The Midas touch

At the hearing on Anadarko’s plan for gas drilling in Loyalsock State forest, I understood DCNR cannot flatly refuse to allow drilling, as Anadrako owns subterranean gas, though not all the surface rights. DCNR can place limits to protect public interests, but taking property from Anadarko is unconstitutional, w/o “just compensation”.

Where do human rights figure in this balance? Human beings, and all life forms, require their natural habitats. We know we need clean air and water, and a balance of life around us for food.

But studies show a green environment positively affects our brains, our impulse control, stress levels. And we see that disturbing the environment destabilizes climate, threatening life on the planet. The law is said to protect life over property. Is the law required to be shortsighted?

Free enterprise is placing public policy in profit- driven private hands. Is it healthy for the planet when exterminators render your yard insect-free? Pro-biotics help your immune system, while we kill off these same bacteria with ani-bacterials. And private industry encourages us to “throw away” ever more, turning our resources into trash, faster and faster.

If they say they only give consumers what we demand, ask them why they need to spend billions on advertising, much of it on psychologists. Aren’t we supposed to have learned this lesson in grade school with the story of King Midas? Will we let greed extinguish what is real and essential to our life and well-being?

Janice Hambridge


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom