Monthly Archives: December 2013

Who Poisons Whom With Chemicals?

By Bernhard Debatin

The Boston bombing and other such horrible events have shown that preparedness for domestic terrorism is a necessity. Therefore, one might think it wouldn’t be that bad if “Area officials undergo training to combat terroristic events,” as the Athens Messenger titled on December 11, 2013.

However, the choice of the simulated event, “a fake anti-fracking extremist group that was planning on launching a chemical attack on Ohio University’s Convocation Center” and that was running a “mock bioterrorism lab,” shows a cynical lack of judgment by the involved authorities. Such thoughtless scenario vilifies the anti-fracking movement as a whole and identifies it casually with terrorism, while it is in fact a non-violent and broad coalition of concerned citizens. Continue reading

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The Earthquake and the Dangers of Injection Wells – Part 2: The Inherent Dangers of Injection Wells

By Bernhard Debatin

In Part 1, we have seen that the knowledge about the seismic makeup of Athens County is rather limited and that the recent earthquake should be a wakeup call for citizens and regulators. Indeed, data from all over the country indicate that wastewater injection can induce earthquakes, including a recent 5.7 magnitude earthquake near Prague, Oklahoma, on November 5, 2011.

Similar to the supposedly dead Starr Fault in Athens Counts, the Oklahoma earthquake originated from the Wilzetta Fault that was believed to be dead, too. The recent accumulation of earthquakes in previously seismically inactive zones have worried scientists:  “These so-called ‘earthquake swarms’ are occurring in other places where the ground is not supposed to move. There have been abrupt upticks in both the size and frequency of quakes in Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, and Texas. Scientists investigating these anomalies are coming to the same conclusion: The quakes are linked to injection wells.” Continue reading