They Are Out of Their Minds, IMO

This is a revised post.  I was misled by an article I read which led to the original post.  The following represents the actual facts.

I have been so fortunate to know each and every one of you.  It helps not to feel alone when the rest of the world seems to have gone crazy.  The latest news has me downright mad.  Areas of California have run out of water or soon will.  Many farmer’s have decided not to plant this year and the news is rampant with stories of increased prices on produce normally grown in those areas of California. The state water authority announced there won’t be enough water for both consumers and farmers.

But while the Governor is making arrangements to haul in water to support these agri-businesses there is one business that will use millions of gallons of water and pollute the air, water and land of California that I doubt will see their water supply cut.

What is that business?…are you ready?  Fracking!  Yes, a state that has devastating earthquakes already,  drought conditions that are only getting worse, needs to import water from Colorado to supply their normal demands and a state that supplies a large majority of the food eaten in the US  supports Fracking, and had for 30 years.

Many farmers won’t plant their crops this year and many will fail due to water shortages.  In addition to the foods we normally hear coming from California such as oranges, almonds and lemons they also provide plenty of apples.  Here more surprising facts on California’s importance in terms of our food supply:

  • California has been the number one food and agricultural producer in the United States for more than 50 consecutive years.
  • More than half the nation’s fruit, nuts, and vegetables come from here.
  • California is the nation’s number one dairy state.
  • California’s leading commodity is milk and cream. Grapes are second.
  • California’s leading export crop is almonds.

ANDNationally, products exclusively grown (99% or more) in California include almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, clovers, and walnuts.

  • California is the nation’s leading producer of strawberries, averaging 1.4 billion pounds of strawberries or 83% of the country’s total fresh and frozen strawberry production. Approximately 12% of the crop is exported to Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Japan primarily. The value of the California strawberry crop is approximately $700 million with related employment of more than 48,000 people.
  • California produces 25% of the nation’s onions and 43% of the nation’s green onions.

Am I the only one who sees a huge problem with this?  We know from other states and countries that fracking has been the cause of earthquakes in areas not normally prone to them.  How long before fracking along one of the longest and most active major fault lines on the planet causes a massive quake? Possibly worse than geologists have been predicting for decades.

The following is a quote from Natural Disasters: “The San Andreas fault is the 800 mile long boundary between the Pacific and North American Plates. It is the main fault of an intricate network of faults spanning the California coastal region. At its deepest, the San Andreas extends 10 miles beneath the ground. The San Andreas fault is a right-lateral transform fault meaning that if one was to stand on one side of the fault and look across to the other, the opposite site would appear to move to the right. This means the Pacific Plate is moving northward while the North American Plate is moving southward.”

If you don’t produce some of your own food now would be a good time to consider doing so.  There are things I can’t grow here such as citrus fruits  but I can grow foods I enjoy to offset the rising costs at the grocery store.  I think it may be time to consider some nut trees in the field as well.

What do you think of a state with drought and earthquakes to continue fracking?

32 thoughts on “They Are Out of Their Minds, IMO

  1. I personally think that fracking is bad, no mater what the state’s condition. Not only does it contribute to earthquakes, etc., but it potentially contaminates water systems. So yeah, especially in a state which is suffering drought and earthquakes, fraking needs to stop!

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  2. ” Are they out of their minds?” YES.. but its not their minds that are making these decisions Lois… In my own opinion its their $ signs in their eyes and in their back pockets that sway their minds..
    Any logical reasoning would see common sense in this BAD idea.. But then Common sense is not part of their make up..

    I have already started to buy in extra flour each week for bread making, as I know here Food prices and scarcities will follow the floods we have had on prime farm land..

    Fracking has been allowed to start here in the UK, and we have had 3 sink holes take place in the last few weeks due to heavy rains in various places around the UK.. Just think of all that extra water hitting limestone eroding it.. And in our area and others under our feet we have a huge web of closed coal mining systems which our own home as already suffered in subsidence claims in the 80′s before the pits closed…

    So to start Fracking in California is Crazy!…

    I watched a programme documentary on Florida the other week about their sink holes… its a giant colander … you would think with all the Earth Quakes in that region, and the past connections with Fracking causing quakes you would think Common Sense would prevail.. But sadly Lois.. they couldn’t give a dam.. sorry but it makes me boil also… I am sure someone’s pocket has been nicely lined to get this passed..

