Dr. Sandra Steingraber Profile picture
Biologist, author, activist. Co-founder, New Yorkers Against Fracking, Concerned Health Professionals NY; science advisor, Americans Against Fracking.🏳️‍🌈
1 May
I’m done ignoring this tweet.

Re: “our movement” to confront “climate catastrophe.” Yes there is one. I am part of it. It is powerful, intersectional, justice-focused. It is not co-opted.

Michael Moore is not/has not been in that movement or anywhere near the “battlefield.”
New voices are welcome. Filmmakers especially. Critical voices are needed. But you can’t walk in,declaring yourself the speaker of the movement come to save it from corruption while getting the science wrong, misrepresenting the state of political play, and confusing the players.
Did you think you were breaking news by revealing the @SierraClub historical connection with the fracking industry? Those of us in “the movement” were openly fighting with the Club about this 8 yrs ago. orionmagazine.org/2012/03/breaki…
Read 8 tweets
20 Mar
So I’ve been living a different experience this week from other parents hunkered down with their kids. I haven’t been able to talk about it until today. This is a story that features my daughter Faith, the nation state of Chile, and @Chase Bank. It goes out to @rebecca_altman.
Re: @Chase: I have one credit card—same one since 1989 and I pay off the full balance every month like a Girl Scout. It’s a Chase card, and I’ve been holding onto it until Earth Day when I would replace it and cut it up as part of #stopthemoneypipeline

Re: my daughter: Until yesterday Faith, 21, anthropology major at @smithcollege and fiercely independent, was abroad studying social justice movements in Chile. Like every other college kid she started hearing rumors last week that she would need to come home
Read 21 tweets
16 Feb
I’ve been ignoring this latest just-sayin’ nonsense from long-standing reactionary bigot Richard Dawkins, who’s been spouting racist tripe since I was in grad school but now feel its my obligation as a biologist to respond. I think we all should.

First of all Dawkins slyly misuses the term eugenics, acting as though it simply refers to the selective breeding of desirable heritable traits—as in livestock or food crops—and of course that principal would in theory be workable for humans.

But that’s not eugenics. 2/
The term eugenics was coined by Charles Darwins’ cousin, Francis Dalton, 24 yrs after Origin of Species (1859) in book called Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development.

Eugenics exactly refers to the attempt to breed racially superior traits IN HUMANS. 3/
Read 11 tweets
26 Jan
Friends, tomorrow, Jan 27, is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

I’ll be taking the day off of Twitter for reflection. So today I’m threading together some thoughts on the things that I’ll be reflecting upon. 1/
I’m not a Jew nor a historian. I’m a biologist who began life as a “surrendered infant” adopted by a German American family, raised as a Methodist. On the day Auschwitz was liberated, my dad was an 18-yo soldier in Italy. Don’t be a Good German, said the man who raised me. 2/
Here are a few things I’m thinking about: 41 percent of US adults surveyed—and two thirds of millennials—say they do not know what Auschwitz was.

At the same time very few survivors remain to tell us their stories. Half have died in the last 5 years. 3/

Read 19 tweets
21 Jan
BOMBSHELL: deep dive by investigative reporter ⁦@JustinNobel⁩ into radiation risks from #fracking.

Part of a years’ long research project by one of our finest reporters.

Beyond Fracking: Oil-and-Gas Industry’s Toxic Waste Is Radioactive rollingstone.com/politics/polit…
I can’t stress enough how important these findings are. Sometimes journalism can go where science can’t. E.g. Justin tracked down a worker in Ohio who had quietly collected and stored samples of fracking waste from the various loads he had hauled over the years.
Earth’s bedrock contains a whole periodic chart of elements, including some radioactive ones. When you blow it up using water as the club (fracking) those elements end up in the briny wastewater that comes up to the surface and requires disposal. Science has documented this...
Read 10 tweets
6 Jan
1/ Everything is awful so I’m tweeting a thread about my kids that has nothing to do with the news.

