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Hi Folks!  Sorry for the hiatus; I have been focusing this semester on teaching the 45 wonderful students I see 3 times a week.

Here’s something to think about for now–a post inspired by the debate over hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware River Basin:

Fracking is a controversial method by which natural gas is extracted from the earth.  It involves pumping toxic chemicals into  underground gas reserves, which, in turn, end up in the drinking water of the folks nearby (for more information: http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/).

On Monday November 21st, some important decisions will be made about whether to allow fracking in the Delaware River Basin. I decided to write the following email to Vice President Joe Biden in order to ask him to use his influence to stop fracking.

As a message in a bottle hunter, one thing I know is that the waters of the earth are connected, just as the people of the earth are connected.  If you want to keep the drinking water of over 15 million people safe, if you have friends who rely on water from the Delaware River Basin to survive, please feel free to borrow any part of my email below, and send a message yourself to vice.president@whitehouse.gov

This is not a political issue; it is a public health issue.

Mr. Vice President,

I once found a message in a bottle in the Caribbean that had been launched from the Delaware River 27 years before.  When I met the sender, Janet, who still lives in PA, I became connected to the river and the people who depend on the waters flowing in it and its tributaries in a way I never could have imagined.  Whereas the people depending on safe drinking water in that region were strangers to me before, I now have many dear friends in the region–people whose well-being I care about deeply.

Please, please do not let the natural gas industry poison the drinking water of my friends.  If there is one thing I have learned from finding messages in bottles (38 so far), it is that we are all connected in ways we cannot possibly imagine.  The waters of the Delaware carried a message in a bottle out to sea, clockwise around the Atlantic, and finally down to the Caribbean where I found it.  If this doesn’t prove to you that what we do to the Delaware river, so we do to the waters of the world at large–I cannot tell what it would take to convince you.

Protect these waters; protect my friends; protect our people.  Stop fracking in the Delaware River Basin.


Clint Buffington