the excellent HBO documentary by Josh Fox.