you can’t rent a motel room in either of the Dakotas

promisedland620This summer we took a long family road trip out to Idaho.

My cousin warned us that we “didn’t want to have to stop in the Dakotas…you probably won’t be able to find a motel room because of all the fracking they’re doing”.

Up until recently, my main involvement with fracking was the experience of not being able to find a motel room in the Dakotas.

Here’s an article from Men’s Journal about one of the main boom towns, Williston.

http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/greetings-from-williston-north-dakota-20120713

Not being able to find a motel room isn’t really a portal to understanding anything about the situation.

I’ve been watching this movie…”Promised Land”…this morning and I suspect it might fill in some of the holes (no pun intended) in my knowledge…even if, like I suspect, it’s from a reasonably liberal perspective.  I don’t think the environmentalist perspective is the wrong one, though.

From what I understand, the problem with fracking is that the process is pretty harmful to the environment.

Somebody who’s done even a little research would say, “OH MY GOSH!!! THIS GUYS AN IDIOT!  HE DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT FRACKING…WHERE DOES HE GET OFF EVEN TALKING ABOUT IT?!!!”

And they’d be right…at this point I don’t know anything about it.

I know that the guys that are involved with fracking are making a ton of money.  I know that they want to frack out in California…biggest deposit of shale oil in the country.

I know that we couldn’t find a place to sleep in the Dakotas.

That’s as far as most of our understanding goes…we only go as deep as the activity inconveniences us.

If we can turn the channel when we see little kids in Ethiopia with distended stomachs…we turn the channel.

If we can drive a little faster through a landscape we don’t understand…we drive a little faster.

If it happening “somewhere else” we can ignore it all.  (“Say…just who is this Hitler guy they keep mentioning on the radio, anyway?”)

I’m about halfway through watching the movie this morning.  The town involved is going to have to make the choice between destroying their environment…or surviving economically.

That’s a hard choice…and the movie lays that out (so far) very well.  Water quality vs. the money to survive….hmmm…what to do?

Like any disease, we treat the symptom and forget the cause.  Until we can identify and develop alternatives to our current energy sources, we’re going to have issues like the ones explored in this movie.

But…I drive to and for work… so I can’t really get on any high horse and talk about how to save the planet.

Maybe I’ll figure out how to deliver the mail on my bicycle and all this fracking stuff can stop?

 


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