The Big Three are the three things – in some combination – that all life needs khổng lồ survive: air, water và food.
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Humans live just a couple of minutes without oxygen (which is found in the air around us), we survive just a few days without water, và just a few weeks without food. Thus, the term “The Big Three.”
Everything else, as much as we might lượt thích it or crave it or desire it, are things we bởi not physically need.
Yet, in America (and elsewhere) people, businesses & the goverenment often put those “other things” ahead of The Big Three. While I’m not against people earning a living, I bởi have a problem when some people make their livings at the expense of the health & well-being of other people (not lớn mention animals và plants).
The mining takes place thousands of feet below the surface in a rock formation made up of shale, which is a sedimnetary rock that was formed when layers of clay particles were subjected khổng lồ compaction over millenia deep within the Earth.
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(Note: In other places, the shale might contain oil, as in the Green River Formation in Utah & Wyoming. Unlike natural gas, which is, well gaseous, the petroleum in oil shale formations is not so easily extracted, as it is essentially part of the rock, not just trapped in the cracks of the rock.)
There are two ways that fracking is in conflict with The Big Three, specifically with #2, Water.
Fracking reduces the amount of water available for human use. The fracking process uses millions of gallons of water that is combined with chemicals and then injected deep into the ground lớn crack the shale – that water is taken out of aquifers & streams where it would otherwise be available for human use. Và that water is not cleaned và eventually returned to the public water supply. The used water is disposed of by pumping it into deep rock formations (typically kilometers below the surface).
Fracking has been shown lớn pollute groundwater aquifers that people use for their household water. The YouTube videos of people lighting the water coming out of their kitchen faucets are not just publicity stunts. In many cases, they are actually the result of dramatically increased amounts of methane getting into individual’s wells after fracking wells were installed in their communities. It is not a big leap khổng lồ think that the fracking process led to the contamination of the aquifers. According to the mining industry itself, 5% of fracking wells have cracked well casings as soon as they are made. (The casing is the lining that is supposed khổng lồ prevent leakage – into và out of the well.) So, if 1,000 fracking wells are drilled, 50 of those start out with a leaky well casing.
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For purely selfish reasons – our lives – perhaps we should keep our priorities straight. Always put The Big Three first.