I would like to wish all of you a very happy and healthy New Year! Here’s to a peaceful and harmonious 2012 for the planet.
One very important issue to me is protecting our natural environment and curtailing climate change. In one of the oldest yoga texts (the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali), “ahimsa” or “non-violence” is a main ethical principle underlying all the practices of yoga, as well as how we lead our lives as members of society. I like to think of the environmental movement as “ahimsa for the Earth”. I believe this is just as much a part of the practice of yoga, as are the other more typical yogic practices such as asana (yoga poses), pranayama (breathwork), and meditation. As such, I would like to share information (although many of you may already know about it) regarding a most important environmental issue facing NY today, and what we can do about it, both as NY residents and as yoga and/or spiritual practitioners.
NY is State is considering allowing the controversial and dangerous form of gas drilling, called fracking, here in the Marcellus Shale just a couple hours upstate of NYC. (NY’s DEC has approved fracking for NY, and the public was given a short window in which to comment on its’ draft regulations approving the drilling). This form of horizontal drilling involves sending sand, water and explosives into the shale rock along with hundreds of dangerous chemicals – many are known carcinogens, such as benzene. These chemicals used by the oil and gas companies were not even publically disclosed until recently due to Congressional and public pressure (the “Cheney” or “Halliburton” loophole exempting the fracking materials from federal oversight was added to the federal clean air and water laws when Bush was President). This form of drilling has contaminated well water and drinking water throughout the country. See EPA’s findings of water chemically contaminated in Wyoming by gas drilling – something the industry has consistently denied: http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/09/news/economy/epa_fracking_wyoming/index.htm and Pennsylvania experiences: http://www.environmentnewyork.org/marcellus-shale-videos
In addition, the explosions are now linked to having caused earthquakes in Ohio and England. See http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/01/us/ohio-earthquake/index.html?hpt=hp_t3 and
Every environmental organization is opposed to fracking, all my elected officials testified against it, and it is being currently banned by many localities and other countries who have observed the carnage (dead livestock and pets, sick landowners, polluted air from the methane emissions and diesel truck traffic, increased asthma rates, loss of forests and farms to roads and gas drilling pads, and toxic waste water sites). Now, NY’s reservoirs, rivers, organic farmlands, forests are at risk if Gov. Cuomo allows this practice in NY.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-gallay/fracking-environment_b_1186998.html?ref=green&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000008 and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/05/mario-batali-bill-telepan_n_1186743.html
Please, please, if you care about keeping NY’s water and air clean and safe from harmful chemicals, click on these links below and send e-letters to Gov. Cuomo and the DEC to prevent fracking gas drilling in NY:
http://catskillcitizens.org/dsgeis.cfm or at http://www.amillionfrackingletters.com/ It only takes seconds to do the letter via this methods.
The public comment period ends on Jan. 11 – this week! Please send your comments tomorrow – this Monday — to insure they arrive on time! After you send your comments to the DEC, you can also call Gov. Cuomo’s office and leave a message. I have done this, and have actually gotten through to a person on the other line: (518) 474-8390.
Thank you for listening. If you need any more sources, please let me know.