Tuesday, July 3

Sensible Stewardship

Recently my wife and I watched two documentaries on Netflix that were an interesting contrast.

The first was Windfall, a feeble attempt to debunk wind power. The second was Josh Fox's visually stunning GasLand.

Windfall seemed to be a Right-wing attempt to mimic a more Leftist documentary. It fell on its face though, with poor correlation between windfarms and the alleged health problems people are suffering.

The one conclusion I did take from the film was that industrial wind generators are not appropriate in (even moderately) densely populated areas. Pennsylvania might not be the best place for them. Western Kansas? Pretty good place...

It was almost laughable how the filmmakers tried to paint the wind industry as full of corruption and greed, and therefore painting wind energy as not being the green solution it is touted as. Of course wind corporations are corrupt and evil. They're corporations. It's their nature. The problem is corporatism, not wind energy.

GasLand had a more stark and gritty feel. It explores the wild and wacky world of fracking. If you think fracking is a sustainable practice then I think you need a good smack in the head. If you watch GasLand and don't want to go out and blow up a gas well then you are a corporate stooge.

People will make the argument that we have to frack to have energy independence and to maintain our current way of life. And I say, if that's your only justification for doing something so ecologically damaging, and so harmful to human health, then perhaps you place to much regard on an unsustainable way of life. To be fair, I would apply the same argument to industrial wind in inappropriate places, built with unsustainable methods.

I'm not making these observations from a Leftist stance. I've seem firsthand the ecological damage left behind from conventional oil and gas drilling operations. It just naturally follows that jamming toxic chemicals into the ground and breaking up the earth would be MORE destructive.

An undisclosed location
near the Big Sinking Oil Field
in Eastern Kentucky

Common sense tells me that putting up massive wind generators near, or blasting up the bedrock under, someone's house is a blatant show of disregard for their well-being.

And I couldn't help but think of many of the films I've seen criticizing mountaintop coal mining as Josh Fox was interviewing landowners who allegedly had been affected by fracking. It's the same kinds of impacts to health, safety and welfare

The most disturbing thing from GasLand was the revelation (for me) that fracking was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Another painful reality of recent American history was the blatant attack by the Bush administration on environmental protection. The stripping of our environmental protection is little more than tyranny by those in power, and only in the name of profit.

Shut up! I'm not a left-wing nut job because I recognize that to have any kind of quality of life human beings need an environment that is not filled with toxic materials AND financial gain is no justification for destroying the only environment we have to live in.

Common sense tells me these things. I don't need Robert Kennedy, Jr to tell me. Though I am also reading his Crimes Against Nature.

The real answer to these issues is for the Developed world to become the better example, to scale back on rampant and senseless consumption, to focus on quality of life, not quantity of stuff.

I do love nature. I don't worship it or hold it in higher regard that humanity. And I do believe it's purpose is to serve man, but...we have an obligation not to destroy the environment we currently live in, and in which our heirs will someday thrive or not, depending on what kind of stewardship we practice. But you can't truly love nature, and respect its importance unless you walk in nature, off the beaten path, under a clear blue sky.

Don't blind yourself to the reality that our health is in decline when we could be the healthiest generation of all time. Our health, and the health of our children, is being taken, without due compensation, just so industry can exploit to gain with fewer obstacles and more profit.

As for me and my house, we'll practice good stewardship.

No comments:

Post a Comment