Saturday, October 30, 2010

Human activity can turn a Forest into a Desert

Executive Summary:

The Precautionary Principle
Requires us to consider Worst-Case Scenarios.

The Desertification of NY as a result of Hydrofracking
is a real possibility. a worst-case scenerio which must be considered
when deciding public policy.

All life exists in a tank of air and water.

When we make either air or water inaccessible to life,
such as drain or pollute the water or air in the tank,
life in the tank dies.

Human-caused Desertification may have already occurred.
Therefore, we need to presently choose our activities carefully.

  • All Animal (inc. human) and Plant Life depend on Water.

  • Tanks occur in nature, the boundaries may not be visible.

    e.g., the boundary between the Susquehanna Basin Watershed
    (a tank) and the Delaware River Watershed
    is not easily seen, yet this boundary exists.

  • All life exists in a tank of air and water

    Each of us live within a certain watershed.
    I live in the Susquehanna River Watershed.

    Every drop of water here either evaporates
    or drains into that river.

    You also live within a certain watershed
    (or river basin), but it may be for a different river.

  • Hydrofracking NY
    (70,000 wells x 5M gal/well/frack)
    by conservative estimates
    will cause consumptive water use
    on the order of 300B gallons
    from a tank covering an area of about the size of NY

  • Draining a tank of 300B gallons of water
    can have deadly consequences
    to the creatures which live within.

  • There will likely be multi-vector destruction to local trees and forests
    -- Large-scale Deforestation -- as the result of Hydrofracking.

  • The causes of this Large-scale Deforestation will be
    a) forest clearing for wellsites and pipelines,
    b) tree sickness/death due to surface water contamination
    c) tree death due to dehydration due to consumptive use of water.

  • Trees contribute largely to the quality of our atmosphere.
    They clean the air, by sequestering atmospheric carbon.
    They release oxygen, necessary to animal life.
    They contribute to rainfall and the hydrological cycle
    by pumping underground water into the air.

  • Animals (inc. humans) and plants (inc. trees) are living, breathing water pumps,
    whose quality of life depends on the quality of the water they pump.

  • Animals and Plants are mostly ~70% water.
    The surface of the earth is ~70% water.
    I do not believe this is a coincidence.

  • There is a nexus between our bodies
    and the body of Mother Earth.

    Life arises from the Earth,
    and returns to the Earth.

  • We and the Earth
    and Each Other
    are all made of the same substance.
    We are all substantially the same.

  • What we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves.
    What we do to each other, we do to ourselves.

  • Rising energy costs of gas/oil/coal
    will also lead to deforestation of the NE US during winter.

  • We must act to preserve our existing wild forests, and clean water
    because all life depends on the them.

  • Destroying the forests is against life.
    Polluting Water is Anti-Life.

    Protecting Water and Forests and Air
    is doing work the Protect Life.

  • Places without forests or water are called Deserts.

  • Human activity may have already created a desert.

    Thom Hartmann
    writes about this in Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight:

    ``Along with its other distinctive qualities, the Epic of Gilgamesh
    is the earliest recorded story of desertification caused by
    the extensive destruction of forestlands.

    Lebanon went from more than 90 percent forest
    (the famous Cedars of Lebanon)
    to less than 7 percent
    over a 1,500-year period.

    Trees and their roots are an important part of the water cycle,
    so rainfall downwind of deforested areas decreased by 80 percent.

    Over time, millions of acres of land in the Fertile Crescent area
    turned to desert or scrubland,
    and remain relatively barren to this day.``

William Huston
Binghamton NY Phone: 607-321-7846

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