Friday, May 06, 2011

Dirty Future

Well, the messes are starting to hit closer to home...

The pipeline leak in northwest Alberta, that most North Americans have likely heard of by now, happened around 2 or 3 hours north of me. This 28,000 barrel mess brought immediately to mind the pipeline which runs through our summer pasture property...the lovely little lightly forested piece of wildlife filled wonder that it is. Plus there are 2 pumpjacks operating on the land as well. These land leases have actually been the farm's largest source of income for several years now. I know many farmers now rely on the income from oil and gas activity on their land, most able to close their mind to the myriad of potentially disastrous possibilities. I know Dad thought a great deal before agreeing to accept these leases, and I gave him a very hard time over it as well. But in the end, I agree with his reasoning. They were going through our area no matter what. If we had refused they would have simply put bends in the pipeline or put their pump jacks across the fence and we'd have the danger AND no revenue. So the money was accepted and put to as good use as possible.

But the much larger problem is that these disastrous possibilities are only going to increase in likelihood of occurring as infrastructure that was too rapidly built and installed begins to age and decay. And as peak oil becomes more and more of an issue, the shout for drilling in more and more sensitive areas WILL occur. Last year's Gulf of Mexico disaster was a perfect example, as should be obvious by how quickly that mess has faded from attention. If we cannot shift to demanding less consumption, we will ravage every last corner of this planet for its "resourcees".

Are people waking up quickly enough and in large enough numbers to stave off this ugly, dirty future? Or are we just waiting for another quick fix, happy to sit inside and consume until there is nothing left but to fight over the few remaining scraps?

I will keep working for the former (there is much more that I should do, than I actually do), as I know many will...but I can`t help but feel the latter is what will occur. May we prove this feeling wrong.

More to come on this, I`m sure, though the next post will be of a lighter nature. I promise.


LindaM said...

Gas consumption is avtually down in the U.S. This is irectly tied into cost, not ethics. If it ot cheap enough again, old habits would return. Peaolpe are waiting for the alternative in my opinon.
It was said to her about your pipeline leak.

LindaM said...

P.S. Sorry about the typos! I didn't edit!

TH in SoC said...

So sorry to hear about the pipeline leak. I would just say that I suspect that most Americans have probably not heard about it, due to the "P.T. Barnum" nature of our media. If you can get any more information and post it on you blog, I'd be happy to mention it (and your posts) on my blog.

Jerry said...

Linda, thanks for the comment and no problem on the typos!

TH, you make an excellent point. Sorry I haven't done as you suggested but I will try to do so.

Walter Jeffries said...

You're lucky to get any income. We have 32 acres that is taken up by a power corridor. We pay the taxes on that land at full price but can't really do anything with it. I wouldn't want to build a house under it and nobody else would either. The lines crackle with discharges. We get no lease payment. It was just taken. There is a battle over in NH on this issue now too. The power companies have too much power.

My word verification is a palindrome.