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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 03/21/2010

The downside of drilling

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Scott Barstow
Alexandria

I was amazed and saddened that the March 17 Metro article on oil and natural gas drilling off the Virginia coast, “Tide for drilling off Va. turns favorable,” included not a single reference to climate change.

Each day that we live, plan and build using fossil fuels like it’s the 1970s or ’80s, we bring ourselves, our descendants and all other life on Earth that much closer to a dramatically less livable world. Given what we know today about the effects of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere’s absorption of radiant energy, it is insanity — not “common sense” — to invest in drilling to allow more burning of fossil fuels.

It is depressing that so many of Virginia’s elected officials seem to think we can somehow just repeal the laws of chemistry and physics when necessary later on, or that leadership doesn’t require preparing for the well being of future generations if it happens to inconvenience anyone living and of voting age at the next election. I imagine that many of them feel they are being hard-headed realists by supporting drilling, but being hard-headed and being smart are usually two different things. You can pretend to be as “realistic” as you want to be, but Mother Nature still bats last.

I also imagine that some of Virginia’s “leaders” would also say that the public just doesn’t support aggressive action on climate change. On this they may be right, given that recent polling shows that a surprisingly high, and somewhat growing, number of Americans doubt the need for action to address this problem.

Why might this be? Could it have anything to do media coverage that omits this important issue? It’s not surprising, really, that elected officials pander to voters, particularly on tough issues such as global climate change. But if The Post is going to help them pretend that the sky (and oil) is green, we’re in big trouble.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | March 21, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Virginia, energy, environment, transportation  
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Comments

Scott, pllleeeaasseee! I know, I know, you have been told all your life that the sky is falling, and we are to blame. The true reason you have not seen much coverage on the "science" of global warming is because we have now found out that the science in junk. As more news comes out about the corruption and fraud in the UN and other venues in reference to global warming, people are now running far away from the subject. We now have over 30,000 scientist who subscribe to the view that we are not causing any global warming. We have data that shows other planets in our solar system went through the same climate changes that we did. Do we have life on these planets, and do they drive SUV's, or the the answer more simple?
Take a breather Scott, the sky is not falling.

Posted by: ehansohn | March 22, 2010 2:08 AM | Report abuse

I was sure the deniers would visit and lo and behold. The fact that climategate has been labeled a farce and has no effect on the truth about warming is overlooked by those that believe Fox is the one source for news. Mr Barstow I don't think you need worry. Who is going to develope the "vast reserves" off VA's coast that have never been found ? The oil companies are looking for most bang for the buck and the amount of money needed to produce oil and natural gas from the Atlantic will stop this from occurring anytime in the near future. As stated previously by others, there are enormous new reserves of natural gas available probably even in VA and the ocean will not be developed anytime soon. Our nutty new Gov is just trying to appear to have a solution to our transportation funding problems when in fact it is the same old Rebub nothing.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | March 22, 2010 6:02 AM | Report abuse

All you nervous nellies. I believe it was the Easter Islanders that were the only true patriotic conservatives when they came up with "Log, baby, log!"

Posted by: steveboyington | March 22, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

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