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Death by Fracking


Death by Fracking

Chris Hedges

DENVER—The maniacal drive by the human species to extinguish itself includes a variety of lethal pursuits. One of the most efficient is fracking. One day, courtesy of corporations such as Halliburton, BP and ExxonMobil, a gallon of water will cost more than a gallon of gasoline.


OK George Hayduke, you have your assignment. Git-r-done.


Here in NYC the fight to stop a fracked gas pipeline from being built across the Hudson River into Manhattan failed. Since then fracked gas has been in the NYC gas supply and my COPD has worsened even though I had the gas turned off to my apartment. My building is heated with gas not to mention the gas in the other apartments. It is common knowledge that NYC gas pipelines leak all the time into the air, not enough to cause explosion but enough to cumulatively pollute the air and exacerbate COPD. I have an air sterilizer plus 2 Hepa air purifiers now going all the time and will soon be adding a third purifier to my small apartment.

Although here in New York protestors succeeded in persuading Gov. Cuomo and his Administration to ban high volume fracking in order to protect our water the fight is now concentrated on putting a hold on fracked gas pipelines and infrastructure to protect our air: Add your support here: http://goo.gl/i3L1U3



We are very far from influencing the majority of people that corporate fundamentalists are our biggest threat to survival of the human species. When I tell people that corporations have written our laws, high-jacked our democracy and place profits above all else, I am called a "radical" or a "conspiracy theorist". Like the majority of people here at CD, including Chris Hedges, we're all considered to be part of the lunatic fringe. even though our observations are as clear to us as the sky above us.
Hedges is correct that the revolution will have to happen from the bottom up. He is also correct that a lot of re-education has to occur before that can happen. The slow "frog march" to extinction seems inevitable despite the handful of activists out there.
The only way to begin the process of educating the citizenry about the evils of corporate fundamentalism, is to remove money's corrupting influence from government. Though the Sander's message is spreading, I'm quite sure that 90% of Americans still have no idea of who Bernie Sanders is and will still be in the dark come election day. We are not going to defeat corporate fundamentalists until most of us understand what corporate fundamentalism is. Does anyone really believe that we will reach this level of consciousness in our lifetime?


Aside from inciting others to 'court violence' and to 'unleash the power of the powerless' to overthrow the corporate coup that has nearly overtaken us, one has to ask Chris whether he exhorts change or if he exhorts chaos? Assuming that Chris seeks positive change and not the complete breakdown of civilization (which grows the food that stock our supermarkets and provide electricity that runs everything), then what the F?

When the first progressive candidate that doesn't take oligarchy money comes along and supports the same things as Chris writes such as banning fracking wells that poison our water and venting gas that adds to the greenhouse effect, Chris tells us that he (Sanders) isn't pure enough on foreign policy. In other words the candidate should not be electable to the rest of the country but only to a small slice of the population that are progressive leftists.

Does Chris expect a mass revolution that will remove corporate capitalism to be achieved by 'physical bodies'? By unrest? By telling others to risk violence and unrest but also tell them not to take beginning steps (which seem far more likely to be realistic at least in this first half of the century) to effect change by electing the only anti-oligarchy candidate?

I think an intellectual urging others who won't have access to expensive lawyers and famous people to come out calling for their release from arrest and imprisonment is serious bullshit!

Chris means the little guy. The ordinary regular people - our selves and our neighbors to get tough yet he dissuades them from taking less drastic steps which could possibly lead to the very change he seeks without sacrificing so many people (call them revolutionary cannon fodder in this case) to the cause.

At this point in time the need is to change the system, to make it work before taking it all down and leaving everybody to scramble and fend for themselves in the general chaos.

Too much fantasy drama and emotional projection. First things first... we could fix this ( and it isn't only us in this world either) and we should try to fix it before we give up all hope and collapse into chaos.


You write faster than me but I agree with everything you've said. I remember when I was a young fella' (vaguely lol) that I was a firebrand activist who wanted revolution now and went around saying that only a revolution could change everything and so forth. People asked me just what would that look like but being young and impatient, I had no time for that co-opting into the system. It all had to go and nothing else would do. It was a time - that's my only excuse.

Unfortunately for me, I never was able to answer that damn question over the decades that followed. I kept asking it of myself. What would happen if there really were a revolution from the bottom up? What would that look like? How would that work?

