A two-day spectacle carved into two-minute chunks
by Sandra Steingraber
Published in the January/February 2011 issue of Orion magazine
Don’t know if you’ve all seen this essay, but it’s brilliant and beautiful. Check it out: link above, excerpt below.
A geologist friend and I looked at each other in wonderment, and in my head, I began to imagine a 120-second rebuttal. It would go like this:
"Fracking constitutes consumptive water use, which is different from what happens to water when underground pipes leak and water re-enters the aquifer, or when irrigation leads to evaporation and cloud formation. When water is entombed in deep geological strata, a mile or more below the water table, it’s permanently removed from the water cycle. As in, forever. It will never again ascend into the clouds, freeze into snowflakes, melt into rivulets, cascade over rocks, turn with the tide, soak into soil, rise through roots, or pour from your tap. It will never again become blood, tears, sweat, urine, milk, sap, nectar, yolk, honey, or the juice of a fruit. It will never again float a leaf boat, swell a bud, quench a thirst, fill a swamp, spill over an edge, slosh, dribble, spray, trickle, splash, drip, or glisten. Never again fog, mist, frost, ice, dew, or rain. It’s gone. To conclude: fracking turns fresh water into poison and makes the water disappear. That’s something we’ve not done before on a large scale. And by the way, water is life. It’s energy that’s a resource."