By Sister Caryn Crook, OSF
“Praised be You, my Lord, through all your creatures…”
This quote from St. Francis of Assisi, found in his Canticle of Creatures, fills my heart, mind and soul today as I celebrate Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban High Volume Hydrologic Fracturing (fracking), in New York State. Today, many people of New York rejoice as their voices were heard and their health and well being were deemed worthy of protection over short term economic gains. As I celebrate I think of those who are not happy with this decision. Those who were depending on the added income that fracking would generate. I celebrate with the earth that the sanctity of all life is affirmed.
People from all over New York State stood up for protecting water, air, land and property rights. They banded together to form non- profits to educate the public on the effects fracking have on human health and the environment. Their voices were heard above the voices of industry, struggling municipalities, and economists. It truly is a day to celebrate.
I also hold in my heart, those who were counting on the added income to keep their family farms. Many farmers were looking for the added income just to stay in business. Some small businesses were also relying on the added revenue to stay afloat. They do not celebrate but fret about what tomorrow will bring. May Governor Cuomo address the issues in New York State that may assist businesses and family farms in this position?
As with all issues, they are never as simple as they seem. Fracking shows us how interconnected creation is. Geologists, economists, ecologists, hydrologists, biologists, attorneys, and health professionals all weighed in on the issue. Even Oil production in the Middle East and foreign policy has a role in the viability of fracking. Truly, creation is an interconnected web of relationships.
Today the winner is Mother Earth, who does indeed sustain and govern us. Banning fracking gives credence to the importance of balanced ecosystems and their connection with social justice. For when Mother Earth is harmed, we harm ourselves and mostly we harm those who have no ability to move from contaminated water wells and land. Banning fracking in New York State is a pro-life decision. May New York State continue to uphold the rights of all peoples to clean air, clean water, healthy land and healthy bodies?
Originally published at franciscanaction.org.