Danger at the front end of the food chain

You may wonder what Marcellus Shale gas drilling in northern and central Pennsylvania has to do with a start-up co-op in South Philadelphia. One of the goals often cited by supporters of the co-op is to have a place to buy foods that are sustainably raised and don't travel a long distance to get to their plates. Put a pin in South Philly and draw a circle out from there with a radius of 150-200 miles and you cover a lot of farmland that is in proximity to natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. And so far, the news about the environmental effects of that drilling haven't been all that great. (But who could have predicted that taking large amounts of chemical laden water and shooting it at very high pressure into the ground to break up parts of the earth would possibly have negative consequences?) The effects on groundwater and what that could mean for farmland and our capacity to... um... grow stuff are still far from fully understood. If you want to learn more, Clean Water Action is showing the film "Split Estate" at the Charles Santore branch of the Free Library (932 S. 7th Street) on Wednesday, March 30 at 6pm. The film will be followed by a discussion. Promotional material for the event says:
The award-winning documentary Split Estate takes a riveting look at a David vs. Goliath confrontation unfolding in communities throughout the U.S. The film maps a tragedy in the making as citizens in the path of a new domestic drilling boom struggle against the erosion of their civil liberties, their communities and their health.
And the effects of this kind of activity has a funny terrifying way of not just affecting one specific area. RSVP to the event at 215-545-0250 or cmeehan(at)cleanwater(dot)org.