Heroes

Remember that time David Letterman went off on oil and gas companies? That was awesome.

In case you had any doubt about whether fracking for gas is dangerous, he's going to clear things up a bit for you.

Before he retired, David Letterman was never afraid to speak his mind about issues he cared about.

He gets downright blunt when he's passionate about an issue. Apparently fracking is something that really gets him riled up.

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Apparently, he never liked fracking.


Also, known as hydraulic fracturing, fracking is a method of extracting natural gas from deep into the earth. It works by drilling a hole into the ground, injecting a fluid (we still don't quite know what's in that fluid), and forcing natural gas out of shale rocks.

Those who support fracking argue that it's a way to harvest clean(er) energy from the ground — especially when compared to crude oil or coal. Opponents point to some of the environmental issues, but we'll get to that in a moment.

Anyway, the point of the story is that David Letterman really, really doesn't like fracking. At all.

He spoke out about fracking's effect on the environment across much of the country.

He tore into the exemption companies get from having to disclose exactly what's being injected into the earth.


And ended on a less than cheerful note.

GIFs from "The Late Show With David Letterman."

So, what's so bad about fracking that it got David Letterman so riled up?

1. It sometimes makes your water flammable.

In places where fracking happens, the water supply can often be tainted with the chemical cocktail energy companies use to extract natural gas.

2. It uses up a lot of water. A lot.

It takes an average of 4.4 million gallons of water to drill and fracture a single natural gas well. That's the same amount that 11,000 families use in a day.

GIF from Giphy.

3. It might cause birth defects.

A study showed that congenital heart defects were more commonly prevalent among babies of pregnant women who live close to fracking sites. Other studies have come to similar conclusions.

4. It's been associated with declining home values.

When your water becomes flammable, kids are prone to birth defects and everything else that comes along with fracking, so it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that it's linked to declining home values.

GIF via Giphy.

There are a bunch of other reasons to not like fracking, but those have been covered on a separate post. (It's 100% worth reading.)

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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