I soon realized much to my youthful dismay that nothing is ever so simple. The bigger the change means the greater the complexity involved in that change. Want to change capitalism? Great idea. Want to change capitalism without interrupting the daily supply of food to our cities and power for creating in winter and electric lights... a helluva lot harder.

Who runs the revolution was how I came to think of it. Who runs the electric plant etc.

We need change not simplistic chaos. That heavy duty revo might someday be needed... bloody as it would be but give us a few decades before the last ditch effort takes over. We could elect Sanders and people like him and fix this planet...

Let's try that first ...while we still can


Mr. Hedges is one of the most important voices of our times.

This is a brilliant and honest analysis:

"The corporations know that communities in most cases do not have the resources to challenge high-priced corporate legal teams and lobbyists. This means that for citizens seeking redress, the courts are largely useless. High-court decisions in Ohio, Colorado and New Mexico, along with a ruling by the state Senate in Texas and a law passed in Oklahoma, deny the right of communities to impose fracking bans. So, in effect, when you raise consciousness about the dangers of fracking, when you organize to protect yourselves and your children, when you pass a ban in a democratic vote, your action is nullified by the courts or the state. The consent of the governed becomes a farce."

However, when a case is built showing the degree to which corporate malfeasance "runs the show," it's disingenuous to characterize the problem of a sociopathic 5% (of the population) with all souls... as is the opening thesis to this otherwise sound and profound article:

"The maniacal drive by the human species to extinguish itself includes a variety of lethal pursuits. One of the most efficient is fracking."

One could argue that this maniacal component exists in a SUBSET of the human species; but identifying it as a central and universally present characteristic unwittingly defines humanity by the worst of transgressors.

MANY times I've sought to explain that hierarchically-based societies are run like business management firms. The top boss (and it usually is a white male) gives the orders that others follow.

While we're told since childhood that we live in a Democracy; we were also told that Columbus discovered America and given very false storylines for definitive things like:

  1. Why the U.S. military dropped bombs on Japan to arguably conclude W.W. II
  2. Who killed JFK
  3. Who took down the towers on 911

AND so much else.

Rule by a dominant group has been the way of history; and while our nation began as an experiment in power-sharing, it's always had its dynastic ruling families factoring top-heavy into all key decision-making bodies. For short intervals the nation saw laws that advanced women's rights, Black rights, the evolving Middle Class, and the protection of the environment.

However, the same right wing authoritarians who found legal minds savvy in inverting things like "Affirmative Action" went to work inverting all of the laws, checks, balances, and enshrined legal principles that made for a society where at least some opportunity existed for just about every citizen.

THAT is not the society we are living in. Not with a military boot, false media, and corporate moguls bearing down.

Those who identify with the history taught (and that includes its unexamined precepts which impact all fields of academe) never question what patriarchy itself means in terms of the sovereignty of the individual or how the Earth, as living being is and will be treated.

Only by looking at patriarchy can anyone understand that the indoctrination of all citizens--which includes their conformity to an ethos based on strata, layers of domination--is itself an artificial construct. This is not some naturally occurring expression of human nature. It's instead what results when human beings are forced--via threats of violence inside an overriding system based on AGGRESSION--to identify with the hierarchy that patriarchy built.

I wish that Mr. Hedges, being the luminary that he is, would recognize this and stop lumping all persons into that singular category identified chiefly by (and through) what sociopaths (those whose need for power over others is insatiable and whose respect for life, null and void) do.


I introduced the premise that MANY citizens have now become "the new natives" in that they will increasingly find themselves on the front lines defending against the new corporate conquistadors.

Sink holes are opening up all over the world and swallowing campgrounds, vehicles, even pedestrians walking down urban streets. It's probably related to both fracking and global warming. As others have pointed out, methane is escaping (and fracking exacerbates this problem tremendously) and methane is far worse for global warming (and atmospheric imbalances) than CO 2.

“Communities cannot protect themselves. There are homes in Colorado where basements have filled up with explosive levels of gases from previous fracking industry operations, sending people to burn centers. There are homes where people can light their tap on fire because of high levels of thermogenic methane in the water. But the victims of fracking are prohibited by law from safeguarding themselves.”

The above quote represents what will become tragically true for more and more persons if TPP and TIPP come into "law." As most readers know, the fine print (hidden from the public) in these horrific treaties is written to protect the trespassers whereby if their own lawyers can prove that environmental law deprives them of "would-be profits," they can sue said communities, states, and nations.

