On May 19th there will be a closed door meeting for corporate players that are scheming to poison Ontario and waste VAST amounts of fresh water for a new form of natural gas extraction that many people just call "fracking" (rather than "hydraulic fracturing") -
If you've seen the documentary Gasland
then you'll know what I'm talking about. Here's an 11 minute trailer for it - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Nc-kxWfmc
An activist in Sarnia is trying to arrange a rally out there, and I'm up for getting together carpooling from London.
That Sarnia activist (Zak) also gives toxic tours of the Chemical Valley area -- including the native reserve that is surrounded by petro-chemical plants. A visit to the area is an unforgettable experience.
Here's a quick run-down of what shale fracking is all about - Water, toxic chemicals, and sand is blasted very deep underground. As a result, people's drinking water becomes flammable, and there's a risk of their homes exploding. There certainly have been explosions at the actual spots where the fracking is done -- not far from homes, in many cases. Various substances (e.g. methane, e.g. radioactive materials) also are released from underground as the mixture of fluid is blasted down there. Hundreds of chemicals that have been injected into the earth and the ground water are trade secrets -- yet they still end up flowing around the environment. There also is air pollution, mini earthquakes, and the fresh water waste is absurd. Millions of gallons of fluid is injected into each well. Pools of toxic sludge are left above ground in tailings ponds that should be expected to leak into the environment before long. The industrial operations also involve a lot of truck traffic, and other noise. All of this can happen near a property (e.g. a
farm) with no consultation with the owner, and farmland and streams can be poisoned indefinitely. Water and air pollution flows across property lines. The methane released during this process is a very dangerous greenhouse gas that impacts the world-wide climate.
Without resistance, all of that will happen in Chatham-Kent, Lambton, and between the Greater Toronto Area and Lake Simcoe. I also think there might end up being operations around Georgian Bay. But the schemes aren't publicized, so it's hard to know what will happen.
These operations are well underway in nearby U.S. states, where there also increasingly is resistance from activists.
In Canada, there are active anti-fracking campaigns on the east coast -
In Ontario the conflicts are coming. And why should we wait for environments to be poisoned indefinitely first? The companies that are looking to profit from this devastation already are active.
The pollutants -- including radioactive substances -- would flow into multiple Great Lakes around the area.
In Quebec there actually is a partial moratorium right now. And there are moratoriums in Maryland, New York State (in a more limited sense), and the city of Pittsburgh.
In Alberta there has been more passivity in the face of this devastation, but this woman is filing a lawsuit - http://tinyurl.com/3wtlaya This documentary is about a local conflict in Alberta - http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/passionateeyeshowcase/2010/burningwater/