Nature has followed four principles for 4.5 billion years. It’s fascinating that the earth survives successfully with just four
Drilling for gas, especially Marcellus Shale, and removing mountaintops for coal works against the principles of sustainability. Knowing the earth ultimately supports us, it is time to rethink the way we make decisions. When we make decisions, consideration needs to be given to what works and is sustainable.
Deriving energy from inside the earth is backwards. The second principle of sustainability is all ecosystems obtain energy from the sun. Simple! Sunlight travels to earth in eight minutes, photosynthesis occurs, energy flows. Energy is available where it’s needed — easy access. Plants don’t walk about to get energy — sunlight travels to them. In fact, there is an overabundant amount of energy coming to earth.
Extrapolating from this, it behooves us to look at the human system and question, if nature has been surviving 4.5 billion years utilizing solar energy, why are we not doing the same? Why are we not looking up at that nuclear furnace in the sky and tapping into it more aggressively, rather than extracting resources from inside the earth and sending them world wide?
Why are we making choices that are harmful to the earth and people? Why are we digging coal, fracturing rocks to release gas, disturbing balances necessary for the sustainability of ourselves and the earth?
Why are we wasting so much energy and water to generate energy? Why are we using chemicals for fracking and blowing off mountaintops and risking our water, air and soil in the process?
Mountaintop removal and hydraulic-fracking do not work within the rules of sustainability. As human beings, we owe it to ourselves and the earth to understand and follow the rules. In regards to energy, utilizing the sun to drive our human system makes sense.
We have made strides with solar energy and a local business, Mountain View Solar, has done a terrific job supporting its development. There are local folks who have solar energy, along with the courthouse, but there needs to be more education, research and support.
If we all understood the four principles of sustainability, I believe it would change the way we think and make decisions. It simply won’t work to continue to support mountaintop removal for coal and hydraulic-fracking for gas. Bath both! For ourselves and those yet unborn.