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Statement of purpose for fracking activist group

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danps's picture
Statement of purpose for fracking activist group
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I don't have time to flesh this out tonight, but I want to get it out there and send out a link.

I was at a meeting tonight with fellow Portage county activists. We're starting a group to fight back against fracking. There was talk of incorporation, nonprofit status, officers, etc. as a way to give formal structure to the group.

There was lots of other stuff too, just glossing.

I mentioned a formal document with a particular emphasis on nonviolence and everyone was receptive.

My mission (and yours, I hope!) is to come up with a one page document laying out our vision, principles and values. Not a legal document but an aspirational one.

I mentioned nonviolence in particular and everyone was receptive. So this is a chance to do the kind of ground-level foundational work we've noted has been absent from OWS.

750-800 words or so, to be used going forward as a way to let people know what we do & don't stand for. Need it ready in a week or so. What should that include?

Please leave feedback below!

Two quick thoughts on fracking

Well, a third, in that Corrente got there first [as usual]. See PA Lady's book of posts in 2010.

I think there are two 30,000 foot views, neither of which I have names for:

1. The people who are affected by these decisions need to have a say in how or if they are made. In a functioning democracy, they would. A subsidiary issue is that the main effects are environmental, ie organized by "sheds" -- watershed, airshed, viewshed, truckshed -- or are pervasive, like groundwater or quakes or pollutants that reach the upper atmosphere. However, jurisdictional boundaries, and the institutions based on them, do not map well to sheds. There are also the issues of standing. What is the word for "a few benefit and many are hurt just a little"? That too, except I have the feeling that the margin between the benefits and the hurt was once much greater than it is now, something like the falling rate of return.

2. There are real "private property" issues here, and I don't know how to thread the needle politically. (We have TX landowners "standing their ground," as it were, against Keystone XL, which is tactically good, except it's morally and strategically incoherent, because the next neighbor down can sell them out. Hmm. I'm thinking prisoner's dilemma, but I'm also thinking we get sold out by economists with simple stories, so I bet the key is to look deeper. For example, it's odd that the prison itself isn't part of the parable....)

You have a grid of private property laid over the ground, a coordinate plane laid over a living system. Owner A wants to retain the use and enjoyment of the area defined by his locus of points ("property"), Owner B wants to sell. The rule is that the property is three-dimensional, goes all the way down, even through the groundwater, all the way to the center of the earth. Hence, if Owner B sells, and the fracking company drills, they get to impact systems that destroy Owner B's use and enjoyment (and, for that matter, well, the planet, but leave that aside).

To make it more interesting, we'll stipulate that Owner B plans to put the money from the fracking company into a trust to pay for the life care of his seriously disabled daughter.

I don't have an answer to this. And I'm not with the "abolition" of private property crowd, because while the house is a burden, it's also a joy, and I do think that people take care of things that they "own" because they are emotionally, er, invested in them. But I do think the notion of "private" property needs to be adjusted somehow, so that both Owner A and Owner B (and owner B's disabled child) net out positive.

How hard can that be?

danps's picture
I've got a post coming that addresses some of this

particularly WRT "people who are affected by these decisions need to have a say."

Very interesting stuff - what's happening, that is, not necessarily my writing. Be sure to have a look when it goes up!

Cross post, please

We are, I believe, looking at a time of confluence or conjunction, when all the threads are being woven together.

danps's picture
Cross posted


Dan, I should be helping with this

But as usual I'm overwhelmed. Be sure to ping me when you need something.

I'm aware that my comment was about contradictions and not solutions....

danps's picture
Got it.

Next meeting hasn't been set up yet, but I'll let you know. A phone call might be in order too, because there's something that might be better to share offline. Email your # if interested and we'll set something up.

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