because I don't want to turn this into something personal. It is not.
But it does indicate to me there is broad confusion in our movement
around the call for water testing.
There are UNACKNOWLEDGED PITFALLS, even amongst academics.
While I am not an academic, I am well versed in the sciences,
science history and philosophy, logic, reason and rhetoric.
Where there is a suspicion there is water contamination,
here's the reaction I hear.
- Well-meaning Anti-fracking Academic:
Let's test the water!
- Pro-fracking PR paid Shill:
Let's test the water!
First let us NOTE WELL these responses are the same. Huh....
So we must ask the question...
WHY are they the same?
I suggest the answer is that while
- Water testing is important,
TESTING ALONE IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO PROTECT NY WATER
there are issues, problems. These are fundamental WARTS with Science.
If you love science, then you must love her WITH HER WARTS.
It is not prudent to deny these warts exist.
The Gas Industry understands these DEFECTS and HOLES in science,
and this is why the industry LOVES water testing!
This is due to some inherent problems with the scientific paradigm,
and with the logic around PROOF, CAUSALITY, INDUCTION.
The Call for Testing contains many HIDDEN TRAPS, DEAD ENDS.
You should understand these things:
- Let's say Mr. GREEN got cancer after drinking BROWN WATER which contained Poison-X.
Proving without a doubt his sickness was from drinking Poison-X is IMPOSSIBLE.
Yet we commonly hear every day people talking about "scientific proof" as if this were possible.
We should understand well the limitations of science here, so we don't demand
something (certainty) which Science is unable to provide.
- Broad spectrum testing is extremely costly
- Broad spectrum testing must be continuous to be certain. (this is practically, impossible)
- Broad spectrum testing is an inexact science, subject to interpretation.
- You will never find what you are not looking for.
- If Chemical-X is present when you are not looking, you will not see it.
- Any test is subject to false-negatives.
- You can't prove a negative with a negative test result.
- IF you get a positive test result, the industry will challenge it FOREVER.
And the WORST ONE OF ALL---
- A positive test result means it is
TOO LATE!!! The water is POISONED!
So here is my final points about water testing,
if you are able to hear it--
It is NOT NECESSARY to test the water to SHOW RISK.
It is NOT POSSIBLE to SHOW RISK with a test.
It is ONLY POSSIBLE to PROVE HARM with a test.
Then it is too late!
We cannot wait for POISON-X to get into the water,
where we can see it in a test.
If we can SHOW RISK EXISTS NOW
of a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TO HUMAN and ANIMAL HEALTH (which we can)
then ACTION MUST BE TAKEN NOW BEFORE harm happens.
THIS is my interpretation of the Precautionary Principle.
See also: http://williamahuston.blogspot.com/2012/10/why-call-for-water-testing-can-be-trap.html
Thank you. I hope this is helpful.
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)