It was growing there long before man ran his electricity in straight lines and chopped off anything that got in his way.
Driving across the Sacramento Valley to Woodland where my ancestors settled during the Gold Rush, I took lots of photos.
Most were scenes of vibrant mustard flowers carpeting the ground of cloudy pink fruit orchards. But some orchards were bereft of any ground vegetation. I thought the fields of dark earth all furrowed and ready for planting were stunning at first, until I noticed the absolute absence of weeds. Hmmmm.
Man’s need supersedes that of nature most times. I’ve learned recently that oil companies are hovering like bees a bit south in the central valley in one of the richest deposits of oil in the United States called the Monterey Shale. Get ready for the next Gold Rush made possible by hydraulic fracking.
Fracking creates fractures in rocks thousands of feet below the surface by injecting them with water laced with chemicals and sand, allowing oil or gas to flow out. Fracking received a specific exception from the Clean Water Act in the 2005 Energy Bill, so oil companies don’t have to reveal what chemicals they use.
Again, with no regard to Mother Earth, some 30 chemicals including hydrochloric acid, are injected into her body to extract oil. Fracking and disposal of fracking waste has been linked to groundwater pollution, drinking water contamination and earthquakes.
How long until Earth fights back, like an abused woman who’s finally had enough? In the meantime, as Dick always says, Go Gently.
Links to read more on the Monterey Shale: