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


January 16, 2014

In Our Opinion: It's worth trying to cut down on fossil fuels

Ms. Blake’s argument that if Hartwick is going to ban hydrofracking, it ought to also then ban the use of all petrochemical products, is tedious at best and disingenuous at worst.

We in the sustainability movement are keenly aware of our over-dependence on fossil fuels. While we are trying our best to minimize our consumption of petroleum products, the sad reality is that there are still too few alternatives out there that we can afford, in no small part due to the continued availability of cheap fossil fuel-based energy. Does that mean we should give up on trying to wean ourselves from that which is slowly poisoning us and and frying the planet? I don’t think so.

For many decades, we have been dealing with ever-increasing levels of chronic illness brought to you in part by the petrochemical industry. And if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change we must begin leaving the carbon in the ground now. We are a clever, if short-sighted, species. If we put our minds to it, we can innovate ways out of this mess that involve less-destructive methods of energy production.

Until we do, the world’s supply of fossil fuels is not threatened one iota by leaving a few years’ worth of it in the ground in New York state, let alone a few minutes’ worth of it in Hartwick. If Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states chose to mortgage their health and their future for a few dollars, that’s their choice. Though in reality it’s probably the choice of those in power, not necessarily the majority of the people. Hartwick can be proud that it wants to choose a better way. Gov. Cuomo would do well to learn from them.

Steven Zerby


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