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Fracking - A polarized debate

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Polarized bears
Polarized bears

Fracking – A polarized debate

While it is true to say that the fracking debate in Nova Scotia and elsewhere is very polarized, it is disingenuous to suggest that a “compromise” solution can be found let alone through the commissioning of a study by a department of energy whose mandate is to promote mining.

The reason no such compromise is possible is because fracking is a little like pregnancy. You are either pregnant or you are not. Similarly the earth is either fracked or it isn’t. And because government claims to have jurisdiction over the ground below the first 6” and can issue drilling permits over the objections of property owners and communities alike, it appears more like statutory rape than a welcome pregnancy.

For some environmentalists, it is not sufficient merely to put forward the rights of individual property owners or community land, it is necessary as well to recognize the rights of nature and the mandate of us all to protect the earth, the air and the water cycle both now and in the future for all life. The pro/anti fracking debate is polarized between the differing perspectives of the value of money and jobs now against the desire for clean air, earth and water now and for the future. This is why a life and death struggle will continue on this issue as long as there remains a single corner of the earth that is unpolluted.

Both sides are represented by a vocal minority. The pro side has deep financial pockets, a largely captured media and the ear of government. The anti side?  Well- we have colourful signs, songs and shirts as well as a belief that this is an issue of public morality.

As well both sides are emotional. The love of money and the chance to work are strong emotions. So is the need to protect the earth. Let us not deny  the existence or the need for strong emotions in making wise decisions including for those who are not interested in the issue and for mother nature who while she cannot speak in words will nevertheless respond emphatically to our treatment of her.


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