In an age when corporate interests routinely overpower ordinary citizens, ordinary citizens have had to become ever more resourceful to make their voices heard. And information technology, or course, is playing an increasingly large role in uniting and rallying those voices. We've seen this trend at work in the open source-style platform behind the Occupy Wall Street protests, which has received a boost from social network sites, live-streaming software, and digital forums that aid in organizing.
Today, while browsing the popular social media site Reddit, I noticed yet another novel effort to harness a digital forum for the public good: A farmer in Colorado is calling on his fellow Redditors to help him halt a 30,000 acre offering to fracking companies. The Bureau of Land Management appears to be rushing the sale through the holiday season to avoid notice, and the Coloradan believes his organic farm is threatened.
Here's the post, from the user registered as ambulanceblues (a bona fide Reddit user, his account has been active at least 12 months, according to the site), entitled 'Help, Reddit! The Bureau of Land Management in Colorado is trying to lease 30,000 acres for fracking, including land completely surrounding the farm I live on!':
The Bureau of Land Management in Colorado is attempting lease 30,000 acres of farmland and wilderness for fracking in the North Fork Valley. The BLM somewhat suspiciously pushed this through over the holidays, and the public comment deadline is January 9.
This land in question is smack dab in the middle of a vibrant organic farming community and will obviously affect the irrigation and drinking water of hundreds of farms and homes, not to mention the air/light/ground pollution, etc fracking brings.
I live on a beautiful organic farm in the area which relies on its pristine watershed, as do all the other farms along the entire valley.
Any advice, angles on precedents, or other ideas? Anyone willing to help sign/spread the info?He then links to a number of sources for more information on the case, which you can find here. One includes the above map of the lands intended for fracking.
Indeed, residents of the North Fork region, where the fracking land sale is planned, have been pushing back. Denver's Westword Blog chronicles those efforts here, and points us to a Facebook page where locals are uniting to oppose the fracking plans.
Will this farmer be able to inspire Redditors to help him give the BLM hell, and raise the profile of the issue? Will the local fracking opponents be able to band together, with the help of social media and old school-style protest and opposition? You can, of course, help answer both those questions--check out the Reddit post if you think you can lend your expertise, and the Facebook page to voice your support.