Mar 12

Treasures of Napoleon Beach

Napoleon Beach, Bouches-du-Rhône, France 43º20’37″N 4º52’10″E

The Earth Should Not Yield Plastic Alone

The earth yields treasures. As examples: the fruits we eat and, arguably, diamonds. On my daily ocean walks I have never seen either. I do see a lot of plastic though. So, too, does Christophe Launay, whose photographs from Napoleon Beach document similar findings. It is at this beach that the Rhone (Rhine) River meets the Mediterranean Sea.

Close to the ocean, where I live, I cultivate an annual vegetable garden, and am hopeful that last year’s raspberry plants will yield fruit again this year.

But back to France. French senators last July voted to outlaw hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process that uses a mixture of chemicals, sand and water injected under high pressure to release oil and gas trapped in rock. As we know, the earth also yields natural gas and oil.

Earth Day approaches, and so I googled the phrase, “The earth yields.” Lo, the first few entries were Biblical quotes from Psalm 67 in the New American Standard Bible.

psalm 67:6 The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us.

67:7 God blesses us, That all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

And in French: 67:6 La terre produira son fruit; Dieu, notre Dieu, nous bénira.

Fruits of the earth.


Ditto in Spanish, La tierra ha dado su fruto; Dios, nuestro Dios, nos bendice.

And in Hebrew, the word rendered “increase” can be interpreted to mean “properly produce,” or “that which the earth produces when properly cultivated.”

Who is ‘properly cultivating’ the earth, and what does this mean? I think we know, and best-selling authors like Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver have spelled it out pretty clearly for North America, where fracking is widely practiced.

As you’d expect, the usual green groups (those protecting the fruits of the earth) and some politicians who led protests quite effectively in France, saying fracking could cause environmental damage, like earthquakes and water pollution. Government ministers and industry representatives say it is the only method currently available to extract hydrocarbons from the rock. At what cost should we be extracting those hydrocarbons?

And because Google put God at the top of the search let’s drag Him into this one last time. Remember that bit about “fearing Him?”

We’ve heard He works in mysterious ways, but it’s not overly mysterious that if you inject chemicals underground to remove materials that are part of supporting materials on top of them, and deep wells are used to dispose of liquid wastes, then tremors will be on the rise. And about water pollution from the chemicals, like arsenic? Well, that hardly seems like we are properly cultivating the earth to yield anything other than a big mess. We should be afraid.

While protests are underway in North America, if you’re not the protesting type, but you are a bit afraid of what you see above the ground, and can’t yet take on what’s going on underground, or in Heaven for that matter, here’s a place to start. Easy, point-form facts and courses for action.

Look for the handy link to Take Back the Tap

We must keep our water clean and cut down on the plastic bottle waste so prevalent in these photos and the pollution at all levels on this fine earth, which when cultivated properly we know, yields the most wonderful fruits.

Oh, and here’s one more link to check out.

Words: Trixie B. Wadson is a freelance writer, independent publisher, graphic designer and photographer. The rest of the time she is busy collecting eggs from the family chickens while they cultivate the garden.