On Saturday morning, residents of the landlocked state of Oklahoma experienced the largest earthquake any Oklahoman had ever felt – especially because they had never really felt them before!

The 5.6 magnitude earthquake was felt by nearby states and lasted for nearly a minute. The quake was not the first of its kind for the state, but was by far the most severe and noticeable.

Until the quake on Saturday, residents had only felt brief tremors, lasting a second or two. Now that we have seen one significant quake, there is no question that it will not be the last.

Thanks to man-made conditions and instability under the surface of Oklahoma’s topography, earthquakes are becoming the new norm in the Midwest. Unlike states which are intimately familiar with naturally occurring earthquakes, residents in the Midwest are likely to see significant damage as their structures were not developed to withstand the shock. Residents are also not well-versed in proper earthquake preparedness and do not know best how to minimize damage.

Just about everyone is on board with the idea that these quakes are a direct result of fracking, a man-made endeavor for gas and oil. The word from officials is that fracking is safe, and yet we are seeing now clear, concreted evidence to the contrary.

The state of our planet is bad enough with rising global temperatures and rising ocean levels, as well as a rate of natural disaster never before seen by man. Why do we think that contributing our own man-made disasters is worth the price of oil and natural gas?

It’s a gamble our government is willing to take with our lives and we need to continue making it clear just how vehemently we oppose it.

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com