Dead Babies and Utah’s Carbon Bomb

A drilling rig operated by Nabers Co. drilling on land leased by the Bill Barrett Corporation from the federal government near Vernal, Utah, March 21, 2012. (Photo: Jim Wilson / The New York Times)

A drilling rig operated by Nabers Co. drilling on land leased by the Bill Barrett Corporation from the federal government near Vernal, Utah, March 21, 2012. (Photo: Jim Wilson / The New York Times)

A sudden and extreme spike in neonatal mortality in Utah’s rural Uinta Basin is most probably related to the toxic air pollution related to the fossil fuel drilling/fracking frenzy in Eastern Utah. And the local poobahs want to kill the messenger.

Donna Young is a midwife in Vernal, Utah, with 20 years experience managing home births in Idaho and Utah. She lives in the Uinta Basin, the heart of the fossil fuel drilling/fracking frenzy in Eastern Utah. On May 8, 2013, she had her first stillbirth. At the funeral service a few days later, she noted what seemed like an extraordinary number of infant graves with recent dates at the cemetery. She decided to investigate.

She didn’t get any help from local authorities, but eventually information gleaned from obituaries and mortuaries revealed 12 cases of neonatal mortality (most of them stillborn, or death shortly after birth), in 2013. Looking back to 2010 revealed a modest upward trend, but then a huge spike in 2013. This is sparsely populated rural Utah. Vernal is a town of fewer than 10,000 people. But per capita, this is a neonatal mortality six times the national average. It is actually worse than it appears. National infant mortality rates have been dropping slowly and steadily for almost 50 years, including about a 10 to 15 percent drop in the last decade. Furthermore, most of Utah is about 50 percent Mormon, so the rate of drinking and smoking is less than the national average throughout the state. The minority population in rural Utah, like Vernal, is very low, and the percentage of Mormons is even higher, both of which should lower the infant mortality rates, all other things being equal

What is going on in Utah’s Uinta Basin to explain newborn babies dying? An abrupt surge in teenage mothers, drug, alcohol use? No evidence of that. Is there a genetic explanation? Genes don’t change that quickly. Is there a sudden onset of medical incompetence by the area’s health-care providers? No reason to think so. That leaves one other possibility. Is there something happening in the environment? As a matter of fact, yes.

Read on and Souce ….


Fracking and the Un-Hoodwinking of America

This is a must watch video … sorry but I can’t seem to embed the video for some reason.

Published on 11 Apr 2014

Fracking and the Un-Hoodwinking of America By Sandra Steingraber, PhD

My task today is to speak to you about the collective state of mind in the United States in regards to fracking. The word I think of first is an old English verb: “hoodwink.” To hoodwink means to trick, cheat, or deceive, but the original meaning of the word, in William Shakespeare’s time, was to blind someone by placing a hood over their eyes …. [abridged here] With these emerging data, the real costs of fracking are coming into focus, and the un-hoodwinking of America is underway. But I would like to close with an apology, rather than a note of triumph. The environmental community in the United States, of which I am a member, took a conciliatory stance on fracking many years ago with the excuse that natural gas was somehow less bad than coal for health and the climate. It’s not. But by our silence, U.S. environmental groups enabled this harmful form of fossil fuel extraction to gather political power and speed. Fracking is my country’s worst export. You may not hear this from anyone else, but I am truly sorry, as an American, that fracking is now sowing misery across the Atlantic. It’s brutal, primitive technology that brings temporary riches to a few and permanent ruin to many. I pledge myself to your good efforts to halt fracking in the European Union and across the Mediterranean basin.

New Yorkers Against Fracking

Concerned Health Professionals of New York

Americans Against Fracking

A comprehensive citation database on the health effects of fracking has been compiled by Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy: