"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Friday, 29 July 2011


Another soap box moment...

Like the corners of my mind,
Misty, water-coloured memories..."
Lyrics from "The Way we Were" sung by Barbra Streisand 1973

Have you ever considered memories?  I mean, really considered memories?

The memory of your first love?
The memory of the first time you drove a car?
The memory of the birth of your first child?
The memory of your first harvest from your garden?
The memory of a friend or loved one no longer with you?

Those are all human memories.  Some of them fade with the passage of time, Some are kept alive with physical reminders, like photographs, or inheritances, etc.  Some of them become more rose-hued.  But most of human memories are good ones - for the body's natural defense comes into play with bad memories - literally wiping them out in order to protect one from the destructive lingering negative impact that such memories could have on our lives.  Aren't we the lucky ones :)
Photo source: south-africa-tours-and-travel.com
But, have you ever considered that not only humans have memories.  That animals also have memories - like Christian, the lion.  Or like elephants, who put human memories to shame.  For they apparently have long memories, not only of their contact with humans - good or bad, but the dominant female elephants also develops a social memory which helps the herd survive.  Or like the family dog which got lost, and when reunited with it's human owners many years later, definitely displays happiness at being reunited with those loved humans it had never forgotten.

Now, if you watched the videos on the water link from the posting I did on 26th July, then you will be aware that even water has a memory.

So my final question is - have you considered that the land has a memory?  Whatever mark we make / leave on the land, remains in some form or another.  Those marks could be through...

...the production of the grid power we consume;
...or through the greenhouse gasses we create - knowingly or unknowingly;
...or through a structure we place on the land;
...or a dam we build, which alters the course / flow of the water...

This thought came about because last night we watched an episode of our local "Special Assignment" which focussed on Shell South Africa and their proposed fracking in the Karoo, South Africa.

The Chairman of Shell SA, Mr Bonang Mohale, and a "expert" (who's name I can't remember) stated that 95% of the substance they force into the ground consists of water, 4.5% sand, and less than half a percent of "other".  Now, my maths may not be that good, but that sum doesn't add up to 100%!
Photo source: treehugger.com
But, the 95% water - in a country which is struggling to provide water for it's inhabitants already???  Where is that water coming from?  If they find water below ground, do they presume they are free to use that?  The underground water table - which so many farmers depend on to grow their crops or to provide water for their stock?  Or are they talking about drilling down until they hit "brak" (salty) water?  What happens if those wells become artesian i.e. water which rises to the surface?  Or are they going to "import" water from the coast - salty sea water.  What of the effect of that salty sea water on the land / plant life?  It will be extremely negative, naturally.

The "less that half a percent" could consist of flour, or a substance they put in foodstuffs, or whatever - they were very careful to not mention any "heavy" chemicals.  I wonder why?
Photo source: karoospace.co.za
Imagine our Karoo looking like this?
And then to top it all - they had the cheek to say that the wells would be capped when they ran dry / were not longer financially viable!  Bear in mind there are already over one million fracking wells world wide!  One million!

Just because they are capping them, it doesn't mean the wells are sealed.  Water cannot be contained - especially underground.  And this isn't just water - this is now contaminated water, which has to contaminate other clean water it mingles with over time.

And what about the salty water in the flowbacks?  And the effect that that will have on the land and the vegetation.
Photo source: vanityfair.com
Isn't this a thing of beauty
What memory could all this leave on the land?  Oh, dear me...

Can Shell guarantee 100% that our pristine Karoo environment will not be contaminated?  The self-same environment which contains fossils, clues and samples of the origin on this planet and of mankind, which can be found no where else on this planet?  If you can't, Shell, why on earth (with or without the pun) are you even considering fracking?  This action is tantamount to drilling a fracking well near "Old Faithful", or Ayers Rock, or Stonehenge.

What gives Shell, or any other oil company, the right to dictate what is going to happen to this precious planet of ours?

Is our Government strong enough to withstand the lure of financial stimulus, be that personal or national, versus what is in the best interests of the planet?  Are they strong enough?  History is not great on this... neither here at home, nor abroad.

Please, please - if you haven't already signed the fracking petition, please click on the link on the right hand side of my blog, or on the links below, and put your name where it just might help...  Help us preserve our children, and our children's children's, heritage (and prevent the wealthy oil companies get richer, at the very costly expense of this planet).
Photo source: phillyworkersvoice.wordpress.com
A sad sight for any farmers eyes...
You can go to the petition site.  Only 15 000-odd people have signed the petition there - 15 000 out of a potential 50 000 000 South Africans, and how many billions world wide!

Or you can go to Treasure the Karoo's facebook page https://www.facebook.com/stopfracking  If you would like first hand information, please go to their blog.

You can also get a (basic) letter that you can e-mail to both the Petroleum Agency in South Africa and / or to the Director General of the Department of Water in South Africa at Greenpeace.

Please - if you do nothing else - please sign the petition.  You don't have to be in South Africa to sign it.  Some of you have written and told me of your first hand experiences of fracking in your neighbourhood.  Help us prevent that happening here.  And all of you who haven't yet signed the petition - shake off your lethargy, and, possibly, for the first time, take a stand.  Yours may just be the deciding vote...

Every single action we make, every second, of every day, has a reaction.  Has a result.  Please, make a good action today.

Let's not leave just a memory of the land we enjoy and (sometimes) take for granted, for our children to wonder about at some point in the future... :)


tffnguy said...

Drilling and fracking in west Texas over the years has totally screwed up the aquifers down under. There is no such thing as sealing a well no matter what they say. Fifty years ago the water from wells around my home town was very good tasting and no smell. Now days it taste really lousy and stinks of chemicals. I guess some people may drink it, but I sure wouldn't. Water left standing gives up a thin layer of film which is somewhat oily and stinks. Of course this was all caused by greed and that will never change.

Dani said...

Horrors, tffn - horrors!

garden girl said...

I signed ages ago. But great post - hopefully you attract more attention to this really serious issue and we get more signatures. Back off Shell!

Dani said...

garden girl - Brilliant! Thanks - LOL - yes, hope so too...

wickets said...

its disgusting but the problem is 1. the huge amounts of money involved and 2. no super clear evidence that fracking is as bad as they say it is

Dani said...

wickets - Money is indeed the root of all evil - and I seriously fear that the SA Government will NOT be able to resist the lure.

As for the lack of evidence, please go to: http://www.theresilientearth.com/?q=content/pnas-fracking-contaminates-groundwater Even one such report is enough - as a caring part of this earthly community we SHOULDN'T need multiple reports... no?

Michelle UluOla said...

Love the new header on your blog, Dani, and this one is excellent! I'm so impressed with your passionate activism on behalf of Gaia. I'm sharing a link to this blog with my +630 Facebook friends to help ripple out the word! Thank you!!

Dani said...

Michelle - Thanks :)

There is only one Planet Earth - and she desperately needs our help...

wickets said...

for every one report you have, 'they' have one thats better and that will probably always be, because they have the money to make it so. Unfortunately the backlash from fracking isnt clear cut like smoking=cancer is. Personally i would love nothing more than to see a definitive end to the debate In the meantime it would be nice (LOL) if the companies erred on the side of caution and halted their digging!

Dani said...

wickets - From your fingers to someone powerfuls ears...