Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — Head to the casino
The next time Northwestern Michigan College President Tim Nelson gets a hankerin’ to do some gamblin’ with $70,000 of the taxpayers’ money, we’d all be better served if he’d just take his own money to Turtle Creek Casino.
Now choose life
Oil and gas companies plan to frack 500 wells in our beautiful northern Michigan paradise. But former Mobil VP Louis Allstadt calls high-volume hydrofracking “horrible” and “conventional drilling on steroids.” The flowback is 50-100 times more than with conventional drilling. An unintended consequence of fracking is the seepage of methane gas into the air and water through natural fissures or old well bores. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Methane hastens climate change and threatens all life on Planet Earth.
While oil and gas companies have the power to destroy life in “the race to drill what’s left” of Earth’s fossil fuels, they also have vast resources to pioneer alternative energy and involve youth in creative solutions to Earth’s energy needs - like Walgreen’s new solar off-the-grid store in Evanston, Ill. If solar works there, it’ll work in many places.
In choosing whether to destroy Planet Earth or lead the world in sustainable energy production, oil and gas companies would do well to consider the wisdom of Moses: “I have set before you life and death — now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
Have we learned?
I am reading Robert Massie’s Peter the Great, the history of the man who became the hereditary Tsar of Russia in 1682 at the age of 10. Tsar Peter took his country from a strange and remote country to a military, political and economic powerhouse in the western world.
I was struck by this passage from the book. “Peter’s industrialization policy had a second purpose … His tax collectors were already wringing the Russian people lifeless to finance his war. The only long term way to extract more revenue from his people, Peter realized, was to increase the production of national wealth, thus increasing the tax base. To achieve this goal, the Tsar hurled himself and the power of the state into every aspect of developing the national economy. Peter viewed himself as personally responsible for the strengthening of the national economy …” (pps 770-771).
The year was 1712. That was 300 years ago. Have we learned anything since?