“Dear Governor Cuomo” Letters from Kids Ask Tough Questions on Fracking
By Seth Gladstone
The groundswell of opposition to the dirty and dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in New York has come from all corners of the state and from all types of people. Parents have raised alarm over the prospect of fracking just feet from their children’s schools and playgrounds. Business owners have voiced concern over a loss of revenue from tourists and local patrons who could be frightened off by the drilling. Farmers wonder what will become of their pristine fields and pastures, and New Yorkers of all stripes are fearful of the potential for chemical spills, contaminated drinking water and even earthquakes - all sad symptoms of fracking in neighboring states.
But mixed in with all these concerned voices are a few that really hit home – those of children. Among the thousands of letters that Governor Cuomo has received asking him to ban fracking in New York, those from the young campers at the Eden Village Camp in Putnam Valley stand out.
“Dear Governor Cuomo,” begins one letter, handwritten, and not without the occasional spelling mistake. “I have just a moment ago learned about fracking. I just want to ask you, do you like digging holes in the ground? Are you okay with filling the ground, lakes and rivers with chemicals?” The letter concludes asking Cuomo to “bring awareness to this, and make the state, country and world a little happier and healthier.” Sometimes kids just say it the best.
“Dear Governor Cuomo,” another letter reads, “are you aware that people might be able to set their own tap water on fire in your state?” The innocence in that voice is startling.
Other campers expressed similar fears: “Imagine are [sic] families drinking dirty water, we could get sick!” Fairly straightforward. “Not to be rude, but without clean water what will we drink? Soda? We’ll get obis [sic].” Good point.
Sometimes, in our complicated and compromised world, we need to listen to the heartfelt voices of children to see things clearly.
With this in mind, in honor of the campers of Eden Village and their striking letters, we and our coalition partners of New Yorkers Against Fracking are excited to kick off the “Dear Governor Cuomo” social media campaign. Beginning today we will be sharing key quotes from the letters via Facebook and Twitter, and asking you to share them as well.
If you’re on Facebook, please join our “Dear Governor Cuomo” campaign by going to the governor’s Facebook page and posting: “Dear Gov. Cuomo: Take it from the kids – fracking is too big a risk for our great state! Ban fracking now!”
If you’re on Twitter, post this: “#DearGovCuomo: Take it from the kids – #fracking is too big a risk for our great state! @NYGovCuomo, ban #fracking now!”
If you’re not on either but you still want to take action, you can sign this petition to the governor and state legislators.
With your help, the concerned voices of New York State’s children will be heard loud and clear!