Hats off to the local citizens who are endeavoring to stop the mining of fine-grain sand in our area for the fracturing of shale in the gas fields west of here. (An example of what they are trying to prevent can be seen just east of Highway 52 a few miles north of Chatfield.)
As I think about their cause, I know that I will be a hypocrite if I join them. For half a century, I have been heating my house and water with natural gas that is now brought to me from fields that practice "fracking."
Should I stop heating my house? Or must I accept what is inevitable in the course of civilization's progress?
Human civilization has been at odds with the rest of nature from when we began to mine minerals or cut forests for building and heating. In this case, we observe that the mining of sand does not pollute our environment as obviously as the mining of coal or many of the metals that feed our industrial demands.
What can happen to our aquifers in the process of taking gas from deep beds of shale seems to me to be a greater concern.