True stories from Walter Brasch, author of"Fracking Pennsylvania". An update from Friends of Earth UK campaigner Helen Rimmer as government makes new "dash for (fracked) gas". With clips from American biologist/activist Sandra Steingraber. Don't buy into fracking! Radio Ecoshock 140108
Just before we get to the main theme of this program, I want to alert all listeners to a kind of alternative media fraud circulating the net about the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan.
I received several worried emails and alleged headlines saying Reactor 3 was melting down. One supposed news report advised people on the West Coast to seal up all windows and doors with plastic and duct tape against the coming massive wave of radiation.
Look at the sources people. This rumor looks very official, coming from NBC International. But wait, that web site is not MSNBC - but NSNBC. It's very misleading, trying to look like real journalism. The article is by Susanne Posel, from something called Occupy Corporatism. That sounds official, but Posel, who has a documented history of plagierising other writers was not an Occupy leader. She just knows how to grab buzz words.
Posel cites the source for this melt-down of Fukushima reactor 3 as the "Turner Radio Network" TRN. Is that Ted Turner's Turner Broadcasting? Nope. It's the infamous Hal Turner, in and out of federal prison for threatening Federal judges, while pushing white supremacy and holocaust denial. Hal Turner was banned from internet broadcasting by the courts. So we don't know who wrote this fear-mongering. The "Radio Network" doesn't exist, other than a podcast or Netcast.
This whole story is literally based on a puff of steam. A tiny amount of steam comes out of Reactor 3 from time to time. It could even be rainwater evaporating. See a video of this "terrifying" steam here, in a real reporting blog. It's been seen off and on since the accident in 2011. But "Turner Radio Network", Susanne Posel, and You tube freaks like Jessie Waltman on BPEarthWatch show you huge billows of black smoke heading into the stratosphere. The trouble is: those photos are of a refinery on fire just after the March 2011 tsunami. Nothing to do with Fukushima. A total lie.
And by the way, despite the frenzy by Netter Hatrick Penry, and alternative broadcasters who should know better, the
four spent fuel pools above the Fukushima reactors were NOT wiped out in 2011. They are still there, as seen by
international satellites and plenty of video footage. Do I have to tell you humans really did land on the moon?
Sadly, one way to get lots of eyeballs, and maybe donations, is to promise the end of the world every week. As each prediction fails, these charlatans just move on to a new fatal comet arriving next month, a new sunspot, or they feed off public worry about Fukushima.
Don't get out the duct tape, plastic wrap, or tin foil hats just yet.
There are plenty of real threats to worry about, as you'll find out from credible sources in this week's show.
Download/listen to this week's Radio Ecoshock Show in CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)
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THE REAL COSTS OF FRACKING GAS
The whole financial system is in deep trouble. Governments are carrying unsupportable debt, and so are most citizens. Even that is carried on a Ponzi scheme of making withdrawals from natural systems that are already overdrawn. What to do?
Back to the tried and true: open up a whole new scheme to blast fossil fuels out of the deep underground. Fracking
is the salvation plan for countries like the United States, Britain, Canada, and many more. Politicians take huge
campaign donations, slash regulations, squash down local protests, and forge a new wave of climate-killing emissions.
This week we'll examine the real costs of fracking for gas. Author, professor, and journalist Walter Brasch reports
from Pennsylvania. Then UK energy activist Helen Rimmer explains the rabid government push for fracking, and the coming wave of misery for Great Britain.
We open and close with fracking wisdom from American biologist and activist Sandra Steingraber. Here is a short clip from Sandra, as recorded for Radio Ecoshock at the Chicago Bioneers conference in November 2012 by Kelly Pierce of the Chicago Independent Media Center.
THE FRACKING LOW-DOWN WITH WALTER BRASCH
Fracking is a hot topic in the United States. I thought I knew the ins and outs, but not really, until I read the book
"Fracking Pennsylvania, Flirting with Disaster". The author is a university professor, long-time journalist, with many books to his credit. Now he's doing a weekly radio show as well. It's called "The Frack Report".
I'm pleased to welcome Dr. Walter Brasch to Radio Ecoshock.
I do listen to the gas fracking lobby. They make reasonable arguments about why we need local energy, and safe ways to do it. Let me offer you a theory: fracking is a lot like nuclear energy. In a sensible sane society maybe we could do it without wrecking the environment. But this is us, this is humans. We like to make money, cut corners, and buy influence. Walter tells us about the gas lobby and Pennsylvania politicians.
This is a real problem everywhere. The supposed regulators are in love with the industry. The politicans hope to make themselves a name, or big money out of it. Governments all over are boosting fracking like it's the Second Coming.
Josh Fox made Pennsylvania fracking kind of famous with his movie "Gasland" and then "Gasland II". But the poisoned wells and flaming taps are not all over.
