On my last trip to the bank, I picked up a copy of the Heights Observer, which reports doings in the quaint suburb of Cleveland Heights (that’s http://www.heightsobserver.ORG, thankyouverymuch; nothing commercial here). And doings there are, given that the Heights is just up the hill from University Circle, so the best and brightest live there, not only from convenience, but to avoid the insane government of Cleveland proper and establish their own insane government. And quaint it is. given that they’ve declared themselves a Nuclear-Free City, as if anyone benign would build a reactor there (land is too expensive) or anyone malign would be deterred from exploding a nuclear device by such a law. Politically, the place stands slightly to the right of Berkeley CA.
Anyway. in this week’s issue there is a report by Catherine Podojil on a viewing of Josh Fox’s film Gasland, which is apparently to the anti-fracking movement as Reefer Madness is to the anti-drug movement. (See here, or here, or here.). I say “report” instead of “free campaign ad”, because I’m sure Podojil considers herself a citizen journalist and I wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings. But some of the flavor can be captured by this quote: “the process is the gas and oil industry’s latest attempt to extract more money from the earth.” Now, I have never known a well to produce Federal Reserve Notes, or even specie; they produce oil and gas, which are values that are traded for other values through the medium of money (and which Podojil herself surely trades money for). I doubt very seriously that Podojil would write that an organic farmer “extracts money from the earth’, though even considering the inputs necessary, the industry of agriculture is equally extractive, with miles of roots sucking money from the ground (see what I just did there?). Apparently money is a bad thing, and perhaps Podojil should abjure it; I understand there are still grates free downtown.
Unlike the nuclear movement, the local opposition to fracking is not academic; miraculously, there are still gas wells in Cleveland Heights (Some on the Oakwood property, subject of a more sympathetic public movement). The nation won’t go into energy-starvation from the lack of hydrocarbons from Cleveland Heights. but those who own the mineral rights might rightly have an opinion. Likewise, my problem with the Oakwood development (which, as a development, is totally stupid, and will either fail spectacularly and/or cause failure elsewhere) is that the folks making the waves don’t own the land, and yet think they have a say. But that’s business as usual in the former Republic of America.