I came across this video last night and it struck a cord. Anyone who has read Eddie Would Go: The Story of Eddie Aikau by Stuart Holmes Coleman will remember the saying
“Never turn your back on the ocean.”
“That is not only out of respect for the God of the ocean, who can be fickle and dangerous, but it is also a practical precaution.”
In the book, they are making the case for a lifeguard on the North Shore. But as I read more, I realized this applies to more than just surf.
As paddlers, surfers, as humans, we have a vast playground that includes oceans, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds—whatever holds water. I’ve come to realize that Never turn your back on the ocean can also mean:
When our waters need us, don’t turn your back on them.
When they are threatened. When they are being polluted. When access is limited.
This is where we play. This is where we live. It affects our health, our food supply, our way of life.
In this video, James Osborn, a Nebraska resident, speaks at a Nebraska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission hearing on an out-of-state company’s application to export its toxic fracking wastewater into Nebraska. They will be moving 80 truckloads carrying 10,000 barrels per day of pollution destined to be dumped into a disposal well in Sioux County — transferring all the risk onto Nebraska farmers and ranchers.
The resident has experience building pipelines and his family has worked in the fracking business.
In his presentation to the commission, he discusses the role water plays in Nebraska and responds to an earlier claim by the fracking company official that he would, “drink the water.” His 3-minute demonstration nails it.
Make your own decisions, but have all the information. The major issue seems to be the lack of transparency as to the chemicals that are being used to extract the oil. Those are proprietary for each company. There’s so much more to this, obviously, but take a look at how James Osborn calmly presented his argument.