Posted by: tedgar110 | May 6, 2008

Drilling in my backyard?

For the past year and a half, I have been working with the National Council of Churches to address the issue of climate change and the need for national legislation that mandates the US to reduce its carbon footprint in the world. The affects of climate change are overwhelming. From the impacts on God’s creation and God’s people (look at the typhoon that recently hit Myanmar) to other impacts connected with health, children, and security. 

While some of us are focused on what we can do at the national level to reduce our use of fossil fuels and create a more sustainable society, we are continually faced with daily challenges. A recent note from a friend in PA is a great example of what we are facing as a broader society.

Mining companies (historically known for their poor practices in the Rocky Mountain west) have now moved eastward and are looking for gas reserves on the east coast. One place they have targeted – Wayne County, PA. Gas companies are offering money to land owners who allow them to drill on their property. Though there is clear financial incentive in this for the land owner, these companies fail to highlight the impacts to both God’s creation and God’s people that result from this type of drilling. The land is left devastated from the machinery and process used to extract the gas and there is great potential for aquifer pollution as a result of drilling having tremendous consequences for the surrounding community and the local water supply. The list of potential problems is endless and this process is clearly one could truly devastate God’s creation and many of our communities. These companies are trying to take advantage of land owners, not providing full disclosure about the drilling process, and providing no information regarding the long term impacts of these practices. 

Stories such as this always serve as a helpful reminder that, as both global and local communities, we face a tough road ahead in our efforts to prevent catastrophic climate change and more importantly, create a sustainable world for future generations. God has called us to be good stewards of the land and work for justice for all of our brothers and sisters. This is a challenge we face daily in both our backyards and around the world. As people of faith, we must work together, support one another and find ways to live out our call in each and every part of our walk with God.

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