This is Part 1 of a 3 part series leading up to the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21st to explain (1) the interconnection between fracking and climate change, (2) how climate change will affect all of us, and (3) how we can move toward a renewable energy future. Every great social movement in our country, from civil rights to gay rights, has relied on people taking to the streets. Your participation in the People’s Climate March will help to show our government leaders just how serious we are about changing the energy paradigm — away from destructive fossil fuels and towards renewable and clean energy sources. The message is clear – “green” technology is ready, and so are we.
Part One: Fracking = Climate Change
The draft U.N. report issued in August 2014 confirms that the runaway growth in the emission of greenhouse gases from the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels – namely gas, oil and coal – is raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” to the earth’s climate over the coming decades.
Natural gas poses a serious threat to our climate because methane — a component of natural gas — is eighty-six times more powerful at trapping heat over a 20-year period than carbon dioxide. Methane leakage during the entire fracking and transport process (from wells, pipelines, compressors and processing units) evicerates any climate benefit of burning gas over coal.
Yet the gas industry continues to further our dependence on fossil fuels by investing millions in the construction of infrastructure to transport gas through our state, whether it is drilled here or not. This irresponsible new fossil fuel development will only perpetuate the worst impacts of climate change, and takes us in the wrong direction. In the words of fracking movement leader, author and scientist Sandra Steingraber, “the path to a stable climate is not paved with pipelines and well pads.”
The sensible choice is to divest from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy.
Catskill Mountainkeeper has prepared a full report on the status of fracking and other fossil fuels in New York, which is available on our website.
Here are the report highlights:
- The defacto moratorium against fracking in NY remains in effect, despite intense pressure from the gas industry to lift it. No decision on fracking in New York is expected until after the November gubernatorial election – what that decision will be remains unclear.
- In the meantime, the gas industry is aggressively building the infrastructure to transport gas from drill pad to processing facility to market – including for export abroad. Effectively, this is an effort to lock us into a fossil fuel-based future.
- More than 40 proposed or approved gas infrastructure projects are at various stages of development, including numerous pipelines and compressor stations in New York City and its suburbs. People all over New York, including in or around the city, are at risk of exposure to the toxic effects of fracking.
- A liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and processing facility called Port Ambrose has been proposed for construction 17 miles off of the New York and New Jersey coasts. Designed for gas importation, the facility will increase traffic in vessels carrying highly volatile LNG and pose a direct threat to the local marine ecosystem. Additionally, given the ease with which the facility could be converted to export LNG, it could also lead to expanded fracking operations in the northeast as the gas industry looks to profit from rising demand and gas prices in foreign markets.
- Highly volatile fracked crude oil is being transported by rail and ship throughout New York, exposing communities from Buffalo to Albany to New York City, as well as our waterways, to potentially catastrophic accidents. With increased traffic such accidents are on the rise – one in Lac-Megantic, Quebec last year devastated the town and killed 47 people.
- The scientific evidence of the dangers that fracking and gas transport pose to our health and environment continues to grow. Catskill Mountainkeeper’s partners at Concerned Health Professionals of New York recently released a COMPENDIUM OF SCIENTIFIC, MEDICAL AND MEDIA FINDINGS DEMONSTRATING RISKS AND HARMS OF FRACKING - a fully referenced and publically available compilation of recent information and studies on fracking.
We have a choice – continue down this unsustainable and dangerous path with fossil fuels, or change our paradigm and embrace an immediate transition to sustainable, renewable, clean energy alternatives.
You can make a difference:
FRACK IS WACK! T-shirt Silkscreening party
Sunday, September 14, 3 – 5 pm
Dry Goods’ Art Gallery 41 Main Street, Livingston Manor
Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door (includes Frack is Wack T-shirt)
Make a statement at the People’s Climate March! Wear a “Frack is Wack” T-shirt designed by artist Steve Ellis. Join us and the Dry Goods’ Art Gallery on Sunday, September 14th to meet the artist and silkscreen your own shirt (materials provided).
We’ll be serving light refreshments and local beer. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Purchase your tickets today! Price includes an original silkscreened T-shirt. Proceeds to benefit Catskill Mountainkeeper’s work to stop fracking.
Frack is Wack is an homage to Keith Haring’s famous Crack is Wack mural on Manhattan’s East side. The original painting will be on view at the event, and afterwards at Mountainkeeper’s main office in Livingston Manor. Stop by to say hello and check it out!
Which Way Forward: Climate Chaos or Climate Justice
Friday, September 5, 7 pm
A forum presented by Brooklyn For Peace–Climate Action in the lead-up to the UN Summit on Climate Change in New York City.
Time is running out. We are on the brink of irreversible climate change. Why aren’t our leaders acting? Who will suffer? What must we do to create real change? BFP Climate Action invites you to a forum to explore these issues.
Location: Memorial Presbyterian Church,186 Saint Johns Place, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Trains: 2/3 to Grand Army Plaza; Q to 7th Ave (at Flatbush)
Sean Sweeney: Director, Global Labor Institute, Cornell; organizer, People’s Climate March
Michael Klare: Author, The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources
Janet Redman: Director, Climate Policy, Institute for Policy Studies
JJ Johnson: Award-winning labor journalist; former editor, Our Life and Times, 1199 SEIU
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/events/340876412754542/