    Great post and good info you have given us Lois.. thank you .. Sue

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      • Sue, I just read the article and can’t believe the extensive areas that are licensed for fracking. One thing I did notice was the mention of the French utility having a stake in these plans. I recently read that France banned fracking, so what they think it’s okay as long as it’s not in their back yard? And the end about burning coal underground to produce a synthetic gas? Just what I wouldn’t want a fire burning under my home. I hope you and your family will be safe and not affected by this madness.

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    • Sue, I had heard the UK was allowing Fracking, although other countries I’ve read are banning it such as France. I never thought about all the mine tunnels you would have. There is an area in my state that has had trouble with sink holes too.

      Yes, it’s their pocket books they are thinking with. You would think their salaries and the money they take from lobbyists would be enough, but for some there is no such thing as enough I guess.

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  3. Fracking has already been going on in California for over 30 years. Only this practice has increased and the technology has changed. To the worse! I share your concerns. My daughter lives in San Francisco. Naturally, anything that could trigger an earthquake or pollute the air and water there has me worried as a mother as well.

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    • Thank you. I can’t find the original article to share or to verify at this time. I have changed the post to reflect that fact. What the article stated was that fracking has been going on offshore but now has been approved for on land. Please note I have not verified that against other sources so have removed that information from the post. Your daughter might know more about that than I do.

      I feel for you having your daughter in the San Fran area. I wish her all the best and hope no further large earthquakes impact her.

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  4. This also points to why we should try to buy locally grown food when we can, to increase agriculture in other areas of the country.

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    • Very true, Christy. This is why I shop the farmers’ market and explain to my family that while some foods are more expensive, it’s a principle to me (that and they taste better). The more we shop local, like the market, the more will see the opportunity and begin growing foods they too can sell.

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  5. Fracking in state that already imports water? And to add – in state that is a major food supplier? It is just plainly stupid. It’s like a shooting yourself in the foot – on purpose…

    From an outsider perspective like myself – In Poland there were found huge amounts of shelf gas, and with government stupid as we have it here we still don’t compromise our food industry (to be honest: partially because we don’t have technology to do that and because this same stupid government sits in Putins pocket). In Poland whole energy resource discussion is rather complicated and the roots of problems sits back in transformation period, but the point is: hydraulic fracturing technology is “throwing baby out with bathwater”.

    And it is not really about free market, because such regulations pro fracking (i bet federally incentivised) is against customers in long term – hence against free market.

    Take good care

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    • I have been corrected and have revised the post to reflect the facts. The article I read about fracking being approved was in fact wrong. It has already been going on for I’m told 30 years. I hate misleading people.

      No matter how long fracking has been going on, in times like this I feel it should be the first business to have their water supply stopped, not the food producers.

      I hope Poland never joins with the rest of the crazies and begins fracking their reserves.

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      • Don’t EVEN get me started on the psychosis of western water laws! Have you ever seen the film “The Milagro Beanfield Wars”? It’s a wonderful and somewhat light-hearted treatise on the issue.

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        • Yes, I did see the Milagro Beanfield Wars. Good movie.
          I know myself too well and know I would be furious with my water being shipped to people who didn’t appreciate it by wasting it. We (in AZ) heard all the time about the drought conditions in CO but never once did anyone suggest watching how much water Az residents used.

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          • Well… I think there’s gonna come a time in the not too distant future when the party’s gonna be over in terms of the US west and its water usage. So many states get their water from underground aqua-firs… and it’s just not sustainable. I totally understand the need to use water for crops and drinking – though I think we could find much more efficient methods of watering our crops. But what really kills me is the stuff that’s just dumped on lawns. It just seems totally crazy to me that people are just hell-bent on growing Kentucky bluegrass in the desert!

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          • Cat, when we moved to AZ I warned my son’s that it was very different from what they knew. There wouldn’t be grass or any of the trees or plants they were used to. As we drove into the Phoenix area the boys being smart a**es asked why I told them there wasn’t any grass. I hadn’t been in the area since 1972 when it really was a desert. To say I was stunned would be an understatement.

