Hippocrates vs. “The Cabinet believes fracking can be done safely in SA”


AHEAD OF A DEPARTMENT OF WATER AFFAIRS MEDIA BRIEFING IN PRETORIA ON TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 3rd SURROUNDING FRACKING, WATER AND LEGISLATION:

CONSIDER THIS

September 2012, Minister Susan Shabangu lifts the moratorium (that never was) on fracking. Any input from Health Professionals in the task team document placed before the Cabinet of South Africa? The document that convinced our Cabinet that “Fracking can be done safely in South Africa?”

Those in this country WHO ARE PUSHING FOR EXPLORATION may dismiss this issue as being of no consequence, but should exploration prove successful, and full scale production commences, are they prepared to be counted as decrying and ridiculing the concerns of environmentalists if people including workers on drilling sites, farm workers, children and others exposed to waterborne and air-borne pollution become ill? And require treatment at taxpayer expense?

Even in c. 400 BCE, HIPPOCRATES had this to say about investigating medicine (health):

Whoever wishes to investigate medicine properly, should proceed thus: in the first place to consider the seasons of the year, and what effects each of them produces for they are not at all alike, but differ much from themselves in regard to their changes. Then the winds, the hot and the cold, especially such as are common to all countries, and then such as are peculiar to each locality. We must also consider the qualities of the waters, for as they differ from one another in taste and weight, so also do they differ much in their qualities. In the same manner, when one comes into a city to which he is a stranger, he ought to consider its situation, how it lies as to the winds and the rising of the sun; for its influence is not the same whether it lies to the north or the south, to the rising or to the setting sun.

These things one ought to consider most attentively, and concerning the waters which the inhabitants use, whether they be marshy and soft, or hard, and running from elevated and rocky situations, and then if saltish and unfit for cooking; and the ground, whether it be naked and deficient in water, or wooded and well watered, and whether it lies in a hollow, confined situation, or is elevated and cold; and the mode in which the inhabitants live, and what are their pursuits, whether they are fond of drinking and eating to excess, and given to indolence, or are fond of exercise and labour, and not given to excess in eating and drinking.

“On Airs, Waters and Places”, Hippocrates, c. 400 BCE 

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