Tread with caution | AspenTimes.com

Tread with caution

“Reasonable people always agree when they know what they are talking about.” This is a favorite quote from an anonymous, although obviously insightful, individual.

The impacts of oil and gas development are extremely complex, intense and far-reaching in breadth and width in areas where such activities are diligently pursued. It is not only presumptuous but dangerous to predict that such activities will broadly benefit all.

When potential impacts to natural environments, including human habitats, are not taken into preliminary account, immediate and long-term consequences can only be guessed.

Cumulative resource contamination to water, air and soil may have very detrimental effects on human health – particularly, perhaps, the young, elderly, those with compromised immune systems and pregnant/nursing mothers. The physiological associations of extreme emotional stress are no less factored in human vitality and longevity

A study, conducted by the Center for Environmental Integrity, is currently under way to assist in documenting these and other effects, and will make a useful tool in better planning for such potentially destructive industrial activities, sometimes occurring within 50 yards of residences.

The world has known many of the risks involved to human health and safety regarding this industry for over 50 years, and we should not disregard such lessons now. The past is the end of a circle waiting to meet us around the bend; and, if the natural gas potential beneath the great Rocky Mountain range is a mouse, industry is 47 hungry coyotes. Let us tread with great caution.

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Lisa Bracken

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