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From Silent Spring to the Marcellus Shale

Posted by George Houget on Sep 20, 2010
Tags: climate change news

In 1962, just two years before her death, noted biologist and environmentalist Rachel Carson published her seminal work, Silent Spring. The response was anything but silent. The furor hit the front pages of the New York Times, and critics from both industry and science alike sought to discount her work. Her book, which exposed the harmful effects of pesticides, caused a stir within the chemical industry. It also caught the attention of the public, and moved the Kennedy administration to begin a study on the long-term effects of DDT and other chemicals. Many consider Ms. Carson to be the inspiration behind the modern environmental movement.

Today, the institute that bears her name and operates out of her birthplace in Springdale, Pennsylvania, continues her legacy. This year’s conference examines the potential environmental and safety issues surrounding a new natural gas extraction process centered in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, where a 1-mile deep seam of shale, the Marcellus Shale, is thought to encase millions of tons of natural gas. For 16 hours on June 3, a Marcellus Shale well in Pennsylvania experienced a “blowout.” It spewed into the air natural gas and 1 million gallons of polluted “fract water” – fluid used to fracture gas seams in the shale. Four days later, a similar well in West Virginia exploded, burning the drilling rig, seven employees, and flaring gas 50 feet high for four days. Both events were overshadowed by the BP oil spill in the Gulf and received little media attention. The conference seeks sincere answers and alternatives to this new and potentially harmful energy extraction process. 

NativeEnergy is pleased to participate in this important conference. George Hoguet, our director of business development, will be part of an industry panel speaking about energy alternatives. In addition, we are offsetting all emissions associated with the venue’s energy and travel by speakers and attendees.  

The most noted speaker will be Dr. Karl Henrik-Robèrt, one of Sweden’s foremost cancer scientists and founder of The Natural Step. In 1999, Dr. Robèrt won the Green Cross Award for International Leadership, and in 2000 he won the Blue Planet Prize, the ‘Nobel prize’ for ecological sustainability sponsored by the Asahi Glass Foundation. In 2005, he was awarded The Social Responsibility Laureate Medal by the Global Center for Leadership Business Ethics, and in 2006, Dr. Robèrt was included in the publication 100 Visionaries of the 20th Century.

Interested? There is still time to register here.

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