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Search tags: so-fracking-bad
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review 2017-09-14 19:36
The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking,... The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking, and Life in a North Dakota Boomtown - Blaire Briody

Briody's book documents the rise (and fall) of America's latest "gold rush", fracking. The newfound ability to unlock formerly unattainable (financially and technically) oil reserves. She does this through telling the story of the Bakken oil field in North Dakota. The perfect place to explore this new technology, a relatively poor, unpopulated, and somewhat isolated area of the country. A place that really needed the financial gains that would be provided by the business. A place that wouldn't be readily under the eye of environmentalists or conservationists. A place where it seems a little money spread around would appease any government officials who grew concerned about the effects on the environment.
Briody explains the reasons why the newest "gold rush" was welcome. They are eerily similar to former get rich quick schemes in our past. Following the economic problems created by the housing collapse, there were a lot of "blue collar" workers who found themselves out of work, unable to find new jobs, or to afford the homes they were living in. As she points out, "manufacturing lost 6 million jobs between 2000 and 2009, and the construction industry shed another 2 million during the recession...the oil and gas industry, particularly in western North Dakota, emerged as a shining mecca". A large migration of these people began to the North Dakota oil field.
In her book, the author concentrates on the Williston, ND, area. Part of my territory in my career had been spent covering North Dakota. The Williston area, while having wonderful people living there, was not a booming metropolis. It was ill prepared for a large influx of people, most of whom were young men. It did not have housing, shopping, roads, hospitals, sanitation facilities, etc, etc, for an overnight influx of people. Yet, suddenly, there they were. Men were forced to live in camping trailers, tents, or worse. Suddenly confronted with a group of young men with no outlets for "recreation", Williston found itself inundated with strip joints, bars, drug use, and prostitution. Locals found themselves forced out of their housing because of astronomically rising rents. The author discovered that statewide, homicides were at the highest level in 20 years. Rapes were at the highest level in 10 years. Drug related arrests were up 64 percent since 2002. And alcohol was a factor in more than half of the deadly traffic accidents in the state in 2012.
Yet, the social impacts were not the worst of the problems Williston found itself facing. Environmentally, fracking was destroying the area. Oil and chemical spills abounded. Water quality went downhill. And no one was acting to protect the environment. As the author pointed out, "Back in 2005, when fracking for natural gas was growing rapidly, the Bush-Cheney administration passed a bill that exempted fracking operations from the Safe Drinking Water Act". Contracts were structured so that if any accidents happened on site, the big oil companies were insulated so that small companies were stuck with any fines or legal proceedings. State agencies, responsible for enforcing rules regarding spills and other violations, dropped the ball. In a three year period, the state issued fewer than 50 fines for all drilling violations, including thousands of spills. And the Federal Government was hamstrung. The EPA could only investigate spills on federal lands, it had to refer incidents on private property to the (nonexistant) state regulators.
As with all get-rich-quick schemes, eventually the boom crashed. Oil prices plummeted. By 2016, the price per barrel of oil was under $35, down from the peak of $145 eight years earlier. Some 10,000 jobs were cut over 2015 in North Dakota. For the most part, thousands of blue-collar workers were back where they started, struggling to survive.
The author pointed out an interesting side-note. "The worry and uncertainty oil workers felt during this time coincided with the rise of Donald Trump's popularity during the 2016 election. Trump campaigned heavily in oil patch regions and tapped into people's anger. He blamed the struggling oil industry on President Obama's regulatory policies and promised to use his business prowess to unleash a U.S. energy revolution". (Yeah, how's that working out for you?)
Please don't get the impression that this is a book filled with facts and figures. The author illustrates the issues by concentrating heavily on characters she meets in the oil fields. Middle-class people working in the area. She explores the effects of working the industry has on these people, their families, and their friends. She covers a 50-ish woman working the area, an alcoholic drifter, a young family man and his family, and a priest, amongst others.
If I had one issue with the book, it is that I wish Briody would have covered a larger segment of people in the area. Perhaps some people actually involved in the oil industry (above the common working people). Maybe some more of the people who were from the area prior to the boom, and their feelings and experiences. Some of the state representatives, and explored their opinions. I think the book would have been much better if the author had explored a wider range of characters.

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review 2017-06-02 03:50
HEAT & LIGHT by Jennifer Haigh
Heat and Light: A Novel - Jennifer Haigh
  Well done story about a community and the effects fracking has on it whether they leased their land or not. A very timely book especially where I live. So much that happens in the book is happening here and knowing people who have leased their land to the companies doing the fracking, I see the same thing happening here.

These are good characters. I liked the storylines for each of them. I wish Jess' would have ended better. I did not like Kip and his cronies. As long as the money was coming in, they never questioned or reined in Kip. I liked Rich's introspection as the end. Excellent reading. Worth your time.
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review 2016-06-03 17:14
The Politics and Processes of Fracking
Fracking America - Walter M. Brasch

Fracking America: Sacrificing Health and the Environment for Short-Term Economic Benefits provides a follow-up to Walter M. Brasch's prior, acclaimed Fracking Pennsylvania; expanding the subject's scope and using some of the Pennsylvania settings as examples in a wider-ranging assessment of fracking's environmental, economic, and political impact on America.

Because many fracking discussions focus on environmental impact, it's satisfying to see an account that moves well beyond the usual focus to analyze some of the other reasons why fracking is an unusually dangerous pursuit. The wide-ranging discussions move from theological perspectives on fracking (from religions that include admonitions to care for the environment) to connections between industry interests and political maneuvering, which have influenced politicians to create laws skewed toward industry benefits and against public health and environmental concerns.

