John Lennon's son Sean has issued a public plea to officials in New York to ban hydraulic fracturing projects in the state to preserve natural land that is "on the verge" of destruction.
The Beatles legend's widow Yoko Ono and their son Sean Lennon have been vocal about their opposition to fracking, which critics claim can poison nearby water supplies with dangerous chemicals, after hearing about plans for extraction near their home in Delaware County.
They formed their own celebrity coalition, Artists Against Fracking, in July (12) in a bid to persuade Governor Andrew Cuomo to reconsider the practice, and now Sean has stepped up his efforts by penning an op-ed piece for the New York Times.
In the article, which was published on Tuesday (28Aug12), the singer/activist recalls how he came to grow so opposed to the controversial gas drilling technique after reading more and more about the damaging effects of fracking.
He writes, "Though my father died when I was 5, I have always felt lucky to live on land he loved dearly; land in an area that is now on the verge of being destroyed.
"When the gas companies showed up in our backyard, I felt I needed to do some research. I looked into Pennsylvania, where hundreds of families have been left with ruined drinking water, toxic fumes in the air, industrialized landscapes, thousands of trucks and new roads crosshatching the wilderness, and a devastating and irreversible decline in property value.
"Natural gas has been sold as clean energy. But when the gas comes from fracturing bedrock with about five million gallons of toxic water per well, the word 'clean' takes on a disturbingly Orwellian tone. Don't be fooled. Fracking for shale gas is in truth dirty energy. It inevitably leaks toxic chemicals into the air and water...
"My father could have chosen to live anywhere. I suspect he chose to live here because being a New Yorker is not about class, race or even nationality; it's about loving New York. Even the United States Geological Survey has said New York's draft plan fails to protect drinking water supplies, and has also acknowledged the likely link between hydraulic fracturing and recent earthquakes in the Midwest.
"Surely the voice of the 'sensible center' would ask to stop all hydraulic fracturing so that our water, our lives and our planet could be protected and preserved for generations to come."