April rushes in like a Lion. Our lives are affected by the maxim “As Above, So below. This must be true because controversy rushed in like a lion this spring beginning as well.
Last Tuesday's message “A Battle Won” about the Senate defeating a bill aimed at introducing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve proved that you do not have to go to Iraq to step on a land mine.
Here is what readers wrote:
"Sorry, Gary. I'm afraid I see the vote against ANWR exploration as a battle won for misinformation and hypocrisy. I don't think we were being asked to 'sacrifice this spectacular natural treasure' at all. As natural treasures go this one is not very high on the list for being spectacular. ANWR is certainly not among 'the nation's crown jewel wildlife areas.' I fail to see how the minimal impact of drilling ANWR would have set a dangerous precedent thereby rendering the nation's crown jewel wildlife areas, not safe from sprawling oil/mineral exploitation. More important, I don't see any evidence that it would be 'sacrificed' by exploring for, drilling for, or extracting oil and gas. The vast majority of the area would remain undisturbed. Our experience at Purdue Bay suggests that what disruption would occur won't cause much problem, if any, for local wildlife, what there is of it. As to the two groups of local natives, their views, for or against, simply reflect those of the outside interests that subsidize them. The U.S. Senate that 'listened to the American people and voted to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling' should be ashamed for squandering its tenuous majority, for having no backbone, and instead simply swaying like reeds in the political winds. By the way, I have been a fan of you and Merri for years although I don't always agree with you. Thanks for your newsletter.Regards,""Gary,I like lots of things that you say, but sometimes you have some strange thoughts. Have you ever been to Alaska? Would you want to live in Alaska? Does anyone else want to live in the area where they drill for oil? I don't think so and I know of no reason that we shouldn't exploit those resources. The wildlife there is of no benefit to mankind and the area is of no use to mankind except for a very few individuals who think it's great to suffer the deprivation of civilization and live a miserable life in the cold and isolation of the far north. I've been there once and I can assure you that I'd never go back. They could drill a million oil wells there and you would have a hard time locating them. There is nothing to preserve for mankind and the animals couldn't care less.""Gary I like and enjoy most of your stuff HOWEVER I have to STRONGLY disagree with your stand on drilling in the arctic........most of you folks that are against that probably don't really even have a clue.........and I DO. I lived in Alaska for 25 years and I worked in the arctic oil fields and I can tell you from first hand experience that damage from drilling in the arctic would be about the damage caused by running a string across Manhattan island..........before the trans Alaska pipeline was built the doomsayers all said that it would destroy the arctic caribou herds..........when the fact of the matter was that they increased and they increased specifically around Prudhoe Bay as it gave them a bit more of a refuge from some natural predators........and it didn't hurt their predators either as they still had access to all they needed for food. As far as the drilling technology goes.......today it is so sophisticated that all the drilling can be done from just a very few drilling pads.......ALL of which are subject to complete remediation upon completion of drilling. Furthermore even 10 years ago when I was working there the consciousness of protecting the environment was so EXTREME that if even a cup of motor oil got spilled on a pad.........a series of reports had to be submitted and a team was dispatched to clean it up ENTIRELY.........so I sure do wish you guys that really don't know what you are talking about would make an effort to know the REAL world of what goes on up there instead of buying into knee jerk reactions about NOT drilling.""Gary,"I have a problem with saving something for future generations that they will never utilize. I have two children that will never go live in the Arctic nor most likely will ever visit it. We don't harvest the animals or fauna so they are of no benefit. We have a few very rich people like you that can afford the time and the money to go there to see it. Please rationalize your stand and explain to me and others what benefit do we get from keeping it pristine."The following is a quote from the Federalist."Moreover, late last week the Senate turned back a key plank of the administration's energy plan, as opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration was defeated, 52-48. (Daschle was concerned that the minimal environmental impact of such exploration might disturb the breeding grounds of some ofAlaska's pterodactyl mosquitoes.) This defeat comes at a time when consumer dependency and prices for foreign oil are approaching record highs.... Brilliant!"I was raised on a Texas ranch that my great grandfather, grandfather and father labored many years to remove the predators, improve the rangeland and raise livestock for food and clothing."All of that effort has gone to waste with the protection of wolves, coyotes and other wild vermin along with juniper brush that has ruined the raising of sheep, goats and other beneficial animals. That heritage has been taken from me and my children because we can't afford to live there and make a living."The only way that we can afford to keep the land now is that we have used conservative measures to improve the quantity and quality of deer and turkey so that we can sell hunting rights to the wealthy. The state would eliminate that if they could and from time to time propose that the wild animals are state property and the elimination of the juniper bush (not a native) will make it a hardship for some nesting birds."Yes, you can afford the luxury of going there, but the vast majority of people can't, but they still suffer the loss of jobs and product that the ranches provided."So how does the protection of the Arctic Wildlife area benefit me or my children? Tell me how it puts money or savings in my bank, food on my table, a roof over my head. Maybe I and my children should become extinct to preserve an area so that you and only a few wealthy or foolish people have the opportunity to visit."I like a lot of things that you say, but this is one area that I do not think you have the expertise and knowledge to make judgment.Best regards,"
We had positive comments as well, such as:
"Dear Gary, Just a quick note to let you know how much I appreciate your newsletter. It's refreshing to get valuable information that supports spirit and nature. Thank you. Sincerely,""Great job on the Battle Won article. Let's hope that Bush does not decides that the Vuntut Gwichin people who live along the arctic coastal plain don't need to be liberated too."
Others did not write pro or con but included interesting information about potential solutions such as this:
“Gary I have a few comments with regard to oil. First, diesels can be run on vegetable oil -take a look at www.veggievan.com . I also wanted to mention the various efforts presently on-going to develop free energy devices. Hoaxes? Some probably are. However, other devices have been patented, such as Tom Bearden's MEG (Motionless Electromagnetic Generator), and also a device by John Bedini, who just sold a motor for a million dollars (hope it wasn't bought in order to suppress it). And then there is the reputation-staking announcement made on national radio by Stephen Greer in January 2003 – go to www.seaspower.com to read a transcript or listen to the broadcast. If any of these devices prove out, it will allow the elimination of pollution, for energy costs have previously made cleanup uneconomical. The zero point energy concept is an accepted mainstream physics concept; when you bring a volume of space to absolute zero, there is still energy left. Also the Casimir Effect is thought to demonstrated the presence of virtual particle flux permeating space. A young physicist from South America is making a case for the speed of light not being constant, and his equations suggest vacuum energy. Most physicists argue there is not much energy there, but it is an unexplored area. If you investigate Ed Leedskalnin and his Coral Castle in Florida you will find literally hard evidence of the holes in our science. And astronomers are now saying the visible universe of normal matter only constitutes less than 5% of the mass of the universe – and they do not know what the other 95% is made of! I can provide more references if you are interested. Take care.”
I took a look at some of these sites and am suspicious of some, but rarely has a brand new technology been easily accepted. Yet if our scientific experience is limited how can we really know when claims such as zero point energy are true. This is the purpose of our course “Sharing Power.
So for now, I ask the skeptics to read the online article “Planet Earth in Peril” at CBS online news. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/08/13/tech/main518542.shtml
Then tomorrow I will make a more complete reply in Sharing Power's next lesson. Until then may wherever you are, whatever your beliefs, be a great place to be.