No Fracking In The Wasteland

Empire Generating Co.

Empire Generating Co.


Controversial 178-mile-long parallel pipelines proposed for NY’s Hudson Valley/Northern NJ

Background Details

Ever since I was young, I knew that Somalia was a shit-hole. I’ve never been there and its existence has no bearing on my life, but I knew it. It was something that stuck in my mind, although I couldn’t explain my reasoning. I just knew, without any idea of the history or culture of this far away place. I was young and it was easier to plant ideas in my head, even stupid ideas, which I would politely accept. I had a lot of questions, because at that same time I was only curious about the place because the United States had to intervene in the area. When that intervention turned ugly we left. That’s about the breadth of my knowledge.

Aid still filters into most countries that we helped destroy. Money is one of the great Band-Aids of our history. I never knew that either as a boy.

Why am I discussing a third-world country in reference to a small town that nobody knows within the United States? Because it’s a prime example of what happens once those in power have what they want. This isn’t a Somali problem. This is happening in our backyards… MY backyard… LITERALLY. They come, like conquistadors, as in the Spanish to the Aztecs, who claimed to be ‘blessing’ the heathen indigenous cultures with Christianity, before they perpetrated the most extensive genocide in history. They’ll claim to be ‘providing opportunities’, but their “opportunities” are akin to those that a shark brings to the Pilot Fish. They’ll enter your town, like a virus infecting a healthy cell. They’ll devour everything vital and leave your town as a hollowed-out husk. Somalia is a reminder that some corporations will do anything to maintain profit-margins, justifying their means, but for surrounding areas it means stealing and corrupting everything that makes you vital.

In North Dakota, (where the link at the top opens) the expeditions for Bakken oil have led to the expulsion of 275,000 tons of methane per year..  For those who don’t know, methane is bad.

In Hoosick Falls, New York just a few months ago Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International perpetrated the same injustice and the city hasn’t been able to use their water without the fear of infecting themselves with harmful carcinogens.  The company, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International, manufactured plastic in the region. The same chemicals to manufacture plastic went into their water. It’s troubling, because we assume we’re safe and don’t suspect that those putting chemical agents into our water are our own corporations and government! I could put another link for Flint, Michigan, where the government and corporations were culpable in poisoning their people, but we should all know by now… and I’ve put too many links already…. and really… there are just so many links that deserve to be shared.

Walking Columbia Turnpike, you see two steam towers behind a red-brick building with busted windows and graffiti painting some of its walls. The building is still functional, but doesn’t look like much. It belongs to B.A.S.F., one of the few companies remaining in our city. Behind it is Empire Generating Co, where they use natural gas to generate energy between Rensselaer, East Greenbush, Albany and Troy. Before today, I didn’t know much about them. They were just there, in the back of the city and in the back of my mind. It’s too quiet in this place. Traffic is mostly tankers and eighteen-wheelers. They carry over another bridge into what remains of our ‘industrial park’, where the remnants of once great monoliths still stand.

When I think of Somalia now, ages from where I was when the United States first intervened, I think of desperation. You can look now to the facts: 13th worldwide in death rate per year, 3rd in maternal mortality rate and infant mortality, male life expectancy at 50.Around the same time that I learned about Somalia, I also learned about the glorious history of the Hudson River. General Electric poisoned that years ago, dumping polychlorinated biphenyl, which was once used in most coolants, for which the dredging has only just begun. Corporations tried to kill us years ago and have been tirelessly trying to kill our species for years. In a new effort to put the final nail in the coffin of our fair city, the ‘Pilgrim Company’, has proposed constructing a 178 mile long pipeline from New Jersey and up through New York state.

Background Details

Then, again… maybe this is too desperate a thing for a simple-minded person like myself to understand. There’s so much information to sort through. I just heard about this pipeline and my mind went wild. I don’t even know HOW I got on the subject of Somalia. I’d hate to judge it from the outside… I’m sure it’s GREAT. Then again, experience is the greatest teacher. But… if that’s the case… when do we learn to stop treating the world like a toilet? Maybe that’s the lesson… the world is your toilet!


