Fracked to Death

Written by, Community Solutions fellow, wimbi


I have an unhappy tendency to invent troubled dreams. Instead of letting me sleep pleasantly like a normal human, my brain grabs the sleep opportunity to get down to serious work and crank out a big bother. Here’s an example:

I am driving a bus full of kids. The kids are horsing around like kids, paying no attention to me.  All is hotsy-totsy.

The radio, tuned to the bus advisory,  suddenly blinks my code and says “There’s a big blockage across the road half a mile ahead, better slow down.”

I speed up..  The radio says “ That boulder is really big, and you had better SLOW DOWN or you are gonna hit it.”

I speed up a lot more.   Radio yells “Hit those brakes HARD,  NOW!”

I slam the pedal to the metal.  I mean the accelerator pedal, not the brake pedal.

A couple of the kids immediately behind me glance out the window, see what is about to happen, and let out a big scream.    They rush forward to try to stop the bus.  Way too late.  The bus slams into the boulder , throttle wide open . Huge noise, slowly dying away to dead silence.   

And I mean DEAD.

I wake up all sweaty and breathing hard.  Why do I do this kind of thing to myself? Anyhow, like most of my dreams, this one is simple to decipher.

the bus is the planet

I am the people in charge

the kids are the kids

the boulder is global warming

the radio is the scientists

the gas pedal is CO2 production

dead is dead.

I get up, trying to put my wits back together again, and go down to breakfast. My wife takes one glance at my frazzled features and exclaims “Goodness, what’s the matter this time!”.  

At that moment the phone rings. I pick it up.

Cheery voice - “ We have some really good news for you! Looks like your land might have a lot of natural gas on it and we are able to offer you--” I cut him off, “No”! 

The voice gets a little testy - “Hey, do you understand what we are saying-”  I cut him again;  “YES”, and slam down the phone.

Wife -  “My Goodness! What in the world was THAT about?”.

Good question.  Now you tell me what it’s all about, folks. And remember, the kids are listening.

You can say no to fracking and such like, which slows down the bus, or you can say yes and speed it up. In the first case some of your kids might survive that certain crash, in the second, they are all dead, along with most of god’s creatures great and small.

You think that is an extreme statement? It sure is! And the truth, according to atmospheric scientists, is even more extreme. They all agree to the warming part but afew can’t explain it to their entire satisfaction.  But the great majority say warming is real, very possibly catastrophic, andwe are causing it by burning fossil fuel, and we MUST quit right now or we are dead.  And even if we do quit right now, we are on track to be mighty badly hurt by what we have already put into the air.

So there we are, people. This one is no mere quibble about money or jobs.  It’s really truly important. And tell your kids what you decide--they have the bigger interest.  After all, it’s gonna be their planet, dead or alive.

(wimbi is an engineer who likes to write stories with a little fun in them.  He says this one is not funny at all.)