Fracking in the Karoo
Over-harvesting of our earth
As much as I try, I cannot understand the mentality of energy corporations that deal specifically with fossil fuels or gasses. Our world, naturally, is a self-sustaining organism that is perfectly balanced. Unfortunately man, with his infinite knowledge and lack of wisdom, has tipped the scale, making our host planet very ill. In times past mankind respected nature because, ultimately, nature provides for us. The earth is an organism and needs time to renew. It is illogical to think we can continue harvesting an organism indefinitely, without there being repercussions. Let us not forget some of the methods used can also be harmful to the health of the inhabitants.
It makes no sense. If we want to live on this planet indefinitely, we are going to have to obey the rules of the landlord, which is planet earth herself. Unfortunately man, with his billion dollar corporations, has bought the position of landlord, without consent of the rightful owner. Earth has no voice. Even the millions of people who speak for her, voice's are soft because the only voice that can be heard, is the voice of money. The corporations have plenty of that. So why would corporations harvest all the earth has to offer, despite signs of sickness? Do they not care? Obviously it is a money/power thing, but if the earth cannot sustain life because of over-harvesting, then what is the point of money and power if all is dead? Where is the sense in that? It makes no sense. Most people don't really care and hardly take the time to really think about the implications. As long as we can eat, drink and be entertained, we are all good.
I live in the beautiful country of South Africa, filled with natural beauty and all the elements of nature. South Africa is also probably one of the wealthiest countries in Africa (and in the world) with regards to natural resources. This will undoubtedly raise interest to foreign corporations. I came across an article recently that dealt with possible fracking in the Karoo, which is beautiful, natural farm lands that has been largely untouched by urbanisation. Many of the local farmers are incredibly sceptical about fracking on their land, as some of them have witnessed first hand the consequences of what fracking has left in its wake in the U.S.
But what is fracking and why is there such controversy around this subject? Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing, and it is a method that is used to extract gas from within the earth. They drill between 1 to 5 km beneath the surface of the earth till they get to a layer of shale. This is where natural gas is trapped. They then use millions (up to 20 million litres of water per fracking incident)of litres of water, sand and various chemicals, which are carcinogenic and toxic. The layer is then “fractured” with high-pressure explosions underground, so the gas can be collected. This method has resulted in ground water becoming contaminated either with methane or the chemicals that were used. This is hazardous to farming communities. This poses the threat of contaminating, not only water supplies, but also livestock and crops. Let us not forget that the Karoo is prone to drought, with farmers having to be extra careful with their ground water supplies. Fracking can use 20 MILLION litres of water, and the corporations interested in fracking the beautiful Karoo cannot offer an answer as to where this water will come from.
Everywhere where fracking goes, horror stories follow. Everything from flammable tap water, to the locals having cancer, tumours, poisoned livestock, crops and a contaminated water supply. With all the signs pointing to devastation, how is this search for gasses and energy more important than the well-being of our planet? Has power, money and greed made the corporates illogically delusional? This is the problem of capitalism. It's nature is expansion – growth. But we forget our planet and its resources are limited. We cannot harvest our earth indefinitely, and we are seeing our results. The decimation of many populations of animals, the deterioration of rain forests and the over-harvesting of our oceans. All of these will have consequences. There are solutions to these problems, but the longer we put it off and wait, the harder it will be to correct. Our past teaches us so we can make better choices in the present, so we can positively effect our future. If we don't look for alternatives, we won't find them and over-harvesting our earth will be our future, then how much longer will our earth survive? With no earth we have no future.