…now sits there with two contaminated wells up for sale. As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of customers for a contaminated farm. So it’s sitting there waiting to go into bankruptcy. Her husband’s in Africa serving in the military. Her horses - she has to go back and forth every day to take care of them because the duplex doesn’t allow you to have horses. A lot of those issues.
So when she went the other day, she found all over her property…this. What a kick in the face. And the guy’s still farming. And do you know what everybody says, the neighbors say? “What a shame. What a shame.” And that’s what is going to happen when it comes, and when it happens to you [points to audience member], and to you, and to you. And the politicians are going to say, “it’s awful. I’m sorry.”
What has happened is, this is not about property value, it’s not about factory farming, it’s not even about Marcellus shale, or any kind of shale. You know what it’s about? It is about our democracy has been subverted. [Applause] This is what they call, what they used to call…do you remember when the heroes came over with the American revolution? It’s called corporate feudalism.
We believe that we have agencies put in place that are supposed to protect us; people that are out there that are taking care of us. And then, when you become the person that needs the help, you quickly realize that no one is there for you but you know who? You. That’s all you have.
You know, my hands go out to these people. There comes an issue where you say “you know what? If my life’s going to amount for anything I’ve got to fight it. I’m going to die with the boots on. Win or lose, I’m not backing down” [Applause].
This is what we need to do. We need to take our democracy back. That means forming alliances with your neighbors. Write letters to the editor. Make sure that what’s happening in these rural areas at Tracy’s, at Kim Macvees, at Carol French, at Carol Knapp, at Linda and David Henley’s, Jamie, all over. Make sure these stories are out where people can see them.
Because they think as long as it’s on a field somewhere, the public doesn’t know. And you know what? For the most part, the public doesn’t know. Because as long as…and I hate to say this, but this is true…as long as they have a TV and a remote in their hand they don’t have to look out the window. You have to pay attention.
And I was guilty of that. You know, I went, I voted every four years, I thought I did my duty. Every two years, not four years, excuse me, I at least did it every two years, but I thought that was it! These people that we’re putting in office, they’re voting and you know, legislating the same way that you or I would. The money corrupts. The politicians have become, not all, there are some good ones, many of them have become indentured servants for this industry. They are not representing you. They are representing this industry.
You need to write letters to the paper, get on committees, get on local commissions, run for office. No one’s going to protect our democracy but us in the end. It’s really the truth. What I will say is that we know that problems are there. We know that jobs, you know, are being provided - to a degree. We’re not counting what we’re losing, though. And I tend to think a lot of what we’re losing is more than what we’re gaining.
I know we’ve lost a lot of tourism in our state. In the areas where we have high agriculture and a lot of drilling going on, they did one study and they found out that they’re losing the ag there. They don’t know why. They don’t know if it’s because of environmental concerns or…nobody knows why. And nobody’s looking into it.
So things that would be there forever, tourism, that’s always going to be there, we’re never going to run out of it, we’re losing things that were given to us that will sustain us. Nobody’s going to want to come to a polluted area and vacation or hunt or fish or go on a…even a state park…this…we were just talking about.
There are things called public trusts. The waters, the state parks, they belong to you, they belong to your children, they belong to your grandchildren. No one has the right to diminish them. They don’t belong to the government, they don’t belong to the legislators, they most certainly don’t belong to the industry. And it’s our responsibility to leave those lands and those waters at least in the same shape we got them. For our children.