Tag Archives: fracking

Up In the Air

Through the Trees(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

As noted in this article from Grist.org, citizen science in some form or another, has been around for a long time. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is cited as just one example, and that’s been happening for a century. But, as this fascinating story describes, there is at least one kind of citizen science that may have a potentially huge impact: air quality testing. Water quality testing by volunteers has also been around for a quite a while. There are numerous stories of volunteers, all over the world, testing the quality of their local waterways. The volunteers in this story, though, are testing the quality of the air we all breathe. In some places, this is the first regular air quality monitoring that has ever happened. In other places, testing the quality of the air has become more and more important, as fracking and drilling sites have multiplied. There are some interesting points of view offered in the story regarding citizen science, it’s importance, potential and even controversy.

Volunteers Help Get Fracking Banned

Sunset on Lake Michigan

(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

This editorial from The Chronicle Herald in Nova Scotia caught my attention from the first moment I saw the headline: “Fracking: Environmental volunteers got it right.” The author of the editorial, Zack Metcalfe, celebrates the fact that Nova Scotia is moving towards banning high-volume fracking for onshore oil and gas from shale, with legislation toward that end recently introduced by the government. Metcalfe offers praise to the people who worked with dedication and passion to make this happen, saying, “Around the table were well-informed, hard-working and often sleep-deprived people, sharing their ideas in a cafe once a week, most of them volunteers, finding time between work and home just to attend our meetings.” If the ban holds and there is no fracking in Nova Scotia, it may be in large part to the work of those dedicated volunteers.