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H2O Man

(73,997 posts)
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 02:25 PM Dec 2014

Water Power

[a] Yesterday, I posted the following OP, which at two sentences is likely the shortest I’ve ever contributed to DU:GD! Luckily, there were the two links to go with it:

NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo will ban fracking, due to the severe health risks associated with it. Below are links to two articles:



Today, I thought that I’d add a few thoughts on this important topic. Part of it will be things I’ve said before, but think are worth repeating. And other parts will be repeated simply because I’m so old, I often tell the same stories over and over, unaware and mildly confused.

In my younger years, I served as the top assistant to Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman. Paul sat on the Haudenosaunee’s Grand Council of Chiefs. His position among the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy was that of a “Wisdom-Keeper.” For many years, he was in charge of all of the burial protection and repatriation issues we faced.

In time, the Grand Council selected Paul to serve as the Gauyesa Toyentha. This translates roughly to “the messenger,” in the context that he was tasked with expanding his teachings on burial protection and repatriation, to include a specific environmental message: the power of clean water.

That might sound like a simple message. Or it might sound distinct from the issues of burial protection. Yet Paul had the ability to communicate the Truth of how these things are inter-connected. Indeed, the very things that threaten one, threaten the other.

As time went on, Paul would assign me more and more tasks. I assumed this was because he was old. But he told me that it was in preparation for my role after he was gone. Our relationship wasn’t anything like that of Don Juan and little Carlos; rather, it was built upon two things that Haudenosaunee culture values: the Power of the Good Mind, and Common Sense. (However, Paul did like Carlos Santana’s version of the song, “Black Magic Woman.”)

[c] Regarding water, Paul suggested that I approach “teaching” people these “rules of life.” Most are very old, although at least one is newer. And that is important -- for we should all be learning more and new things. No group or individual knows everything. Here is what he said:
1- Clean water is the first Law of Life on the planet Earth.

2- When scientists look for evidence of life on distant worlds, the first thing that they look for is evidence that water may have existed there.

3- All of life on Earth originated in the great oceans. From there, it would emerge onto land.

4- All water on Earth contains life. And all life on land depends upon water.

5- The only water on Earth that no longer contains life is that which human beings have poisoned with toxic industrial wastes. These poisons cause sickness and death to all life within it; it likewise causes sickness and death to all the life on land that comes in contact with it.

6-The poisons poured into water by human beings goes downstream. This includes downstream to the next community, and downstream to the next generation.

[d] There are two primary realms for delivering a message among others. Let’s look briefly at both:

1- The Power of the Good Mind: This includes both the individual and the group. Individuals think best when the waters of their mind are not polluted with anger, fear, or hatred, as well as when they are on a proper diet of food and drink. Groups are much the same. When a group of people can examine and discuss an issue, and come to agreement, it is a high form of the Power of the Good Mind.

2- The Power of Ideas: Great Truths are constant. However, cultures and societies change. Thus, it is essential to identify symbols that people grasp at a given time, to communicate those Great Truths.

My activities in the effort to protect the living environment from the poisons of fracking included both of these. Being human, of course, my efforts were at best imperfect. But I tried.

I spoke to groups all around New York State. Sometimes in people’s home, or churches, or government buildings, or libraries, or public parks. I worked with several grass roots organizations in a 13-county region. I wrote “letters-to-the-editor,” and spoke to radio and television reporters.

I also arranged a meeting between leaders of the pro-environment groups from across the state, and friend Robert Kennedy, Jr., who was serving on Governor Cuomo’s advisory panel.

In terms of symbols, I used the image of a sparkling clean glass of cold water, next to a glass of grimmy industrial sludge. A thirsty people can be trusted to chose the right glass. And I went on a “hunger strike,” to pressure state senator Tom Libous -- a puppet of the energy corporations, who accepted large donations from the Koch brothers -- to meet with leaders of the environmental community. Libous had refused to meet with us for over two years. I think that when high school students wrote to him about meeting with me -- and said they were going to picket in front of two of his offices -- he realized he needed to meet with me.

