Sean Lennon Protests Fracking in NY Times Op-Ed

Yoko Ono Sean Lennon LOVE by Cirque du Soleil - P 2012
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Yoko Ono Sean Lennon LOVE by Cirque du Soleil - P 2012

The musician son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono issues a plea to stop hydraulic fracturing, and is backed by Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga and more.

Sean Lennon is taking a stand.

The son of the legendary Beatle John Lennon and artist Yoko Ono, and an accomplished musician in his own right, penned a guest op-ed piece in Tuesday's New York Times, urging the state to deny eager energy companies the opportunity to practice fracking -- short for hydraulic fracturing -- to extract gas from natural lands in upstate New York.

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The practice is controversial, as it requires drilling through shale and ripping through certain natural environments, and Lennon and his mother have long been part of the movement against its legalization in the Empire State. John Lennon and Ono bought a dairy farm in upstate New York in the 1970s, land that the family still owns, and the younger Lennon uses his experience in the rural part of the state in his argument.

"Though my father died when I was 5, I have always felt lucky to live on land he loved dearly; land in an area that is now on the verge of being destroyed," Lennon writes. "When the gas companies showed up in our backyard, I felt I needed to do some research. I looked into Pennsylvania, where hundreds of families have been left with ruined drinking water, toxic fumes in the air, industrialized landscapes, thousands of trucks and new roads crosshatching the wilderness, and a devastating and irreversible decline in property value."

Citing a mix of chemical and geographic studies -- methane from the wells leaks out significantly, causing more damage than carbon dioxide, he says -- Lennon makes his case with science and celebrity.

He is one of many New York-based celebrities to join in on the cause; in fact, Lennon and Ono have started the organization Artists Against Fracking to take up the fight. The group boasts members such as Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Julianne Moore, Anne Hathaway and David Bowie. Mark Ruffalo has also long been involved in the fight.