End of the Year Thoughts, a Long View


South of Slippery Rock, I often drive the West Liberty Portersville Road and many times pass the Miller Esker. (The Miller Esker, also known as Jacksville Esker and West Liberty Hogback, was formed during the last glaciation about 23,000 years ago. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Miller Esker Natural Area currently protects over 2,000 feet of the esker, possibly the best preserved in the state *The esker is Site #8 on PA DCNR’s “Trail of Geology - Glacial Lakes and Drainage Changes. (Copies available at nearby Moraine State Park and at www.dcnr.state.pa.us ) State Park and at www.dcnr.state.pa.us.). Years ago I was a Cub Scout leader and I was so excited to share with the boys including my sons the fact that the glacier stopped here and everywhere around them was covered with ice, glacial thick ice. They looked unimpressed and then asked, “Can we go fishing now.” The point being planet earth has been and is always in both dynamic and incremental change. The planet supported life long before human beings arrived on the scene. According to Wikipedia the timeline of prehistory covers the time from the first appearance of Homo sapiens in Africa 315,000 years ago to the invention of writing and the beginning of history, 5,000 years ago. It thus covers the time from the Middle Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) to the very beginnings of world history. Not that we all agree on the timeline but human beings are not in control of the forces that change the earth. Not to argue human beings make an impact as we multiply and demand more to live what we consider the better life. However to declare we are the total cause of climate change and global warming temperatures may be somewhat misguided. To the Chicken Littles of the world, “the sky is not falling in”.Common sense could argue America is leading the reduction of greenhouses gases by prudent use of natural gas, controlling methane emissions, developing new technologies, fostering carbon capture and the list goes on. In the meantime China announces they will continue to build coal-fired power plants through beachfront 2024 and in other parts of the world rain forests are being cut down to extract rare earth metals for components for batteries and electric vehicles. Perhaps timely planning should include building dikes around New York City and beach front property or better yet moving to higher ground. May 2022 be a year when we collectively for humans and planet benefit put energy to good use.

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