Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Here's Another Excellent Letter to the Editor Written by Jeff Heller

"Suppose, five or ten years ago, you went to your doctor, who you believed in almost religiously, and he told you your cold was pneumonia and it would probably kill you shortly. Then, a few years later he told you your headaches were caused by a brain tumor that would kill you in less than a year. Then, two years later, he told you your stomach problems were colon cancer that would kill you in less than six months. If all these diagnoses and predictions were totally wrong, would you still believe in this great doctor ? Almost all of the "great" or famous environmentalist leaders have been just as wrong. Rachel Carson - 'we'll run out of food and fossil fuels before 1980'; Paul Ehrlich - 'we'll run out of food and fossil fuels before the end of the 80's'; Al Gore - 'we'll see the extermination of the polar bears' (5,000 in 1960, 25,000 in 2005 ); the internal combustion engine will not exist by 2000' ( he really hit that one ! ); 'sea levels will rise by 20 feet or more in the next 100 years' ( no semi-intelligent scientist believes that); " I invented the Internet" ( oops- different subject ). In the 1970's these environmentalists were certain we were entering a new Ice Age - see three cover stories in Time magazine. And, on and on they go, and where they'll stop nobody knows. ( Although we know a lot of them stopped in New York !) We live in an age where we know our air and water are constantly cleaner, but we believe they are getting dirtier. We believe the idiotic predictions of Carson and Ehrlich instead of listening to the much more valid science of Bjorn Lomborg. We listen to the likes of Al Gore and Josh Fox ( "the truth is irrelevant" ) instead of Robert Bryce or Ronald Bailey - both authors of thorough studies of the false claims of the environmentalists. Here on the more local level we know Pa. and Ohio are experiencing great benefits from the Marcellus and Utica Shales. But, we somehow believe that the same drilling will be "devastating" in New York. When we go down to Pa. we can see the jobs, the better roads, no water pollution, no dead cows, no "devastation", no dead children littering the roadsides. We see Lakeland School District with two gas wells on school property - netting $ 1.2 million in royalties so far. No dead students, just students with more educational opportunities than they had pre-wells. The overwhelming majority of the towns that have passed bans or moratoriums are located well north of the viable Marcellus Shale. We have to hope that the towns over the more viable shale play will continue to support gas drilling as they have in the past. They are closer to the benefits occurring in Pa. and Ohio. Many have friends in those states that are benefiting. Many of our farmers know Pa. farmers who "can now afford to stay in farming".Our towns that are located where the benefits are a real possibility are much more aware of their value. The towns to the north, where for now ( overlooking the potential of the Utica Shale ) drilling would not happen anyhow, can continue to make their political statements through bans and moratoriums. The towns to the south will continue to work to be on the receiving end of the benefits. And, those southern towns can help provide all the environmental benefits of natural gas that so many of the extremists continue to ignore - making those of us who favor gas the effective environmentalists. As more and more of our generating plants convert to natural gas our air is already cleaner. It's an 'inconvenient truth' that this is already happening, and happening on a scale that even the Kyoto believers could not have hoped for. The question for us is - will New York ever join the other 31 states that are already taking part in the "miracle". Or, are we going to keep going back to that "great" doctor ?"

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