Friday, April 18, 2014

Where Malawian healers crazy saying caution is needed when drilling ?

Gas extraction photo from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-14432401
Since the 1960s or later, various Malawian traditional healers have claimed that mining and drilling anyhow for precious items in the earth’s soil can cause some kind of reaction to Mother Earth including natural disasters.
According to some Mulanje-based healers this is because various parts of the earth are not supposed to be “tampered” with anyhow and caution is needed.  
However, this blog cannot yet publish exactly what they say happens until their oral stories are compared to scientific explanations.
This blog is not endorsing these beliefs but just repeating some oral stories told for years which they somehow also connected to “spirits” (mizimu), besides their “primitive” scientific explanation.
However scientifically “fracking” among others has been making the headlines with various things said about it. This blog remains ignorant about this issue and is still trying to understand what it is and why many environmental groups have expressed concern about it.
Fracking is defined by the BBC website as the “the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.
“Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.
“The process is carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer. The process can create new pathways to release gas or can be used to extend existing channels.”
It is controversial because it’s extensive use in the US where it has revolutionised the energy industry, has prompted environmental concerns.
Fracking uses huge amounts of water that must be transported to the fracking site, at significant environmental cost and the second is the worry that “potentially carcinogenic chemicals used may escape and contaminate groundwater around the fracking site.
“The industry suggests pollution incidents are the results of bad practice, rather than an inherently risky technique.
“There are also worries that the fracking process can cause small earth tremors. Two small earthquakes of 1.5 and 2.2 magnitude hit the Blackpool area in 2011 following fracking,” further readshttp://www.bbc.com/news/uk-1443240

Fracking allows drilling firms to access difficult-to-reach resources of oil and gas. In the US it has significantly boosted domestic oil production and driven down gas prices. It is estimated to have offered gas security to the US and Canada for about 100 years, and has presented an opportunity to generate electricity at half the CO2 emissions of coal further reads the same website.
However, a recent study published in the journal Geology drew the attention for conclusions it drew about whether oil and natural gas drilling is causing earthquakes.
“A review of the study by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory quotes one of the study’s authors, geologist Heather Savage of Columbia, saying, “When you overpressure the fault, you reduce the stress that’s pinning the fault into place and that’s when earthquakes happen,” partly reads http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-01/more-evidence-that-fracking-causes-earthquakes 
Hydraulic fracturing in the photo fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_fracturing_in_the_United_States

There have been a lot of earthquakes recently in parts of the U.S. that traditionally haven’t seen so many, including Arkansas, Texas, Ohio, and Colorado—all states where fracking activity just happens to have increased substantially in the past decade.

The Geology study estimates that during the last four years, the number of earthquakes in the middle of the U.S. was 11 times higher than the average rate over the previous 30 years.

“The notion that injecting water deep into the ground causes earthquakes is nothing new, or even very surprising. Whether you support or oppose fracking, is it difficult to fathom that pumping billions of gallons of water and other fluids down into the earth over several decades might one day cause things to shift around, especially when those structures have been virtually untouched for millions of years?”


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Took this picture of children in Milange, Mozambique admiring visiting Malawian children

Tracing footsteps to lead me home

Greetings from the Warm Heart Africa, Malawi.

I'm a Malawian journalist who grew up in many countries including South Africa, Belgium, then West Germany, UK, Washington DC and New York in the US and I love New York.

Trying to come up with the production of my life and by compiling some of my 1000 poems into a book called ‘Tracing Footsteps’ to lead me Home with excellent photography.

I also plan to film award winning documentaries based on the history of this ancient land called Malawi and the mysteries of Sapitwa and the Sirius star.

.....watch this space.


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