|Harold L. (Hal) Mansfield, Ph.D.|
|7366 North County Road 27, Loveland, CO 80538|
|Phone: 970.667.3878||E-mail: email@example.com|
July 21, 2004
My name is Harold L. Mansfield, Ph.D. I reside at 1138 C. R. 302, Durango, CO 81303-8050 Phone: 970.59.1324. I am also known as Hal.
I am appearing here today as a private citizen, unaligned with any of the participant groups, though I have made one contribution to the San Juan Citizen's Alliance. My objection to the proposed drilling in the HD Mountain goes far beyond that small, isolated issue.
Rather, I am concerned for the viability of the entire Earth. Will a resource-depleted and over-polluted environment be able to sustain human life? Or will humans and most other species follow the dinosaurs into extinction?
There is an enormous mismatch between those entities that want to savage the HD Mountains with roads, drilling rigs, well pads, heavy vehicle traffic, and all of the other factors that come into play in such operations. On the one hand, we have the proponents that include powerful, multi-national energy companies and the entire governmental/corporate complex. On the other hand, those fighting for the HDs, seemingly, have little power and few resources, which makes their fight even more admirable.
The driving force behind this government/corporate complex is the unending accrual of power and of wealth, all in the name of fueling manic and maniacal consumerism. This complex has grown steadily, some might say inexorably, over at least two centuries. The fundamental guiding principle is greed, expressed through power and influence. The overarching results are environmental degradation and non-renewable resource exploitation . . . and depletion.
It would take six, or more, earths like our Mother Earth if all humans used energy and other of the Earth's resources as Americans do. And, every one of those "other earths" would have the same levels of environmental destruction, degradation, and pollution that our Earth presently has. And, all of them would display the same inequities in resource allocation and distribution that exist today on our Earth.
What I will term "the fight for the HDs," is a representative microcosm of a worldwide struggle of the powers that are in control against those who are, generally, outside the power structure of the governmental/corporate complex. It is nothing less than a struggle for the viability of our Earth and, thus, a struggle for survival of all living things.
It is, therefore, not about the HDs and multinational fossil fuel corporations. It is about stewardship of Mother Earth and about human destiny and about the rights of all living organisms and, yes, about the integrity of non-living systems, too.
Corporations, with all of their governmentally passed and sanctioned "special statuses," - statuses that negate common sense and common purposes - are near-sighted, so much so that they make Mr. Magoo look like a far-sighted seer. Since humans rarely take the "long view," such short sightedness may well be deeply imbedded in the human genome.
Corporations could, but typically do not, look beyond the "bottom line," a bottom line that narrowly defines their costs of doing business and, therefore, their profits. A bottom line that gives little, if any, thought to the long-term viability of Mother Earth and her ability to sustain all life.
A bottom line that does not heed the temporary nature of fossil fuel reserves, and that, therefore, gives little attention and even less investment of expertise and finances to those energies and their attendant technologies and infrastructures that are referred to as renewable.
The minions of the government/corporate complex that are here today, and others of their sort, are not evil people, per se. They are, for the most part, ordinary human beings striving to provide a living for themselves and their families.
Some may even harbor awareness and reservations about what they are doing and "whom they serve." They may fully realize, in some sense, what they are doing to Mother Earth and what both the short- and long-term consequences of what they do are.
A few may be "true believers," forever lost to rationality, temperance, common sense, and directional change. I weep for those "lost souls," just as I exult for those whose judgments are not compromised beyond redemption.
It is time for a change in direction. The government/corporate juggernaut has taken us too far down the destructive path. True, in some sense, it is the overall consumer gluttony that has led to the present state of affairs. That is no excuse for delaying changes. The very government/corporate complex that is at the helm, so to speak, has the explicit power and the implicit mandate for making the vital, monumental changes that are required.
The battleground - for the moment and in a very small sense - is the battle over the proposal to drill in the HDs, these seemingly unimportant and (at least from a distance) mundane little mountains. Except in small ways, these mountains lack any grand or dramatic features. They are not the Alps, or the Himalayas, or anything other than a small segment of the San Juans. There is no Jung Frau, or Everest, or Needles group in the HDs.
That is not the issue. It is when the HDs are viewed up close and personal and when this battle is viewed as part of a worldwide struggle that their significance comes fully into focus. It is when they are accepted as an exemplar - a metaphor, if you will - for a world struggle against exploitation, destruction, and degradation that the HDs "grow" from the small, the unimportant, the mundane, and the unremarkable to the level of a universal symbol of a world tragedy in a culture gone amok.
If the HDs are "lost" to the multinational government/corporate complex, the world will - to quote a bit of Lincoln - "little note nor long remember" the events. However, a victory for sustaining the ecological and environmental integrity of the HDs might become a Hallmark, a watershed, a turning point in the movement toward environmental responsibility. It could be a world-class victory with over-arching consequences.
Perhaps, in some small way, the mentality of "drill everywhere there is a promise of energy" will be slowed or even sometimes set aside. Perhaps, at times, local, regional, and long-term consequences of many sorts and that are now either not considered or given short shrift will be taken into account. Perhaps the government/corporate complex will begin to build a matrix of responsibility in the broadest, deepest, and most far-reaching sense of those terms.
Win or lose, those fighting for the HDs will have at least "fought the good fight" and done what they could for the HDs and for the cause of responsible Earth Stewardship. Thank you.