Lost Cultures of Columbia Turnpike (Ongoing study)



Central Warehouse, Albany, NY.

The decline of the Industrial Age in America has blessed us with another form of pollution than the one we’re used to discussing. The remains from that golden time, the busted structures, falling ruins of factories, businesses covered in graffiti and shattered windows, has had a devastating effect on this city and all over the country. Manufacturers and businesses of old have crumbled and are presently rotting in our backyards. You can see them rotting all over the country, but here, in a city where industry never boomed, but was all we had, it’s a horrifying reminder of the fallen age of American Industrialism. In this ongoing study, we’ll examine the decline of this industrial age, as it pertains to its effects on this city, as well as the hieroglyphs and forgotten tombs that remain. We’ll examine what we worshipped in that long-since forgotten age and how those beliefs somehow fell out of practice.

Give a close look and see the decline of this decadent age. In this city, it only takes a CTdown the street. We’ve yet to see the birthing pains of the future, which promise to give us another age to adhere, much like the fallen industries of that forgotten time. This city, if we are to make it to that age, must pull away from that dying time. We can’t hold onto the boon of our ancestors. Their temples dedicated to the Industrial age have stood for generations, but all that they meant is long forgotten.

Industry brought on a golden age of ‘American exceptionalism’, which brought about the height of our empire. The World Wars left most of the industrialized world in disarray, leaving us as the heir to the ‘Imperialist Age’, for which we would profit. Within the past sixty years, steadily that empire has fallen apart.

Industrialism in America has disappeared; it’s fading from our lives, as well as our economy. Industrialism in America isn’t dying. It’s dead. We’ve entered the age of decline, a transitional state, before we either collapse into our dying infrastructure or create something better for the future. Still, this infrastructure is all around us. We’re surrounded by the reminders of industrialism. Massive structures that used to house hundreds of workers look out from cul de sacs around the city, but even more abandoned monuments survive around the country. They’re massive, brooding monoliths of a forgotten age, decaying into the ground, rotting between generations. We’ve grown up around these monuments to decadence. They’ve shadowed generations of Americans, who could hear the wind rustling through busted windows, shattered doorways and frames and blame ghosts, specters, forgotten souls lost in oblivion. We dared each other to enter these places, certain we’d find treasure or some accursed relic of the Ancients. Our grandparents or even great-grandparents worked in these places, but to us they’re just massive structures rotting into the backdrop of our cities. They’re all around us and although they don’t hold the same significance, still, they hold great significance.

-Why are they still here? Many relics and reminders still stand of ages passed. We make memorials for wounded soldiers from wars from which we only have stories. There’s plenty of curios of different ages that somehow remain in our time, even though they’re outmoded and serve only as a quaint reminder of a ‘simpler time’. In the case of the ruins left by the Industrial Age, there’s just no feasible means to dispose of them. The industries for which they stood will never return. Even if they did, the age has passed. These buildings have been rotting for decades and will require years of reconstruction. They’ll have to be torn down and made anew, which is an expense in itself that most cities that harbor these fallen monuments can’t afford. The answer is this, nobody can afford to put these statues dedicated to industrialism out of their misery. We can’t afford to bury them in the past. Our age is the age of decline, decay, the rot of Industrialism. We’re left with the shells of foundaries and manufacturers that made this country great. In order to survive into the future, we need to tear them down and rebuild. The falling infrastructure is one of the great modern struggles, for with their furtherance there’s a fear that America will continue to cling to past idols and not attempt to make any for the future. This is the generation, where we’re stuck with the idols, not of our fathers, but our great-great grandfathers. This is the age where every generation since that time has taken cover in the shadow of these monoliths, without any benefit to their being in our way.

It seems the time of transition is our only hope for salvation, as we reach that paradigm where we either cling to the past and die with it or move into the future. Technology is changing, as well as the industries arising from this age of consumerism. The area is becoming something different from what I remember. We’re entering a time where we’re the ones creating the monoliths. I wonder, still, if this city will create some that will stand for all of time, not as a burden to future generations, but something to inspire hope and prosperity. We’ve inherited the responsibility to care for the ruins of our ancestors and what we do with them, this will come to define our future.