Sunday, April 7, 2013


Late March 2013 pear (in front) and peach blooms (behind) at Hoganvillaea Farm.



Hereby be it resolved that we, the County of Chatham Board of Commissioners, declare that in our role of governing Chatham County, we are authorized by our citizens to protect them from undue harm by any state or federal government agency or corporation which uses practices such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involve dangerous chemicals, excessive amounts of water use during a time when North Carolina is subject to droughts, and in the process generates both poisonous gas releases into the atmosphere, toxic chemical waste spills, and the risk of poisoning our water table and aquifers, and hence wells, which lie close to the shale under which the natural gas lies.  

In addition, due to the fault line running through the Triassic Basin in which Chatham County lies, and the positioning of the Shearon Harris nuclear plant on that fault line in adjacent Wake County, we ban the process of hydraulic drilling in our county because such drilling is fraught with the catastrophic consequences of a large scale nuclear accident should it occur.

We assert that our citizens and property owners within the borders of Chatham County have the American Constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and not to have our living environment, water, air, earth, and health harmed by corporations bent on fracking and seemingly heedless of the consequences, for which there is no clean-up possible. 

We also assert that no citizen of Chatham County should be subject to forced or compulsory pooling by the corporations pursuing fracking, nor by state police should they be used to force us to comply with horizontal drilling under our property or pipes being laid over our property or our county’s roads being subject to chemical, machine-carrying, and other forms heavy trucking which accompany the practice of fracking, thereby putting at risk our roads and the citizens who live near such roads.

Because Chatham County is known nationally for its agriculture and recreational opportunities, especially at Jordan Lake, which is also part of the Triassic Basin where the natural gas lies, we  therefore, for the sake of our citizens and property owners, forbid damage by the state, the federal government, or corporations to our agricultural work and our recreational and tourist industries, which would be harmed by the process of fracking, nor would they ever recover.

Here is a petition you may sign now, which will be delivered to the Chatham County Commissioners, Governor McCrory, the NC Legislature, and other relevant officials and public servants.

Lastly, here is a poem I wrote back in March of this year, when I decided I needed do more than token work against fracking, and which I gave out at the Pittsboro Farmers' Market on April 4:


March 3, 2013

Under heaven nothing is impossible.
All you need is a human being with a heart.  Chinese Proverb.

What can one person do, I ask myself.
I see the dangers, the indifference 
of those in power to how we will suffer 
if those obsessed frack the ancient
rock under us to release the gas they 
claim we need.  Scientists warn of air,
water, and earth pollution, of earthquakes
along our fault line.  What can I do?  I
planned to be a token activist, use my
books, my letters to the editor, my work 
on Election Day as my part.  In two years
the drilling may begin.  I hear despair
in people’s voices.  They tell me the rich
and powerful have it all sewed up.  
Nothing can be done.  They speak of
leaving the state, of its being ten years
before we can shift these leaders 
who have gerrymandered themselves 
into office and now attack voting 
rights.  It’s as if they aimed their 
high-powered rifles at poor people:
they cut unemployment benefits,
increase the sales tax, refuse to 
extend health care.  One of them said,
“Let people get hungry; then they’ll
go back to work.”  How?  Where?
Good people, thoughtful people act
like terrified deer unable to move
out of the headlights of an oncoming
truck.  One human being with a heart 
can change that, wake those who
despair, save us from this evil hurricane 
set to blow us off course, away from
true democracy, away from civil and 
human rights.  People say change 
yourself first.  I will.  I’ll write more 
letters, put up more signs, send more 
emails, talk to more people.  People 
can change things.  I have the 
heart, the time, the will.  I can’t 
do it alone, but I can start a 
revolution, one person,
One word at a time.

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