Walter tell us about a scandalous Pennsylvania law that prohibited doctors from finding out what chemicals were poisoning their patients, or even telling other people about the risks. Basically, the State government tried to tell doctors to shut up about the health risks.
And there are health risks. Walter roles out the long list of harms coming from fracking - documented in peer-
reviewed scientific papers, and too well known to people who live in the areas near wells.
Some local people make money selling mineral rights to the companies. Others are left with nothing but the extra tanker trucks on the road, the noise, worries, and bad smells. Fracking tends to divide communities.
One really great thing about Walter's book "Fracking Pennsylvania, Flirting With Disaster" is his painstaking research into the many social impacts of fracking. In just one example, Walter, who has worked to help the homeless, describes how the short-term boom of incoming workers tends to displace the seniors and other poor people, some of whom become homeless. Then the gas boom moves on, leaving a damaged community behind.
Scientists are now pretty sure we will experience 4 degrees Centigrade, that's about 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit, of global warming by the year 2100 on our current fossil fuel energy path. That's a catastrophe. Doesn't anybody in Pennsylvania care about that? How can we be seeking out still more fossil fuels, and wrecking the underground to do it?
We are in this mess where money talks, and the future walks.
Walter tells us about his weekly radio program on WFTE Scranton (which also broadcasts Radio Ecoshock). It's called "The Frack Report" You can listen in online, wherever you are in the world. Learn about fracking, in ways the mainstream media never reports - from an expert journalist and professor!
Listen to "The Frack Report" at 7:30 pm every Monday (Eastern Standard Time) right here.
Walter's book is "Fracking Pennsylvania, Flirting with Disaster". I thought it was going to be too local - but found this is one of the best books I've encountered, to really drill down into what fracking is all about, wherever you live. I recommend it for anyone facing fracking, and everyone concerned about this wrong-turn industry. And keep up with Walter at his web site, and his blog.
Download/listen to this interview with Walter Brasch in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
WATCH OUT BRITAIN! HERE COME THE FRACKERS
This is a Radio Ecoshock special on fracking. Will the people in Britain learn from the American experience of being fracked by a so-called miracle industry?
Damn the climate. Let's go all out for fossil fuels. That's the word from Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron. He
wants to open up vast parts of the United Kingdom for fracking gas. That's not going over well with the public. Let's
check in with Helen Rimmer, Energy Campaigner for Friends of Earth in the UK.
Download/listen to this Radio Ecoshock interview with Helen Rimmer, FOE UK in CD Quality or Lo-Fi.
It's hard to picture the lovely English countryside, and some of it's towns, turned over to industrial gas wells, trucks, and fracking. Why is this happening in England, when so many other European countries have banned fracking or
at least put a moratorium in place?
Helen tells us about a recent protest outside Manchester in Northern England. With local group, Frack-Free Greater Manchester, Friends of Earth delivered a gigantic wind turbine blade, blocking the entrance to the would-be test drill by the Igas corporation. Perfect message: we want wind power, not fracking. Find the Guardian report on this action here.
Here is a You-tube video of Helen Rimmer telling the BBC about this protest. She's been on CNN too.
In the United States, private land-owners often own the mineral rights. Gas companies write them a big check and get in, drilling right in cities, even beside schools and playgrounds. Who gives permission for drilling in the UK? It's
a complicated process, where local governments have a say (supposedly) and then the national government gives environmental approval.
The Cameron government in the UK is trying to buy the support of cash-strapped municipalities by offering them 100,000 pounds, currently 163 thousand dollars - for every test well drilled. That's a fantastic bribe. Helen tells us while the government claims to have the best fracking regulation in the world - in reality they are slashing environmental rules. It can take as little as two weeks to get approval from the British government. That's hardly time to assess the risks.
I wonder if the average person in the UK realizes what comes next. There can be up to 120 heavy tanker trucks for every well, bearing down on local roads. The noise, the pollution, the stink. Do people know what fracking really
As we know from cases in Europe and the United States, when the toxic wastewater after fracking is thrust underground for storage, the geology can become unstable, leading to earthquakes. That already happened in Britain, near Blackpool, in one of the first test wells drilled. Never mind. Drill on!
Find the Manchester chapter of Friends of Earth here.
WRAPPING UP THIS FRACKING SPECIAL
We just have time to squeeze in one more bit from American author and activist Sandra Steingraber, at the Chicago/Great Lakes Bioneers conference in November 2013, as recorded by Kelly Pierce. Sandra manages to capture what fracking is really all about.
Please take this program as a jumping off point to find out more about fracking, and stop this fossil madness. At the
brink of catastrophic climate change and a poisoned world, fracking is the complete wrong direction for human civilization.
Tune in at the Radio Ecoshock web site, ecoshock.org. Grab tons of free audio downloads, and help support the program if you can.
I'm Alex Smith, thank you for listening, and caring about your world.