Dr. Brasch isn't just a naysayer who fills chapters with emotional rants: he offers a studied, rational series of analyses centered around the mechanics of fracking and its impact on different levels. And while it may be his third book on the topic (at first, he didn't want to write any of them; initially not wanting to take the time and effort to learn about engineering, geology, and political practices involved in any real in-depth treatment of the subject), Fracking America may well be his most important yet.

As Dr. Brasch delved into the mechanics of the natural gas fracking process, he became more and more convinced it is a bad idea on many levels - and Fracking America continues this conviction by gleaning more hard evidence from fracking operations across the country.

Readers should anticipate the same attention to detail and facts as in his other books on the subject. Charts, graphs, and footnoted references to CAC studies, news reports, scientific papers and documents support his contentions and provide authority to support every statement. While the prevalence of so many footnoted references (several thousand) may seem daunting to some, these serve to not only support Dr. Brasch's contentions, but provide annotated references readers can turn to (almost all of them presented as website links) for their own research.

Discussions and assessments of renewable energy resources around the world, their locations, and their potentials round out what has to be the most authoritative, well-researched, rational and evidence-based discussion of fracking in America to hit the book market to date.

Fracking America is highly recommended for anyone studying the subject at any level, whether they are newcomers to fracking or activists who have only researched environmental impact, and need to fill in the blanks on political processes and impacts that hold important questions about American freedoms and political maneuvering.

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review 2016-01-19 01:02
Good psychological thriller set in northern Alaska
The Quality of Silence - Rosamund Lupton

Yasmine’s husband, Matt, is in Alaska making a wildlife film. When Yasmine and her deaf 10-yr-old daughter Ruby are told that Ruby’s father, Matt, has died in a horrendous fire, they refuse to believe it.  Even with a storm headed their way, they set out for the remote frontier where Matt is last known to have been. 

 

I have to admit that the decisions that Yasmine makes do sometimes stretch reality quite a bit. Here she is with a little deaf girl, her own daughter, and she heads out to a section of Alaska with no one anywhere near to help, in complete darkness, with temperatures at minus 35, with a hurricane force storm on its way.  There’s bravery and there’s love for your husband but then there’s above all the need to keep your child safe.  But I think the author does do a good job with some back flashes of Yasmine and Matt’s life together and the desperation that Ruby not lose her father that make it believable. 

 

This is a very well written book with a great plot. Ms. Lupton knows how to racket up the suspense.  But if you’re anything like me, you won’t sweat as you read this thriller but instead will go put on an extra sweater as this is one frigidly cold book!  The author’s descriptions of the biting cold and raging winds are so detailed that you really feel that you’re along for the ride in this Artic wilderness.   I absolutely loved Yasmine, Matt and mostly little Ruby.  I very much enjoyed the character study of this family and the trials that Ruby faced as a deaf child.  Also interesting were the wildlife lessons that Matt taught Ruby, the politics and dangers of fracking and the history of the region’s people.

 

I won an ARC edition of this book in a LibraryThings contest.

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video 2014-07-13 14:37
Earth Sentinels - Shaman Elizabeth Herrera

Visionary Fiction: Earth Sentinels sheds light on global issues with brilliant message of hope!

 

 

The newly released novel, Earth Sentinels: The Storm Creators by Shaman Elizabeth Herrera is a “no-holds-barred piece of literary realism that is destined to become a classic model of wisdom for living harmoniously on earth,” according to Mark Champion of OurHealingMatters.com, “On occasion, we all read a book that we know will mark the time of our age. Earth Sentinels’ message is every bit as telling and accurate as Animal Farm and Fahrenheit 451. It is a succulent portion of cold, hard truth played out with characters you share affinity with, understand and love.”

 

"This compelling adventure shows that our struggles around the world are connected and that ordinary people have the power to change the world for the better." -- Dr. Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance

 

Earth Sentinels begins with the fallen angel Bechard somberly observing the world being destroyed by mankind’s greed, corruption and indifference. Realizing drastic measures are needed; Bechard begins searching the globe for people who might join his quest to save the planet. 

 

It doesn’t take long for the fallen angel to find 17-year-old Zachary, whose family’s organic farm is being ruined by fracking; Haruto, living in Fukushima, Japan, where the nuclear meltdown is raging out of control; Mahakanta, a cotton farmer in India, who used GMO seeds with devastating results; the Amazonian tribe members, Conchita and her father, Pahtia, fighting against intruders illegally tearing down their rainforest; and the Bear Claw First Nation Tribe who are dealing with an unstoppable oil spill that is ruining their traditional hunting grounds.

 

Intriguing blue doors and ethereal mists beckon the characters to the spirit realm where they finally meet the mastermind Bechard to form an alliance. Excitement builds when the world’s Governments are faced with the Earth Sentinels’ demands, sent on behalf of Mother Earth who cannot speak for herself. As events unfurl and countries retaliate, the readers ride a roller coaster through the supernatural!

 

“Simply riveting! This book is a page turner to the end. Herrera has woven a cautionary tale with threads of history, revelation and hope. Bravo!” exclaimed reviewer Richard O’Shields, channel and media professional, Everyday Connection.

 

Laine Cunningham, award-winning author stated, “This is one of those books that's going to stand alongside classics. Drawing from Native American wisdom and the beliefs of a world filled with respect for nature and its spiritual elements, Herrera has created a global book of wisdom for a global world.”

Source: www.ShamanElizabethHerrera.com
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