My daughter, 21, is a literary soul who just wrote a long and complex essay on nationalism and folklore in the Brothers Karamazov.

My son, 18, is a Equally Serious film major.
2/ Last month each of them extracted a promise from me that we would go see Little Women when it opened, which here in Ithaca was Xmas afternoon.

I said yes to both but forget to say that the other one was coming too.
3/ Quelle horreur. Major parent screw up. They were each furious that their sibling was inserting themselves into this momentous occasion.

Faith bc the book was a shared experience between the two of us; we took turns reading LW aloud when she was 9, and it was transformational.
Read 15 tweets
22 Dec 19
As seen in the Dulles airport. This ad from the American Petroleum Institute—US oil/gas trade association—is straight-up disinformation that perpetuates two big lies. Quick explainer thread—in case you need to unmask this ubiquitous untruth for any of your holiday houseguests. 1/

Compared to what? Coal? Nope natural gas is not cleaner than coal. Methane leaks + nitrogen oxides make gas power plants and upstream infrastructure a major source of smog. Clear evidence shows health harms among people who live near gas wells and gas plants. 2/
Here is a good summary of air pollution from #fracking operations. psr.org/wp-content/upl… 3/
Read 17 tweets
14 Dec 19
1/ FRACKING THREAD. I’m here at the Ithaca Community School for Music and Arts to hear world methane expert @howarth_cornell present new science on #fracking and the climate crisis. Will try to live tweet. Full house! Lots of legendary grassroots leaders here.@MothersOutFront
2/ Howarth introduced by local elected official Irene Weiser: we admire Bob’s activism as much as his science. His earlier work on the importance of methane in the climate story was at first ridiculed by industry but findings have held up and are now considered mainstream.
3/ we will hit 1.5 degrees warming in the 10 yes. To keep it there we MUST reduce methane. Methane has increased 170% due to human activity but with a half life of only 12 yrs in atmosphere, climate can response quickly to methane reductions. Not so CO2 which lasts a century.
Read 23 tweets
12 Dec 19

A triple whammy of terrifying climate news today shows the paramount planetary importance of STOPPING U.S. FRACKING OPERATIONS.

First from Axios:

As climate change worsens, America blows past the world in oil and natural gas axios.com/america-blows-…
2/ In other words: The US is now #1 in the world in extracting, burning, exporting oil and gas. The resulting emissions is pushing the world past the limit on temp rise—1.5 degrees—necessary to avoid runaway unfixable catastrophe.

US oil and gas is blowing it for everybody.
3/ Fracking is still called “unconventional” drilling but in fact it is now the dominant method for getting oil and gas out of the bedrock. In the US, fracking accounts for most new oil and gas production, says the US Energy Information Administration. eia.gov/todayinenergy/…
Read 9 tweets
27 Nov 19
I disagree with this article. And not because its author identifies me as a “long-time critic of the Sierra Club.” (Which is true.) But because its premise is wrong. 1/

Yes, Actually, Individual Responsibility Is Essential to Solving the Climate Crisis sierraclub.org/sierra/yes-act…
No one is disputing that solving the climate crisis necessitates huge changes in individual behavior. Example: Every burner tip in every gas-fired furnace in every basement across the land is connected to a fracking well. Ergo, yes, all need to change the way we heat our homes 2/
What’s in dispute is whether changes in individual behavior is a starting or an end point, cause or consequence, of transformational change. Do we shame, cajole, urge, scold ourselves, one by one, to replace furnaces w heat pumps? Or push for policy change to enable the switch?3/
Read 8 tweets
29 Aug 19
BREAKING: Right about NOW the 64-yo coal-burning power plant on Cayuga Lake is burning its last oven-full of coal. It will NOT thereafter become a fracked gas power plant bc we stopped that shit.

