Last Wednesday evening, cotton farmer George Bender took his own life after more than a decade of fighting resource companies planning to build CSG wells on and around his Chinchilla property.
Bender’s daughter, Helen, hit the nail on the head when commenting on QandA last night. Speaking to the politicians on the panel, she said:
“…and I certainly don’t believe any one of you politicians have listened, nor care, nor want to care. You’re a turntable. You walk in, you walk out. You walk the walk, you talk the talk, you’re just here for show. You’re not listening.”
And this is how Truthdig describes the industry in the US:
“The maniacal drive by the human species to extinguish itself includes a variety of lethal pursuits. One of the most efficient is fracking. One day, courtesy of corporations such as Halliburton, BP and ExxonMobil, a gallon of water will cost more than a gallon of gasoline…. (and quoting biologist Shane Davis) – The fracking industry “is so intoxicated and bloated by greed that it has moved into our backyards, near our school playgrounds, our hospitals, universities, our day cares, our state parks, our national grasslands, and has its sights on the rest of our public lands across America unless we stop them,””
The fracking “players” are above the law and at the moment their activities are protected by (most of) the political actors in Canberra and beyond. It seems the mass media and courts are not relevant in this battle either.
The suicide of George Bender represents the “hopelessness” of the battle to save the Australia from these toxic companies. So how should this battle be fought?
This is a little like the tobacco fight and denial of 30 years ago. The difference is a smoker will slowly destroy his or her lungs over 30 years, whereas fracking might be destroying the food baskets of a continent.
We need to imagine what a fracked world might look like – and “prosecute” the political actors accordingly.