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moonlight outhouse

"Moonlight on Outhouse" -- Bigstock

People want to export more coal, drill for more oil, frack for more gas, all in the name of “producing more jobs at home.”

I have no doubt that doing all this would indeed create thousands upon thousands of jobs. But producing a job isn’t the same thing as doing something useful for people.

We could hire thousands of people all across the country to cut down every tree in every city. Those jobs would feed families for a while, but they’d devastate our cities in return. And eventually, those jobs would still peter out.

We could also hire tens of thousands of people to pick up sledgehammers and break up every sidewalk in the country. That would feed multitudes of families. The unemployment rate would plummet.

Well, yes, but don’t be ridiculous. That would be sheer destruction, just for the sake of a job.

I think you’re starting to get the point.

“Yes, yes, yes, that’s all fine and good, but if WE don’t build that coal terminal or drill that well, someone else will.”

Fair enough. But just because SOMEONE will be making a profit off of destroying the environment doesn’t mean WE have to do it. When the Mafia wants a hit on a rival, SOMEONE will take the job of hitman. But just because SOMEONE will become a murderer doesn’t mean it has to be ME.

Trying to recover from all the damage caused by water pollution and carbon emissions and other toxins will cost the country a great deal more than the short-term profits waiting to be made now. There will clearly be a day of reckoning, and it isn’t that far off. Do we want to be the person history ridicules and abhors or the person all of society respects and thanks? Do you want to be Hitler or Gandhi? Lincoln or Stalin?

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Or perhaps we don’t care what anyone else thinks or feels, as long as we get our money?

If selling your body makes you a prostitute, what does selling your soul make you?

There are countless jobs that could be created right now to start repairing the damage that’s already been done, and to develop green energy that will HAVE to be developed sooner or later whether we like it or not. Those are real jobs, too.

Or we could sit back and do another “feasibility study” to try to guess what these current operations will do if continued or increased.

I have to wonder, though, don’t we know already? We’ve had coal for two centuries. We’ve had oil and gas for quite some time, too. And the evidence is pretty conclusive that they all wreak unbelievable havoc to the environment and all things that live on the Earth, including humans.

This debate is like asking if an air freshener will make going to the outhouse more pleasant. Perhaps it will. But it’s still an outhouse.

And it’s one thing to have an isolated outhouse twenty yards from the main house. It’s another thing to convert our living room to an outhouse as well.

Green energy is like indoor plumbing, a much better solution than adding a large bucket of sewage to every room. The fact is that there is no way to eliminate the repercussions of our presence on the Earth, but we can at the very least minimize the negative effects and try to preserve our world not only for our children and grandchildren, but also for their children and grandchildren, and for all of the life that has a God-given right to live on this precious, precious planet as well.

Johnny Townsend

Johnny Townsend

Tuesday, 18 December 2012