Saturday, July 05, 2014

What's wrong with the world--well, one thing

A friend called today and during the conversation mentioned that he'd had a bite from a gas company about a lease on his acreage southwest of Fort Worth. It was, he said, sweet money. The problem was where to put pads so they and the trucks didn't disturb his road and his house. Then he said, without hearing his own irony, that if you drive through Johnson County it's a wasteland because of all the pads.
I said fracking would pollute his land and deplete our already compromised water supply--this is a rancher who frequently bemoans the lack of rain. Somehow I forgot to mention earthquakes, but I finished with a pronouncement: fracking, already banned in some places, should be universally banned.
"Yeah, well it ain't gonna happen. There's too much money in it."
"And that," I pronounced grandly, "is what's wrong with the world."
From the other end I heard, "Maybeso. Bye."
I was reminded of the late great author Elmer Kelton who, talking of the drought of the 1930s, said our grandfathers didn't know what forces they were unleashing when they plowed up the thick sod of the prairie to build huts and plant crops. The trouble today is we know. Scientists have warned about pollution from fracking, the use of endangered water supply, and I believe studies are still out about earthquakes but some are convinced it's no coincidence that we have them so often in areas where drilling is common to excessive.
I truly believe that the earth is a gift to us, and these days we abuse that gift terribly by fracking, by pouring endless miles of cement on its surface so that it can't breathe, by clear-cutting forests. All in our quenchless thirst for money. And I think it will all come home to haunt us.
We have people around the world who are working tirelessly to be "green," to cultivate nature, and respect the earth. And we have people who are just as busily working to destroy it for their own profit.
Not sure what my next rant will be but that's the one for today.

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