Thursday, March 21, 2013

Energy Production (Growth) Vs The Environment (Green)

Have you been reading the reports about the Chinese smog problem? As crazy as the pictures and stories are, the real debate hinges on growth vs the environment.

Bejing is turning into an impossible place to live - would you want to live here
and make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year? Is it worth it? 
The Chinese have chosen a 10% growth rate over protecting the environment (which includes the humans within that environment - according to the China Journal of Pediatrics, Asthma cases in children rose 64% from 1990 - 2000). But what I find interesting is, that until now, the Chinese have been OK with this. They are fine with wearing gas masks to go out on the town. Having your children play in a tube outside to protect them from harmful air pollutants is totally cool with them. Because it was a choice - albeit from a authoritative government.

But now on to the question about US. Durango, CO has just OK'd two exploratory shale drilling operations. Considering Colorado's limitation on these type of operations, it was kind of an interesting twist of fate for the industry. However, when Durangoan's read stories about North Dakota's 3.3 unemployment rate, our ears perk up to the idea of another ATV or shotgun. But are we considering the total cost of how this might impact us? Should we start the ask the same question the Chinese are asking - is it worth it?

Granted, Durango probably won't be a smog capital. But it is us citizens that ultimately decide the fate of our economy and environment. We need to make an educated choice (why I'm in favor of all water and fracking reports/analysis to be made public) about our future. The stupidity of "drill baby drill" still scares me, as the uninformed will always err on the side of their lack of education. We shouldn't be all about the industry, but we shouldn't be all about the environment either.

So which is it? Drill or Don't?

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