Consume less

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I know the arguments for and against fracking, whether it’s happening under Deer Lakes Park or elsewhere. The “for” camp claims that we can contribute to energy independence and a broken economy by fracking for natural gas while the “against” camp lists the known and potential environmental dangers.

Both sides need a to consider another argument.

Populations increase exponentially to the point of diminishing returns, and then our available resources (food, energy or even space) are insufficient and the population begins to decrease. I don’t want to be around to see that, and you shouldn’t either. Increasing the supply of natural resources by fracking or through any new extraction techniques is the wrong approach because it just pushes the point of diminishing returns a bit into the future. Opposing these techniques for their environmental concerns is honorable, but we’re still using more and more energy by the day.

The right way to offset the point of diminishing returns indefinitely is to consume less.

Unfortunately, that’s not the American way. We like our big houses and cars. We buy plastic bottles full of water and pre-packaged food. We set our thermostats to 65 degrees in the summer and 75 degrees in the winter. We drive in situations when it would be just as easy to walk or ride a bicycle. Energy independence should not be the goal. Impossible as it may sound, we must aspire to be energy neutral with lower levels of consumption coupled with renewables. Pittsburgh in recent years has become a “green” leader, but we’re still using energy at increasing levels on an individual scale. Fracking is wrong, and the energy corporations should stop doing it. But so is over-consumption. Individuals need to stop doing that.




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