Fracking In NYS Presentation Was Biased

To The Reader’s Forum:

A letter in the April 4 Post-Journal claimed that the “Fracking in NYS” presentation at the Prendergast Library in March was apparently “biased” according to the tag line. I also attended, and I agree absolutely!

Actually, the presentation was titled “Fracking – Impacts on Environment, Health and Society” and the advance publicity in the March 19 Post-Journal made it clear that the information would deal with “the adverse effects of the hydrofracking process.” It was further made clear during the introduction that this presentation was a direct response to an earlier Prendergast Library program on fracking, which I also attended, that was counter-“biased” toward the “economic benefits” of fracking and essentially denied the existence of actual or reasonably foreseeable adverse consequences.

Interestingly, the April 4 writer included some references to the Bible, which he attributed to “where some in the environmental movement are at today. Their God is the earth.” I guess he was being critical of environmentalists with the following quote: “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served created things rather than the creator…” Hmmm. Seems to me that the message ought to be directed at the proponents of fracking. The way I understand “the Bible”, the earth belongs to God and man belongs to the earth; man is to steward over the earth for all time.

Proponents of fracking, like proponents of extraction of most of the earth’s finite energy resources seemingly do so in the exchange of the “truth” of God, by worshiping and serving man-made things rather than heed the creator. My understanding is that stewardship includes using the gifts of the earth in ways that preserve and protect the earth and its inhabitants for all time.

My religious upbringing teaches that good stewardship, when possible, should involve reducing consumption and re-using and/or recycling what has already been created. By doing so we can help avoid adverse environmental and human health consequences in balancing our energy needs of today and of future generations.

The collective voices heard at the March presentation merely professed wisdom gained from the adverse impact of our past efforts of energy resource extraction. We need to re-think our short-sighted economic (and political) “benefits” of fracking and look to the long term all time. As good stewards, we have the capability to obtain and responsibly use renewable and sustainable energy resources – we just need the will.

Paul Demler

Jamestown