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Fidel Castro: Fracking toward disaster

Fidel Castro speaks out about the new oil-harvesting method
Fidel castro abyss 2012 01 06Enlarge
Pondering a world on the brink. (ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images)

Who knew Fidel Castro was a greenie — and a pessimist?

The former Cuban leader doesn't speak out that often. Usually, when he does, it's to tell everybody that he's not dead yet

This time, he penned a column in Cuban state media to express his concern about two things: nuclear war (the Yankees' fault, natch) and climate change — specifically the dangers of fracking.

The column is an interesting window into the mind of Castro, now 85.

For those of you who haven't been following the debate over this process, fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing, the process of breaking into rocks to access oil and natural gas trapped inside. It's a way to access previously inaccessible sources of fuel, but also has raised concerns about contaminating groundwater and other environmental concerns.

Turns out that Castro just learned about this process a few months ago. And he's pretty worried about what he sees as its inevitable role in the destruction of the world.

In a column titled "The march toward the abyss," Castro laid it out:

On the eve of the new year, enough data is known to see with total clarity the world's inexorable march to the abyss, threatened to extremely by serious risks such as nuclear war and climate change.

The idea is simple: the world has too many nukes in high-tension places, like the Middle East. And it only takes one to cause catastrophic destruction.

He points to the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, but doesn't mention the Cuban missile crisis that nearly brought the US and Russia to nuclear war. 

But anyway. On to fracking, which, he says, if we don't nuke ourselves first, will be the death of us all.

He explains his problem with the fracking problem:

Suffice to say that among the many chemicals that are injected with water to extract this gas are benzene and toluene, which are terribly carcinogenic substances. 

Castro said he was so intent on getting the word out, he had "let the festive days of the old and new year pass by" working on his column.  

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/que-pasa/fidel-castro-fracking-toward-disaster