Do you smell gas?

At times it feels like the whole city is falling apart around me. A blown transformer on my block. An underground fire two blocks away, spreading to my doorstep. Emergency crews jackhammering the street all night long. Forget about sleeping, forget about thinking.

Then into my email box pops a message headlined “BREAKING: Fracking explosion in PA.”

Yeah? I got you beat, Pennsylvania.

The political group behind the email paints a nightmare scenario of explosions wracking the landscape night and day as fracking sites multiply. But everyone knows natural gas carries explosive risks. That’s why the artificial odor is added to the gas fueling our ovens and heaters – if you smell it, get as far away as you can as fast as you can.

For gosh sakes. It’s energy. All energy can be mis-channelled, misused, or lost track of through human error or technological failure. And when energy goes wrong…BOOM. Coal dust? Explosion hazard. Oil drilling? Environmental devastation risk. Nuclear energy? Fukushima.

Fracking explosion in PA!!! Another counterproductive jab by partisans who’d do better sticking to the various sensible arguments reasonable people can make against hydrofracking.

A man who lives near the compressor station that blew reported hearing a “boom” but not thinking much of it.

“I hear a lot of noises from over there,” he told the Scranton Times-Tribune.

I hear you, man. Shut up out there!