This IS rule by corporate predators. And if this behavior was a true reflection of "human nature" then there would not BE many communities, cowboy-Indian alliances, Idle No More, Bianca Jagger and Indigenous tribal leaders across South America, and others all over the planet fighting This BEAST!


He said we didn't he? I mean maybe not literally but nevertheless he said ....the dreaded ... 'we'. That's it for you Chris! Tsk tsk.

Hey SR? What happens if all us 'we' ...um...we'ers ... the people who say WE... I mean us we'ers ... We'ers unite. We are all in this together! Ain't ... we?


"The dilemma facing activists is that the enemy is not only the corporations but also the federal and state governments. Federal and state authority is a tool used by corporations to make legal what should be illegal. Nonviolent, democratic dissent is criminalized. This creates a terrifying dilemma."

The above statement should be read by all the anti-govt. right wing Libertarians who gravitate to this site.

As Catherine Austin Fitts explained, the U.S. govt. has become a subsidiary of corporations.

Remember when Dick Durbin (I think it was) said: "The banks own the place," in explaining why they--rather than underwater home owners--got the massive financial bailouts?

And how about treaties that will nullify environmental law and labor rights being decided behind closed doors where even congress people are not allowed to take notes on what they read?

Of course, as some have explained, fascism--better defined as corporatism--is the result of government merging with corporations. And THAT is where "we" are. But of course paid robots like "Were Flea" are here to turn the calculus around and blame the citizen who lives in the suburbs and must get to work for WHAT the frackers do.

Were flea and his tag team may well understand that Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Nuke, and Big Frack work underhanded deals with U.S. (and other) govt. big shots in order to ensure that no serious investments are made in alternative technologies. There's compelling data throughout You Tube about FREE energy using magnets and Tesla-inspired technologies.

It's his job to blame the person who drives to work so that the powers that are poisoning our planet can be held innocent, and continue on with their RAPE of The Mother.


Cogent article by Chris Hedges.

As long as we have to breathe polluted air; drink polluted water with added corporate chemicals for their corporate profits; eat corporate food filled with corporate chemicals to enhance shelf life to enhance Agri- businesses bottom line; and continue to be brainwashed by the MSM that toxic sludge is good for us ....we are all living in the sacrifice zones of the Amerikan corportocracy.

The only difference is some people are being sacrificed more than others.



Hey! You said 'we'!!! Is that allowed? I am actually shocked. Feeling a bit woozy and light headed too!The world seems different... the universe has changed somehow. I know!!! It's a quantum 'we' ... that's when us isn't we and we can be us except on alternate side of the street parking thursdays when it's everybody for themselves.

Oh how the mighty have fallen? Et tu Siouxy Et Tu?



There are 4 primary engines of indoctrination:

  1. Family: Children are conditioned by family members from birth
  2. Church: It indoctrinate adults and children into a worldview that often is incredibly misleading, and never so sinister as when it's used to create hatred of outsiders
  3. School: Under the banner of education, many lies become what's passed off as true
  4. Culture & mass media: In corporate hands, it's become a reliable purveyor of endless propaganda

While it's almost impossible to cancel out the conditioning of 1 & 2, number 4 is vital; and that's why it's surprising that you didn't mention corporate capture of what should be The People's airwaves and loss of any Fairness Doctrine governing media content and ownership.

From Bernays to Pavlov, the ways and means to enact behavior modification up to and including mass mind control are now not only well-known, they are 100% in practice.


If Chris Hedges meant to incite riot with this article, he succeeded! I understand the rage, frustration, and feelings of powerlessness.

Our planet is being decimated by worship of Mammon! There is no stopping it. Those who have taken control, will not let go of their drive for profit and power. They don't believe they are doing anything wrong. They think activists are wrong. They do not see the bigger picture, and if they do, they don't care. They want to get in there and "take" it all now, while they still can. Why? Hm. Have many of you seen pictures of Dubai? Have you seen the decadent luxuries that rich men can build? Do you think that rich men would give up that dream of utopia, for a wilderness camping lifestyle? I don't think so.

In my opinion, the only thing that will stop the ruling, rich elite, is forcible withdrawl of all their toys and luxuries. They will not go down without a huge fight! I'm betting on Mother Nature to provide that fight. "We" the average citizen of the world, do not have the power to fight the BEAST.

Space_cadet and wereflea, I agree with everything you say. It's a tricky battle isn't it? Let's do all we can in our immediate spheres of influence, but also, let us realize that catastrophic upheaval is just on the horizon.


