Sunday, February 27, 2011


You really should take a look at the New York Times story about the toxic results of natural gas drilling by means of hydraulic fracturing (aka hydrofracking or fracking); if this is coming to your region, say goodbye to clean drinking water and local fish that are reasonably safe to eat. But I want to point out a quote in the story from one fracking victim (emphasis mine):

In Texas, which now has about 93,000 natural-gas wells, up from around 58,000 a dozen years ago, a hospital system in six counties with some of the heaviest drilling said in 2010 that it found a 25 percent asthma rate for young children, more than three times the state rate of about 7 percent.

"It's ruining us," said Kelly Gant, whose 14-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son have experienced severe asthma attacks, dizzy spells and headaches since a compressor station and a gas well were set up about two years ago near her house in Bartonville, Tex. The industry and state regulators have said it is not clear what role the gas industry has played in causing such problems, since the area has had high air pollution for a while.

"I'm not an activist, an alarmist, a Democrat, environmentalist or anything like that," Ms. Gant said. "I'm just a person who isn't able to manage the health of my family because of all this drilling."

Pronouncements like that are why I take no comfort in the fact that America is becoming increasingly non-white, which leads wonks to believe that a coalition of blacks, Hispanics, and liberal-leaning whites will lead the nation out of the wingnut wilderness.

In Texas, whites are already a minority, and they apparently have been since at least 2005. How's that working out for our side so far? Do the powers-that-be even care? All they have to do is continue working the propaganda until virtually all the white people -- in Texas, in Arizona, and ultimately in as many states as possible in America -- feel exactly the way Kelly Gant feels about any group whatsoever that might stick up for her interests (even, God help us, the Democrats, those dangerous radicals). Then just keep non-white voter turnout and political participation low (through excessive incarceration, immigration-mania intimidation, voter caging, discouragement of registration, etc.) and the powers-that-be can win for the foreseeable future.

Maybe you young'uns will live to see the ultimate failure of this strategy, but I'm over 50, so I don't think I will.

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