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  6. There are signs all over the place in our neck of the woods protesting fracking. The first time I saw one, I had to ask my husband what it was. We have plenty of water here, but fracking makes no sense anywhere. After reading about the California drought plus how people in off the grid tiny houses conserve water, I have started to reassess how I use water. Little things like not flushing the toilet every time(though you have to close the lid, at least one of my cats considers the sound of the toilet flushing to be a call to drink from the magic refilling cat water dispenser), using a basin to catch water from rinsing dishes and using it to water our indoor plants and large container herb gardens, not filling the cats’ water dish to the top since they constanly get it dirty and most of it needs to be dumped for clean water daily. Ironically, as a child we conserved water because our indoor plumbing supply was a basement cistern supplied by rain capture via the roof gutters. It had to supply 7 people. We had one toilet, one tub and the kitchen sink. No shower or bathroom sink. Drinking water was carried from a hand pump that stood next to the milk shed. Every morning I had to pump 2 large pails and carry them in to serve as cooking and drinking water. If we had increased need such as canning produce, we carried more. Once a week, on Saturday, it was laundry day and we carried and heated extra water for the wringer washer and double basin rolling metal tubs. All laundry was fed by hand and rinsed by hand , then hung out to dry in all seasons (I lived in upstate NY, about 5 miles south of lake Ontario). We took baths once a week, washed our hair in the kitchen sink. 2 basins were used to wash dishes, one with soapy water and one with clear water to rinse. I can remember only once having a year dry enough to buy a load of water for the cistern. But if we had showers daily, a dishwasher and a modern washing machine we would have had to buy water often. How many people in California are taking any of these precautions to conserve water? Taking showers every other day instead of daily, not using dishwashers, not filling swimming pools, not planting inappropriate plants like lawns in their water poor climate. Even without the inappropriate fracking, their use of water in outrageous. The excessive population density there is outrageous, considering the toll on the environment and the high risk of catastrophic natural disaster. We keep hearing about the inevitable major earthquake coming, no matter how much people may prepare, when it comes, millions will be trapped, unable to get out, unable to get food, water, medical care, fires will rage due to gas lines being broken. It will be much worse than Katrina with much less notice. It is horrifying to realize the amount of our food supply that comes from California, I did not know that. I am definitely going to talk with my husband about how to increase our garden this year. We are fortunate to live in an area with lots of farming and access to local produce. We are planning to grow most of our own food on our new place in NC, there is a longer growing season and my husband will be retiring so there will be more time for gardening. Though my husband is a city boy(born in Brooklyn, raised in NJ), he has come a long way adapting to the country. He likes gardening now and treats as stress relief from his job. He works from home most days, only traveling into the corporate HQ twice a week except for occasional travel to plants in Europe, Mexico and Oregon. While at home, he takes short, about 10 minute breaks during the day to pull weeds and prune bushes. He says it helps him work off tension, get fresh air and stretch. I wish that someone would look at more desk jobs to see the potential for telecommuting. It saves gas, you don’t waste time commuting, you don’t have to dress up or shave, people don’t stop by to gab, you can eat a healthy lunch instead of eating out. Of course, my husband is extremely disciplined and organized, he gets up at 4 am to start work by 6am because he is a morning person and likes the quiet before phone calls from work start at 9am, he feels he is more productive starting early. He spent 2 years working in Europe and got used to the time difference. The only distraction is getting me settled for the day, checking up on me and if the cats decide to walk on his desk or lie on his computer. .
    Well I definitely need to start a word diet.

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    • Maryalma, I grew up in Erie Pa right along Lake Erie, yet we conserved water like crazy. If we went more than a few days without rain there were water bans for lawns and washing cars, any longer and we were told to conserve around the home. Yet, I lived in LA, Phoenix and Albuquerque (being the least wasteful), Phoenix to me was by far the worst. Having come from the lifestyle I did to see an area that received less than 4 inches a year of rain twice while I lived there had be fearful.

      Yes with that little attention to water the southwest and California is going to experience more problems than northwest PA.

      I think more telecommuting would be wonderful. Think of the savings on office buildings which could be way smaller with a work force working from home.

      Oh, I did hear California has had damage to the orange crop from freezing, so orange prices may go up too.

      Your husband has come a long way from his Brooklyn and NJ youth to embrace country living, not many enjoy the switch.

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  7. It’s an interesting bill (it was signed into law last year) but the Environmental Working Group had some interesting points about it that are actually helping regulate the vicious process at http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2013/09/california-s-new-fracking-law-good-bad-and-ugly. While it needs to be outright banned in this country, of course, the intention of the law doesn’t sound like it was to invite fracking but to deal with the fracking that’s already happening and regulate the heck out of it. A wussy way to deal with it, for sure, but an interesting political strategy – it’s kind of like how Obama isn’t known as the environmental president but he actually slipped in a ton of $$$$ into jobs and other bills that support energy efficiency and other eco-issues.

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    • I am not sure regulation will be enough to hold them accountable especially when it comes to conflicts with the clean water act which fracking has been excluded from thanks to Cheney. But it’s good to see some legislation attempt some control over the process.

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