I find your commentary superficial and your reason for being here suspicious. There is always some soldier boy who's first up. John Tredea, Tom Carberry, the lawyer from Colorado, now you... it's suspect behavior due to its predictability.

I don't think you have the capacity to understand Hedges; and I addressed your point (thankfully before reading your comment to me).

His use of WE is not the same as yours. You are an apologist for the status quo. Probably paid by some military adjunct I.T. firm to post--first-up and repeat all the assigned talking points.


You know SR I think I have just about had it with your unfounded accusations and dreadfully rambling diatribes where you attack others who disagree with you. You said that I am paid like the troll you are. I am just an old 60's radical now disabled by age and infirmity collecting soc sec disability and a small pension and that's it. Half my income goes for rent and if I had a life, I'd not be able to afford it. You keep on attacking people who don't agree with your ridiculously self indulgent rambling monologues which you must think are deep. As I'm sure you know, many people simply skip over them because you are such a pompous ass and unjust.

Do you ever once think about that you accuse people unjustly? Even once? You are the troll who accuses others who are innocent. Why do you bring up my name Because I made a joke? Are you that removed from people that you can't take a joke? How freakin' harmless that joke was. It was good natured and I had hoped that you would notice how appallingly strange your obsession with the use of the rhetorical we has become. It was only to make YOU laugh but that isn't you anymore SR. You are a human being who is unable to laugh. My guess is that you are very sad and alone and bitter.

Stop accusing people without cause or evidence. That's a right winger trick to sully people's reputations. I am starting to pity you in your humorless life.


When have you stepped forward to help the "little guy" who Chris is giving voice here? It is as if you didn't read the essay, or you just can't grasp the points he is making.

He details here in this instance the political reality of the current power paradigm as it relates to fracking operations running roughshod over entire communities property and health. He details here how these big energy companies win every battle at the local, state, and federal level and how that reality has rendered activism through "the system" futile.

Chris Hedges is an important voice sounding the alarm of the absolute reality that corporations have unassailable power in this country and nothing short of radical activism is going to counter that juggernaut.

Chris Hedges HAS risked his well being by the power of his pen. He has DIRECTLY challenged the power of Empire by joining in a lawsuit in an effort to ultimately protect you.

The fact that Chris Hedges doesn't believe a Bernie Sanders presidency will translate into any real move against corporate power in this country is a well reasoned stance according to his arguments.

The fact that you disagree with him on this is fair. The fact that you trash Chris Hedges at every opportunity maligning him in the most disingenuous manner is not.


How petty.


Well said paularae. It is a tricky battle indeed. I am all for civil disobedience but it seemed that Chris was taking it a few steps farther than that. At some point all the old revo rhetoric from the past and the glories of heroes gone by is no longer applicable. The world I was born into maybe could have made it... maybe but only just maybe. I think even then it was already too late post WW2 to have a 'revolution' that changes everything... there are simply too many people. It is the fact. The reality. There is no survivalist prepper fantasy that is survivable by everybody.

We need to change the system more than we need to destroy it. Create the democracy that we should have and which is being stolen from us by corporations. Undo Citizen's United, undo tax shelters and off shoring loopholes for corporations. Make corporations back into businesses and only businesses and not ruling corporations that control our government and our lives.

Make a Monsanto obey the laws and chemical companies too, stop suicidal fracking, get single payer heath coverage for all... loyalty to people not the corporate bottom line is what we need.

They can still make money, grow food, manufacture and provide services but only as businesses not as corporate persons. Not as the powers behind our government. We create meaningful change not mindless destruction.

Destruction will ruin a lot people's weekends btw.


This the inevitable outcome when the means of production are surrendered to the few so as to generate profits.

Point of fact. The more that water is polluted and the scarcer clean drinking water becomes , the greater the potential for profits generated by firms that will claim to provide clean drinking water.

This in turn will create jobs as people will be required to work in the factories that produce this water and to operate the infrastructure to transport it to market. This in turn will create "wealth" under our system as those profits and wages will come in the way of money. This will also add to GDP growth which economists will use to promote the idea all is well.

Yet 300 years ago a First Nations person could walk to a river and get that water for free. He was not paid a wage to do so and no profits or GDP growth was generated.

All belonged to the commons and Mother Nature did most of the work as she provided for all. No money was needed.