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A recent report from the Center for Investigative Journalism reveals what may possibly be a major link with the chemicals used for gas fracking and the deaths of livestock around the United States. It is due to “organic compounds, metals and radioactive material (released in the fracking process)”.
These chemicals work their way up through the food chain and are found in meat and dairy products, as well as the soil from which vegetation sprouts. If this is true for the process of fracking, then it is likely true for other chemicals used in the wide-scale, industrialized methods of obtaining fossil fuels.

That also means these chemicals, along with pesticides and the chemicals found in other household products, have making their way into bodies of water and the ground for many years.

This is something that needs to be at the forefront of anyone’s mind who uses any products which require the use of fossil fuels and those products are virtually everywhere. This is not to instill any sense of shame, but to illustrate the need to for agreements about behavioral change on a mass scale.

There are agreements made through a variety of methods – some violent and coercive – which continue cultural reliance upon these methods of fuel extraction not as a means of obtaining energy to fuel the machines which provide convenience for many of us, but for the economic system at large. This goes for people who may have not chosen this out of their own accord, who are envisioning (or have already been choosing to live) a different way of life.

The word “economy” has its roots in the Greek word, οἰκονόμος, meaning “one who manages a household”. It is a word used to represent the planet every one of us calls home and all its species. That means these agreements pose a major threat to all life and possibly linked to a far wider range of other health issues.

Many speak out and do what they are able to resist genocide and ecocide, but still partake in what amounts to be mass suicide. People involved in social change movements talk about revolution and waking up the masses, but what will it take for agreements to be made differently by the masses themselves?

I picked up a copy of the Charles Eisenstein book, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition from a pre-screening of the film, Occupied Cascadia. Cascadia is a unofficially designated bioregion. On his blog, Free Cascadia, Alexander Baretich – the designer of the Cascadian flag – explains, “the bioregion of Cascadia is currently divided up by the political boundaries of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, northwestern Wyoming, northeastern Nevada, northern California & the panhandle of Alaska.”

Bioregions are areas defined according to their soil types, native wildlife and other physical characteristics and transcend the idea of national boundaries. Many supporters of bioregional awareness claim it re-defines the cultural relationship people have with the land and, in effect, the economy.

Eisenstein’s book is full of information regarding alternative forms of economy, some which were practiced by past cultures of peoples who lived closer to the earth, paying more respect to their sustenance sources and using them with greater reverence for their own families and for future generations.

Though he brings attention to the damage being wrought to cultures and biomes on a global scale as a result of the present-day dominant economic system, there is also a strong sense of optimism communicated In areas of Eisenstein’s book. Optimism is helpful, but it will only get us so far when all life on the planet is at stake and an empire has increasingly been built upon distance from food and energy sources and a great amount of irreverence for future generations. The more I learn, the more it becomes obvious that the need for a change in agreements on a mass scale is much more immediate and urgent, as the effects of this disconnect and irreverence are widespread and being experienced now.