January 26 , 2013
* TOMORROW'S NEED TRUMPED BY TODAY'S GREED *
I wonder about us. I wonder about our elegantly analytical minds and our collective faith in a future that's urban, industrial, and computer glitterate. How much stock can we really
put in a science that can tell us what, where, how, and when, but
For example: nationally, there's the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; locally, it's the Rocky Mountain Front. Both, admittedly, have high potential for oil and natural gas deposits beneath their
surface. Science tells us that.
Both ANWR and the Front have eager exploiters poised like "Sooners" ready to rush into Oklahoma's Indian Territory. Those
who most stand to profit from development say exploration and
extraction can be done without "leaving a single track." Can
anyone be so gullible as to believe such self-serving garbage?
Even if it were possible, there's still the question, "Why?"
To make us "energy independent," so the old refrain goes. But
one doesn't need the nose of a grizzly to scent more garbage on the
wind. ANWR oil and Front Range gas might make us LESS energy
dependent ... for a week or a decade. Then what? It only stands
to reason that most of the rest of the world's oil reserves lie
beneath most of the rest of the world--outside our borders. The
truth is, real energy independence will occur only with alternative
energy development--say, fuel cells--and not before.
Let's turn up the hole card in this poker game and see what we find. Well, I'll be darned--there's greed. Greed is the why for
the push to exploit potential oil reserves beneath ANWR and the
Rocky Mountain Front. Somebody plans to make a buck. The problem
is somebody wants to steal that buck from our kids and their kids.
There's cultural irony here. We tend to look down our patrician
noses at profligate cultures who fail to plan for the future.
Gluttonous tribesman who gorge today while letting tomorrow's food
spoil seem beneath our culture's contempt. We herald the rancher
for stockpiling livestock feed for the long run. As individuals,
we willingly ration woodpiles to last for the winter, put up fruit
and vegetables for future lean times, patch clothing to make 'em
last. And most of all, we prepare our children for futurity
through savings accounts for a better education than we had.
Ours is a forward-thinking, dynamic society, right? No
tribemens' mentality here, right? Instead, we plan for the future,
right? Then how explain the current demand to develop our last
natural splendors--to hell with the next generation!
Remember the question. Science either has given, or can give, the answers to What, Where, When, and How; but it can never provide
the Why. It can never tell us why we're even thinking of jerking
what might be our children's last legacy from beneath their very
feet. Come on now
Greed is natural. Everybody has some--even you and me. What's
not natural is to allow a few intemperates to steal our children's
legacy in order to satisfy their parents' gluttony.
In short, we cannot stand idly by and allow today's greed to trump tomorrow's need.
Next week? Another walk on the wild side.
for previous posts in
ROLAND'S Campfire Culture blog