Judging by Ithaca, the campaign against "fracking" - that is, hydrofracturing, a toxic chemical drilling procedure proposed for natural gas extraction in our region - seems a sure winner. A thousand people turned out at a hearing at the State Theater last month, on a weeknight, to speak against the dangerously unregulated practice.
Remember, though: Ithaca is different. In 2000, more Ithacans voted for Ralph Nader for president than for George Bush. In 2008, Tompkins County was the only county outside of New York City to vote for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.
When a group of Ithacans left the county last week for a public hearing on fracking, they were the only voices in opposition. The others were for taking the money the gas companies are offering, and worrying about poisoned water later.
So: it will be an uphill fight. Whatever support you can give is crucial.
On Saturday 5 December, the three leading bands from Ithaca play a benefit for the effort. Donna the Buffalo, the Horseflies, and the Sim Redmond Band unite for "Life Is Water: A Concert to Defend the Finger Lakes Against Unsafe Gas Drilling" at the State Theater.
Show time is 8 pm. Reserved seating is $12.50 - $24.50.
Proceeds benefit the Shaleshock Citizens Action Alliance: www.shaleshock.org.
for Ithaca Blog