The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

December 18, 2010

'Friends' should unite for Rogers

Not only can concerned citizens be "Friends of Rogers Environmental Education Center," but "Friends of Natural Gas" as well. Why not let Rogers generate its own funds? Hydrofracking doesn't just have to be insanely profitable; it can be fun and educational too! Let's take a look at the possibilities.

Imagine cedar boardwalks winding around waste pits and chemical storage tanks, meandering past compressor stations and condensate tanks. What would your kids rather look at, a screaming 100-foot gas flare or a willow hut?

We can still have all the seasonal activities that families enjoy with just a few minor tweaks. For example, Winter Living Celebration can now be the Nuclear Winter Survival Challenge. Join staff botanists in a desperate attempt to find plants that can survive on low-light levels. Prizes go to best "shock and awe" costume.

They'll also be new trails like the "All the Animals That Used to Live Here" trail. See if you can find any evidence of the coyotes, bears, bobcats and other creatures that now prefer more pristine environments like New Jersey.

Introducing the new Compressor Station trail! A great hike on those sultry summer days. … ahhh! Feel the breeze from those diesel turbines! The ever-popular night walks are going to get even better. Thanks to gas well flaring, we'll be able to easily see all the owls and bats and other animals that are too sick to leave.

There will be new animals too. Take your kids to the "Wildcat Den" located at the Adams Farm. Nature truly reveals herself here. From the migration impulse that brings these odd creatures to our area, to the mating habits, territorial disputes, even life-and-death clashes -- it's all here for your nature viewing pleasure behind specially constructed and reinforced observation blinds.

At the Ronald Reagan trailside disinformation board, find out why trees are the planet's largest source of pollution. Also check out the latest on the bedeviled cash borer, already decimating much of the Allegheny National Forest and coming soon to New York's state forests. Also, high school students can drop off their entries for the essay contest, "Why Trees are Always in the Way." First prize is a brand-new Stihl chainsaw courtesy of Commerce Chenango.

Take a stroll down the Halliburton Loop: The whole trail takes at least two terms. You'll encounter sign boards explaining the Clean Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act and other unnecessary federal environmental laws. The observant naturalist will note holes bored into the federal legislation caused by the destructive, redstate block-headed woodpecker, an invasive species that, if left unchecked, can parasitize whole ecosystems.

Don't miss the Cornell Cooperative Interactive Exhibit, where state epidemiologists will take a sample of your child's blood and screen it for methyl-benzene, toluene and other pesky chemicals that are sometimes, maybe, sort of connected to gas drilling. Whether or not you "pass" the test -- every child gets a cool coloring book extolling the virtues of "clean-burning natural gas" and a free inhaler!

Finally, we'll need a new name and a catchy slogan. I suggest: "Norgers, Where Industry Puts Nature in Its Place."

Bill McLaughlin, a member of Chenango Forest Watch, lives in New Berlin.

1
Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio
Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column

Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson
Rick Brockway
Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Helium
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service
Poll

What are your thoughts on the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling?

It was the right thing to do
It was wrong
I can see both sides of the issue
Not familiar with the ruling
     View Results