Well, after what seems like nearly two weeks of rain, which we needed but which nearly set my little house adrift, I got up this morning to a gorgeous sunrise. So I was planning on writing a short piece urging all of you to get out there and play in the sun today. Leave work early, forget cooking or cleaning or catching up on anything, just get out there and play.

And then I got a couple of letters from Texas Sharon, who runs the site mostly devoted to gas drilling and its collateral damage. And what she had to say is making me rethink my suggestion to go out there and get lungfuls of the beautiful and sweet air today. It’s making me rethink taking another breath, actually.

What TxSharon had to report were the results of an Ambient Air Monitoring Analysis that had been commissioned by Dish, Tx Mayor Calvin Tillman. Now I’ve never been to Dish, but understand it’s in Denton County, in the heart of Barnett Shale drilling.


Evidently Mayor Tillman was unhappy the air quality and had already gone to a couple of state agencies, which found no problem with the air in Dish. So he called in a private outfit named Wolf Eagle Environmental, which monitored the air quality at seven locations in Dish on August 17 and 18, 2009.

The sampled air was tested for air sampled was “analyzed for Volatile Organic Chemicals, Hazardous Air Pollutants, Tentatively Identified Compounds and NOX” according to an analysis done by Wilma Subra, a chemist and former recipient of a MacArthur Grant, which generally puts someone legitimately in the genius category.

What Wolf Eagle Environmental found and Subra analyzed was a pretty staggeringly high volume of known carcinogens and other toxins in Dish’s air.

The full report and Subra’s analysis are both available on Sharon’s webpage.

The report is not pleasant. And needless to say, makes me question sending you out to play in such toxic air.