Here is a thoughtful essay by Sarah Gilman of High Country News.
Now, thinning forests is not as “industrial” as oil and gas development. And thinning forests is not always done to produce wood products. Still, if the alternative is to burn it in piles..as with hazard trees.. one has to wonder..
Here is the link.
Below is an excerpt:
At an environmental film festival in Paonia soon after the BLM’s decision, the audience booed throughout a Google Earth tour of the parcels still up for lease. When a staffer from the conservation group who hosted the event noted that the mountain biking parcel had been withdrawn, discontent only grew. Many refused to accept any leasing whatsoever.
Opponents believe, as do their counterparts in many communities facing oil and gas development, that some places are too special to drill. It’s a valid view; I often share it. But that raises an uncomfortable question: Are there any places so unspecial that they should be drilled? Mr. ConocoPhillips knows well that few of us in Paonia or elsewhere can say we don’t rely on these fuels — for heat, for transport, for electricity, for the fertilization of food. Every place matters to somebody. And what patch of Earth isn’t habitat for at least a few wonderful somethings?
As Bobby Reedy, who runs a local auto shop in Paonia, told Heller: “I wanna flick the light switch and know the lights are gonna come on. If it’s not in my backyard, whose is it gonna be in?”
If we continue to insist on living as we do now, maybe we need to see drill rigs from our kitchen windows and hiking trails, even our school playgrounds.
How else can we truly understand the costs of something we use unless we’re confronted with them daily? This isn’t just the machinery of corporate greed; it’s the machinery of our vast collective energy appetite. And if we can’t look directly at it, and can’t accept what it does to our water and air, then it’s time to do more than just fight drilling. It’s time to go on an energy diet.
5 thoughts on “Using and Producing Natural Resources: Sarah Gilman Essay in High Country News”
It’s worth pointing out that the somewhat gross behavior of the Texas oilman, Mr. ConocoPhillips, didn’t make it into Sharon’s highlighted snip, so here is the opening of the piece:
RE: Gilman’s statement, “If we continue to insist on living as we do now, maybe we need to see drill rigs from our kitchen windows and hiking trails, even our school playgrounds.”
For what it’s worth, I, for one, don’t “continue to insist on American’s continuing to live as we do now” or as we have since the post-WW II era, for that matter. I continue to insist that, for the most part, the American people have, and continue to, dramatically use more than our fair share of the word’s finite resources ( See the chart below for a good illustration of that)….all while Americans (and our lawmakers) largely eschew efforts to reduce consumption, increase energy efficiency/recycling, etc.
I also believe that over-population, in America and world-wide (as we are north of 7 billion people, growing rapidly) is a serious problem, which is one of the reasons I got ‘fixed’ years ago and my wife and I didn’t pro-create.
Matt: Thank you for getting fixed. If everyone shared your beliefs and solutions, these problems would all be resolved in fairly short order.
Yes, please, convince religions to practice birth control. And make the rich consume less. And invent free clean energy for all, too. Yep, we can target those rich arabs first. Let’s make their oil worthless, so they can drop back into the poverty they once had. And, hey, where do the Swiss rank, with their banks, and all? While we’re at it, let’s build desalinization plants for each and every country that needs them. Of course, world peace would ensue, as there would no longer be anything to war about. Yep, the world could be a utopia “if only …..”
“Let’s make their oil worthless, so they can drop back into the poverty they once had.”
As opposed to just waiting for when they run out of oil, at which point their entire economy collapses anyway *and* their incredibly-energy-intensive way of life (mass desalination ain’t energy efficient) experiences overnight energy shock?
Well, sure, go right ahead and make the world not need oil anymore. If only we could _________________, the world would be a much better place. The problem with oil is that there is still too much money to make off it. Try fixing that, first!