All night I hear them rumbling past my window, sometimes shaking the room in which I sleep, sometimes waking me up. They are that loud. They pass by very late at night or in the wee hours when they think the world is sleeping. When they think they can get away with murder.
I sleep with a fan on, for a fan helps ward off sound, keeps it at bay. Not this sound though, not this caravan of trucks, carting lethal weapons, contrivances of doom through the small city of McDonald toward the next town and the next.
Some trucks sound so heavy, onerous, like metal monsters keening from side to side, carting giant sets of shackles. For whom? For what? Other trucks fly by in the opposite direction toward I-80, their high pitched rattles a sign they have already deposited cargos and ride empty. How many trucks will it take to destroy Ohio? How many trucks to destroy the world?
Even sand is now a weapon, as it is injected along with water into shale in the process of horizontal fracking, the demon devastating Trumbull County, where I live, and aiming its nose now toward Mahoning County. The trucks bearing fracking sand seem so spanking new, so state of the art. Shiny blue cabs and red ones, their opulent silver bodies cloaked with little ladders, as if begging human beings, children even to climb aboard, ride the fun truck--to where? By the time I poke my head out the window to identify them as they pass by, they are gone.
One is tempted to deny their existence and the reality of where they go and what they do. The residents of Westwood Lake Park in Warren have no denial about the effects of fracking however as they have to endure unbreathable air and unbearable levels of noise pollution from a Halcon well burning hundreds of poisonous flares only yards from where they live. Some residents cannot sleep and have to cover their windows and eyes and wear ear muffs at night to sleep, to avoid exposure to the terrible toxic light and noise seeping in. Residents struggle to breathe; some have broken out in rashes; others suffer seizures and migraines. Illnesses vary and hit residents hard, as many are senior citizens who were hoping to enjoy a golden retirement in Trumbull County. One need only look at their faces to know something is dreadfully wrong, and yet their suffering goes unheeded; their complaints go ignored. Authorities tell residents to wear masks, not to fret. After all, there is the belief among those doing the fracking and supporting it that the process reaps rewards even though any sane person knows there can be no gain for those who attempt to get it by raping people and their land and taking resources at their expense. Everyone seems to be complicit in the greed. As if corporations were composed of people with metal hearts, like automatons, like trucks.
Not long ago at a fracking protest, Maria Montanez, a mother and social worker from Youngstown, lay down in front of a line of fracking trucks, risking bodily harm to slow the caravan of death, and was arrested. People only want to protect themselves, their water, land and air.
More than 109 earthquakes linked to fracking have been documented in Ohio since fracking started. Horizontal fracking has only been in existence a few years, but its effects are already lethal. Because such fracking is close to the surface, gases are more likely to escape and water become poisoned. The toxins released from such fracking harm humans and the environment.
What will it take to stop the caravan of death destroying Ohio, slowly devastating the world?
"Although no complete list of the cocktail of chemicals used in this process exists, information obtained from environmental clean-up sites demonstrates that known toxins are routinely being used, including hydrochloric acid, diesel fuel (which contains benzene, tuolene, and xylene) as well as formaldehyde, polyacrylimides, arsenic, and chromates."