End of an Era: Power plant shutting down after 64 years 14850.com/082911026-mill…
Here’s how long I’ve been fighting the Cayuga Power Pant, which sits directly across the lake from my house:

My daughter was 6 when I wrote my first essay about this soot and mercury spewing hunk-o-junk for @Orion_Magazine. Faith is now a junior at @smithcollege.
That original essay, Tune of the Tuna Fish, has been reprinted, course-packed, and anthologized so many times it’s become its own cottage industry. You can download TTF study guides, sample term papers, and literary analyses of its metaphorical structure. csub.edu/~kgobalet/file…
Read 7 tweets
19 Jul 19
I’m not the first to tweet about the new Colorado study that finds a link between #fracking and cardiac birth defects bc I wanted to time to read the whole paper carefully.

It’s a strong study. THREAD

Link to full paper is in this media report:
2/ First of all, the link makes sense. We know that these specific birth defects, which affect the valves and great arteries of the heart, are associated w prenatal exposure to benzene/diesel exhaust, and we know that benzene/diesel exhaust are found in air near fracking sites.
3/ Previous studies have documented elevated levels of benzene in the urine of workers on fracking we’ll pads and identified the metabolic byproduct of benzene exposure in urine or pregnant women living near them.
Read 9 tweets
29 Jun 19
1/ So I have a little house, just under 1200 sq ft, built c. 1905. This thread is about how I disconnected it from natural gas and installed an air-source heat pump that runs on electric. I had the help of this non-profit, which connects homeowners w contractors + financing.
2/ Re: #ClimateCrisis, I remain firmly in the camp of political change over personal change, which makes me hesitant to even post about this bc I believe my efforts to help win a statewide ban on #fracking and close a local coal plant matter more than ditching my boiler.
3/ But I am putting two kids through college by myself, and whena rodent cremated itself inside my gas boiler last spring (yeah, likely a rat), I had a big decision to make about whether to fix it or replace it, so I thought this story might be relatable. #OneHouseAtaTime
Read 21 tweets
25 Jun 19
.⁦@EnvDefenseFund⁩ is fracking wolf in sheep’s clothing and so is their women’s front group ⁦@CleanAirMoms:⁩

Williams pipeline support highlights Environmental Defense Fund’s long, warm relationship w fracking pseudoscience – Eyes on the Ties news.littlesis.org/2019/06/25/wil…
“EDF has long taken a pro-natural gas posture. While other groups worked to ban fracking, EDF argued ... that environmentalists should instead work to make sure that fracking was done in such a way as to minimize the harm it inflicted on surrounding communities.”
“The EDF board of trustees includes several investors with major financial stakes in the oil and gas industry, including the granddaughter of the ‘father of fracking’ and an investor behind a fracked gas power plant seeking to expand its operations in New York’s Hudson Valley.”
Read 4 tweets
7 Apr 19
Big deal news of the week: An international human rights court in Rome has called for a worldwide ban on fracking, on the grounds that it unavoidably violates human rights, including the rights to life, water, and full information and participation. tribunalonfracking.org/wp-content/upl…
The court affirmed that governments have an obligation to protect the rights of their citizens. Failure to prevent the advance of climate change and its impacts on the rights to life, liberty, and security is failure to meet internationally recognized human rights obligations.
Widespread government failures have created a global “axis of betrayal,” according to the international court, in which governments and fossil-fuel industries collude – at great cost to people and the planet – in human-rights violations to their mutual profit.
Read 9 tweets
3 Feb 19
This is not what #ActOnClimate means.Stop pretending that fracking under any regulatory framework is consistent with IPCC findings. It’s not. This is the wrong ask.
Let’s be clear:

• From drilling to flaring to venting to condensing to compressing to pipeline, fracking is inherently leaky. Methane leaks are built into the engineering.

• Even if ALL the leaks were fixed, the CO2 emissions alone + ever-increasing # of wells =climate fail
• Fracking wells leak methane long after they are decommissioned. Plugging doesn’t stop the emissions bc methane seeps into the atmosphere from around the outside of the well casing as cement shrinks and crumbles with age. There is no #CutMethane fix for this problem.
Read 6 tweets