My role in the effort to ban fracking in our state was as part of a team. I don’t kid myself by thinking that my contribution was any more important than anyone else’s. I’m proud to have been part of a team fighting the Good Fight.

I also recognize that, while yesterday marked an important victory, it is only one round in a long fight. The opposition sure as heck isn’t going to quit. And so the struggle continues.

H2O Man

22 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Water Power (Original Post) H2O Man Dec 2014 OP
a kick to go with my rec n/t hootinholler Dec 2014 #1
Thank you! H2O Man Dec 2014 #8
Kicked Enthusiast Dec 2014 #2
Thanks! H2O Man Dec 2014 #9
Very wise advice, H2O Man. sybylla Dec 2014 #3
Very good! H2O Man Dec 2014 #10
That's cool. sybylla Dec 2014 #15
Thank you from the fracking state of Colorado mountain grammy Dec 2014 #4
There is no lie H2O Man Dec 2014 #11
This is a fascinating post, and I'm glad you wrote it, my dear H20 Man. CaliforniaPeggy Dec 2014 #5
Thanks, CAPeggy! H2O Man Dec 2014 #16
K&R! nt Mnemosyne Dec 2014 #6
Thanks! H2O Man Dec 2014 #17
clean water power…YES! Agony Dec 2014 #7
Absolutely! H2O Man Dec 2014 #19
Water: A dry subject RobertEarl Dec 2014 #12
Right. H2O Man Dec 2014 #22
You can't drink gas & oil. We need clean water to live! RiverLover Dec 2014 #13
Thank you for your efforts. panader0 Dec 2014 #14
K&R raouldukelives Dec 2014 #18
Chief Waterman was a very wise man. sabrina 1 Dec 2014 #20
"Democracy Now" has two good reports on this today............ KoKo Dec 2014 #21


(8,598 posts)
3. Very wise advice, H2O Man.
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 04:44 PM
Dec 2014

Thank you for sharing that. My part-Mohawk husband will be glad to see it.


(8,598 posts)
15. That's cool.
Fri Dec 19, 2014, 12:03 PM
Dec 2014

I am struggling to confirm the exact lineage with the St. Regis tribal clerk, but the family is on the tribal census in the late 1800's, so I am hopeful for that day she finally answers the phone.

mountain grammy

(26,784 posts)
4. Thank you from the fracking state of Colorado
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 05:32 PM
Dec 2014

where, in our latest pro fracking ad, the lovely lady told us an attack on fracking is an attack on small organic farmers and their way of life. Yeah right, bought and paid for by Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, in other words, big oil and gas.


H2O Man

(73,997 posts)
11. There is no lie
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 10:43 PM
Dec 2014

that they will not tell -- and with a straight face. Even though they know they are lying.


(150,306 posts)
5. This is a fascinating post, and I'm glad you wrote it, my dear H20 Man.
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 05:57 PM
Dec 2014

There is much truth here.

Thank you!


H2O Man

(73,997 posts)
16. Thanks, CAPeggy!
Fri Dec 19, 2014, 12:26 PM
Dec 2014

Last night, I went with a friend to watch his son's high school basketball team play. During the "half-time," a gentleman approached me, to again thank me for having brought his daughter (as part of a group of high school students) to the meeting with Robert at Pace University's Environmental Law Clinic. His daughter is a university student now, and she had called her Dad after Governor Cuomo's announcement, to say, "We won!"

I love hearing things like that. It got me thinking back to the last time he approached me, shortly after the Pace meeting. He thanked me for inviting his daughter; I told him she had actually contacted me, to ask if there was any way she could go with us? Her father said, "Oh, God, I'm sorry. I wish she hadn't done that." I told him that I was so happy that she had asked. That meant it was essential that she be there that day. I told him that he had done a mighty good job raising his daughter, and his pride shone through.


(2,605 posts)
7. clean water power…YES!
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 07:12 PM
Dec 2014

and… let us not forget clean air.

