Watch Late Farmer Terry Greenwood Tell Josh Fox About the Fracking Site That Killed His Cattle
When filmmaker Josh Fox visited Pennsylvania farmer Terry Greenwood during what would be his last days on Earth, Greenwood's only request was for the Gasland director to "tell my story."
"So what does that mean? Does it mean tell the story of how gas companies barged onto his land," Fox asked in his a tribute to Greenwood for the Gasland blog. "Does it mean speak about the water contamination they suffered, the insult added to injury when [the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection] ignored his complaints, the death of the cattle, his own death to cancer?"
Fox decided that was a big part of the story, along with exposing the generosity, smile and knack for truth-telling that Greenwood possessed. That's why Fox decided to upload a previously unreleased video interview on Greenwood's property from four or five years ago. In it, Greenwood describes the lies and bullying he received from the owners of a nearby fracking site and the contamination his animals received as a result.
"I said, ‘Would you please go elsewhere? I'm farming,'" Greenwood recalls telling an energy company representative. "They says, ‘No, we're drilling. And if you don't let us, we'll go eminent domain,' and they said, ‘we'll take your property.'"
Fox said he admired Greenwood's willingness to not only speak out, but smile despite what he had been through.
"This was a man who was truly brave, truly courageous in walking out into the public eye to tell his own story," Fox wrote. "And this was a man who did it without anger, although his anger would have been justified, who did it without self pity or depression, although no one would have blamed him for either. This was a man who could never prove all of what was done to him, but could only prove himself to be a good man, and he proved it with each sentence and in every gesture and smile.
"For us to tell it now is to try to be as brave, kind, straightforward and loving ... We owe you Terry. We'll miss you brother."
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By Alexander Freund
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab says he believes Tuesday's explosion in Beirut could have been caused by large quantities of ammonium nitrate stored in the port.
What Is Ammonium Nitrate?<p>Ammonium nitrate is a white crystalline salt that can be fairly cheaply produced from ammonia and nitric acid. It is soluble and often used as fertilizer, as nitrogen is needed for healthy plant development.</p><p>Ammonium nitrate in its pure form is not dangerous. It is, however, heat sensitive. At 32.2 degrees Celsius (89.96 degrees Fahrenheit), ammonium nitrate changes its atomic structure, which in turn changes its chemical properties.</p><p>When large quantities of ammonium nitrate are stored in one place, heat is generated. If the amount is sufficiently vast, it can cause the chemical to ignite. Once a temperature of 170 C is reached, ammonium nitrate starts breaking down, emitting nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas. Any sudden ignition causes ammonium nitrate to decompose directly into water, nitrogen and oxygen, which explains the enormous explosive power of the salt.</p>
Deadly Disasters<p>As ammonium nitrate is a highly explosive chemical, many countries strictly regulate its use. Over the past 100 years, there have been several disasters involving the chemical.</p><p>In 1921, for example, a massive blast occurred at a BASF chemical plant in Ludwigshafen in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. About 400 metric tons of a mixture of ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate exploded, killing 559 people and injuring 1,977. The plant was largely destroyed in the blast, which could be heard as far away as Munich, some 300 kilometers (186 miles) distant.</p><p>In 2015, explosions caused by ammonium nitrate ripped through the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/china-convicts-dozens-for-last-years-giant-explosions-in-tianjin/a-36324321" target="_blank">Chinese port city of Tianjin</a>. Eight hundred metric tons of the chemical were said to have been stored along with other substances in a warehouse for hazardous materials. The blasts killed 173 people and destroyed an entire city district.</p><p>Two years earlier, in 2013, an ammonium nitrate explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company site in Texas, killing 14 people. And in 2001, 31 people died in Toulouse, France, in an explosion caused by the chemical.</p>
Terrorist Favorite<p>In Germany, the purchase and use of ammonium nitrate is regulated by the explosives act. This is because the cheap, highly explosive and relatively easily obtainable material has in the past been used by terrorists to carry out attacks.</p><p>For example, in 1995, U.S. conspiracy theorist and gun enthusiast Timothy McVeigh used a mixture of ammonium nitrate and other substances to bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik also used ammonium nitrate in a car bomb attack in Oslo in 2011.</p>
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