I have a concern today that has nothing to do with disability or writing or children’s literature.  But it does have to do with living richly and fully—all of us, including our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  My concern is generally about hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and specifically fracking in Pa.  Now at the Pittsburgh International Airport authorities are thinking about selling off some extra land for drilling.  During a public hearing at the airport 75 people spoke, most who were opposed to the idea.  One of the speakers asked the most serious question of all of the authorities—do they have a plan for accidents.  Already there have been many accidents, one just a few hours north of Pittsburgh where the natural gas company evacuated people in a three-mile radius of the calamity.  Three miles from the airport in any direction seems to threaten a lot of people.  The frightening response was that they would figure it out.  I am admittedly opposed to fracking.  But I just think whether pro or con, we should demand that our leaders study all scenarios, those that go awry especially.  Without knowing anything about it, I have an opinion nonetheless—sigh—that our technology exceeds our forecasts for benefits and harm.  Just because we can drill in the Gulf, we do.  Our political and business leaders bring up the need for energy independence from other countries, regions, and a good case can be made.  Nevertheless, the environmental degradation potential is soooo strong that, in my mind, it outweighs the benefits.  But since there is such a fervor to frack, such a rush to drill on public, as well as  private land, I want a big red stop sign—are they still red?  I want our leaders to be so judicious and responsible with the huge risks, to study and plan and double-check and recheck.  To any who read this, please contact your state representative as well as Rich Fitzgerald.  He, in particular, needs to slow down his fracking train!


About Sally Hobart Alexander

Blinded at the age of twenty-six, I left California and elementary school teaching for life in Pittsburgh, Pa. There, I met my husband, got a Masters' degree in social work, had two kids, now 35 and 32, and became a writer. Surprisingly, the writing career led me full-circle to teaching, and I teach in Chatham University's M.F.A. program and lead two writing critique groups. Always, since the age of 26, I have traveled, not in the stereotypic darkness attributed to blindness, but a mist. My blog then, "traveling through the mist" will deal with issues in my culturally different life as a blind writer, teacher, speaker, and human being.
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