Love in Action Event Recap: Mark Ruffalo
“We have come up with a solution to save the world,” host Deepak Chopra said, as he commenced the second of three Love in Action conversations, stop fracking: protect water, our most vital source.
“We are a part of the earth, and it is a part of us,” he continued—this time reciting a letter the Chief Seattle addressed to the President in 1854. “The earth does not belong to us—we belong to the earth…We did not weave the web of life; we are merely a strand of it. What we do to the web, we do to ourselves.”
Enter Wednesday night’s topic of discussion: hydro-fracking.
Mark Ruffalo, Academy Award nominee, founder of Water Defense (an organization that works to protect a clean supply of water), and “accidental environmentalist,”—as he calls himself, joined Deepak on Wednesday to discuss the harmful practices of hydraulic fracturing—a method that extracts natural gas from deep beneath the earth’s surface by injecting millions of gallons of pressurized water, and subsequently crushing and fracturing the bedrock.
This process, which holds hundreds of toxic substances in millions of gallons of water, is known to enter the food chain, contaminating animals, plants, and our own bodies. In a shocking statistic from Mark, Deepak, and a large group of scientists, if this process remains the status quo, our planet will not be able to sustain life in another 100 years.
As the conversation progressed, Mark went to the root of the problem. Every industry since 1970 in America has been under federal regulations of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, he said. Today, however, government policy has exempted fracking from these Acts. In addition, on October 21st, the Delaware River Basin, New York City’s source of drinking water, plans to begin drafting regulations to put a significant amount of hydraulic wells up and down the rivers.
But for Mark, these problems are not necessarily a negative thing; instead, he sees it as an opportunity to spark change. “Thank God for gas drilling,” he wrote in an editorial in his local newspaper in upstate New York. “Now, we get to see what we’re made of as people, what we’re made of as a community. It’s time for us—for you, for me, for all of us who care to become awake and to engage the problem.”
Some solutions Mark noted include, but are not limited to, solar, wind, and geothermal based power—all of which are here and economically viable. So as vast as the problem is, there exists just as many solutions. One resolution includes a project Water Defense is working on, (slated to come out in November), which will create a renewable energy policy with an investment infrastructure attached to it. “We want the new energy future with real sustainable jobs,” Mark said. In addition to Water Defense, you can also check out organizations such as Frack Action and United for Action to take the first steps into making a difference.
For many, the issue of climate change has brought feelings of cynicism and oftentimes, even hopelessness. “When I find that I’m losing hope, it’s when I’m not doing enough,” Mark said in response to this skepticism. “If you’re losing hope, you’re not doing enough…If you do one thing to forward and create the world that you want, it plants a seed of possibility in you. And what is hope other than possibility?”
Look out for our remaining Love in Action recaps… and let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
-Recap by Alisha Prakash; photography by Chris New
Courtesy of ABC Reveal