Add Toxic Air Pollution To Growing List Of Problems With Fracking


•Fifteen of the 35 “grab” air samples (meaning, where air is intentionally drawn into a sampling device), had concentrations of volatile chemicals that exceeded federal exposure risk levels for cancer, or for non-cancer health effects.

•Fourteen of the 41 passive samples (where air naturally passes through a sampling device) had concentrations of volatile chemicals that exceeded federal exposure risk levels for cancer, or for non-cancer health effects.

•One sample had air pollution levels that may pose an immediate danger to life or health, according to Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

•Benzene, a known human carcinogen, was detected at sample locations in Pennsylvania and Wyoming, in levels exceeding health-based standards by several orders of magnitude.

•In three states, formaldehyde was detected at levels exceeding the health-based standards of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

One person, one town, one community, one state, one world at a time.

Cheers to all of us for one battle won.

There is still work to do.

H2O Man

(73,997 posts)
19. Absolutely!
Fri Dec 19, 2014, 12:33 PM
Dec 2014

I agree 100% with everything you wrote. Thank you very much.

Water, air, and soil are each an essential part of the same system. They create a perfect balance that sustains the life cycle.



(13,685 posts)
12. Water: A dry subject
Fri Dec 19, 2014, 02:24 AM
Dec 2014

Most people take clean water for granted. They expect clean water because that's what they have always had. My belief is that the clean water that flowed from taps beginning in the 1800's is what made for a more healthy and robust population.

In the last 20 years the quality of clean tap water has gone backwards in many places due mainly to the sources being polluted much like fracking does.

Paul had it right: Water is where it all begins. It is a good thing people are standing up for clean water. But it is still a dry subject matter!

H2O Man

(73,997 posts)
22. Right.
Fri Dec 19, 2014, 01:12 PM
Dec 2014

Very good points: people take clean water for granted, yet are content to consume un-pure water on a daily basis. Very few municipal water supplies come close to being "clean" (or safe) these days. They are contaminated with numerous toxins. But because the contamination of individual toxins are deemed to be at a "safe" level, people use it. Little thought is given to synergy, and the health risks associated with the combined effects of numerous poisons.


(7,830 posts)
13. You can't drink gas & oil. We need clean water to live!
Fri Dec 19, 2014, 06:53 AM
Dec 2014

Thanks for sharing this, H20 man. It is TRULY inspirational.


(5,178 posts)
18. K&R
Fri Dec 19, 2014, 12:29 PM
Dec 2014

Our natural world is the only thing worth fighting & even dying for. It is the only thing future generations will wish we did more to save. It is the real world. Everything else is just a lie.

sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
20. Chief Waterman was a very wise man.
Fri Dec 19, 2014, 12:44 PM
Dec 2014

The news that Cuomo will ban fracking was the best news we've had for a long time.

Robert Kennedy Jr. is also a wise man and a champion of the Environment.

Thanks to all those who fought hard here in NY against fracking. I agree though that the enemies of clean water will not give up the fight.

Hopefully other states will follow suit, and maybe at some point we could hope for a Federal Law against it.


(84,711 posts)
21. "Democracy Now" has two good reports on this today............
Fri Dec 19, 2014, 12:56 PM
Dec 2014

Don't know if you watch "DN" but thought you'd find this interesting.

New York Says No to Fracking: State Bans Drilling Following Grassroots Outcry over Public Health

Video and Transcript at:



Is Fracking Safe? Debate on Controversial Natural Gas Drilling Technique as NY Moratorium May Expire

New research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado say methane — a potent greenhouse gas — may be escaping from gas sites at much higher rates than previously thought. To dive into this firestorm of debate, today we host a debate with two supporters of fracking and two opponents. We are joined by Kate Hudson, Watershed Program director at Riverkeeper, New York’s clean water advocate; Phelim McAleer, a filmmaker who produced a pro-fracking documentary called "FrackNation"; Daniel Simmons, director of state of regulatory affairs at the Institute for Energy Research; and Mayor Matt Ryan of Binghamton, New York, who is a former professor of environmental law and outspoken opponent of fracking.

[includes rush transcript]


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