The only midwives mentioned in the entire Bible are the protesting duo, Shifrah and Puah. They had the gumption to stand up against Pharoah, not believing his mean-spirited lies, not obeying his murderous orders. They were dedicated to life and simply refused(1) .
Like them, Utah midwife Donna Young followed her conscience and raised concerns about the alarming increase of infant deaths that coincided with the rapid increase of fracking wells in her home community of Vernal(2) . In fracking fields everywhere there is no desire for killing children, and yet, our leaders are ignoring the truth that our fractured natural gas energy boom is also yielding widespread poisoning of air and water and harming our communities.
Back in 2013, when Donna Young raised her questions, Rolling Stone magazine reported that health officials conducted a study and eventually concluded positively that the deaths “were not statistically insignificant”. However, they chose to exclude the impact of air pollution- air pollution so bad that some days it rivaled NY, LA and Mexico City. “When pressed on possible causes for the deaths, (the epidemiologist) suggested the health problems of mothers, citing smoking, diabetes and prenatal neglect among the Basin’s residents. (He) made it clear he was sympathetic to the crowd’s concerns. “I know what it’s like to lose a pregnancy,” he announced. “My wife’s had eight, and only four live births.””(3)
What will it take to open our eyes? How do we counter longstanding biases like this: A pulitzer prize winning news organization, InsideClimate News, tracked down the writers of that infamous Bush Era EPA report that facilitated the ‘Haliburton Loophole’. The actual writers were the Cadmus Group of MA and they refused to sign the report and to add their name when officials demanded to include the erroneous statement in the conclusion that the toxic brew of chemicals used in fracking had no impact on drinking water. The body and substance of their report stated there was an impact to drinking water, but they were unable to quantify the impact without more data. Read the whole story of this corrupt action below(4) .
What will it take to open our eyes? We have great resources like this: The most comprehensive study to date on the impacts of fracking was just published earlier this March. The scientific landscape is changing with peer reviewed articles growing from 130 in 2013 to 1300 in 2018. A full 25% were published just last year(5) . After examining nearly all of the available peer reviewed studies, investigative articles and government reports their conclusion is clear: “Our examination of the peer-reviewed medical and public health literature uncovered no evidence that fracking can be practiced in a manner that does not threaten human health.(6)” Please see the 10 Plagues of Fracking below for an introduction to the report.
This Passover let us stand with Shifrah, Puah, Donna and all others who are brave enough to discern and follow the way of truth. We all know ‘the world of truth’ is under fresh and vigorous attack, where all news outlets are smeared as fake, when relativism is extended so far that nothing is left trustworthy, no journalist, no politician, no lawyer, no scientist, and the age of endarkenment struggles for a foothold(7). As spring awakens, what truth will you help raise from the ground?
Prepared by Maggid David Arfa, Nisan 5778; www.maggiddavid.net; firstname.lastname@example.org
(2) What’s Killing the Babies of Vernal Utah, Peter Solotaroff, Rolling Stone Magazine, 2015. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/fracking-whats-killing-the-babies-of-vernal-utah-20150622
(3) What’s Killing the Babies of Vernal Utah, Peter Solotaroff, Rolling Stone Magazine, 2015. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/fracking-whats-killing-the-babies-of-vernal-utah-20150622
(4)Industirial Strength: How the US Government hid Fracking’s Risks to Drinking Water, Neela Banerjee, ClimateInside News, Nov, 2017. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/16112017/fracking-chemicals-safety-epa-health-risks-water-bush-cheney
(5) Concerned Health Professionals of New York & Physicians for Social Responsibility. (2018, March). Compendium of scientific, medical, and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking (unconventional gas and oil extraction) (5th ed.). http://concernedhealthny.org/compendium/ page 10
(6) Concerned Health Professionals of New York & Physicians for Social Responsibility. (2018, March). Compendium of scientific, medical, and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking (unconventional gas and oil extraction) (5th ed.). http://concernedhealthny.org/compendium/ page 15 The report continues: “Despite this emerging body of knowledge, industry secrecy, and government actions and inaction continue to thwart scientific inquiry, leaving many potential problems—especially cumulative, long-term risks—unidentified, unmonitored, and largely unexplored. This problem is compounded by non-disclosure agreements, sealed court records, and legal settlements that prevent families and their doctors from discussing injuries and illness. As a result, no quantitative and comprehensive inventory of human hazards yet exists.”
(7) No one is more articulate about this than Yale Historian Timothy Snyder. Check out his video blog series here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BygGl2idW4k His specialty is Eastern Europe and relations with the west throughout the 20th century.