The Marcellus tide may be shifting

The beginning of a new day

Maybe the tide is shifting for the Marcellus shale play, which is what the gas companies call it.  At the back of my reality based point of view on the condition of the human race, is a true blue optimist,  always ready to engage the warp engines and head off to Star Trek land.  Just recently a couple of events have occurred that have led me to believe that maybe we are getting smarter as a people.  I know this sounds crazy but bear with me.

Morgantown West Virginia, a place that is riddled with coal mines underneath its sidewalks,  surrounded by coal-burning power plants and quite possible the worst roads in the developed world, has told the gas companies, “NO!”.  In a recent decision by the town council, the vote was five to one against the gas company that had decided to drill several Marcellus wells right above the water supply for the city.  So the people of Morgantown finally said, enough is enough and stopped the evil doers from possibly destroying the city’s water supply.  There are two ways to look at this situation.  Does the gas company simply need to offer the poor folks of Morgantown more money, or are the people of Morgantown becoming tree huggers?  Tree huggers are those weird people who are actually worried about the world as a whole and not the money associated with raping and pillaging the planet.  No doubt, this is not a large contingency in wild and wonderful West Virginia.   Despite their small numbers and low position in the feeding chain, the tree huggers have managed to slow down the evil gas companies in some parts of the world.

On another front, the state of New Jersey, often considered one of the most polluted, politically corrupt and generally anything to make a buck state has BANNED FRACKING FOR GAS.  The first thing people ask when they hear this, “Is there any gas in Jersey?”  Well, the answer is no, not much, but the idea of a state making a law against destroying the environment is beyond normal words!

These two events may be of little consequence to most people, but I want to believe that this may constitute a change in our thinking!  Maybe this is that little piece of time when our country/world decides that we have to watch over our little piece of land and are realizing it is the only one we have!  I get starry-eyed when I think that I could possibly live at the point of time when the human race actually begins to look into the future rather than its wallet.  You may call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

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Across America

As a member of WARM SHOWERS, which is an organization that allows bikers (human-powered) to find homes that are willing to put them up for an evening while they pedal across this great land Sue and I have met some very interesting people. One of those is Nate and Kate who called me on Thursday afternoon and explained their predicament.  I agreed to pick them up in Romney.  My son and I drove to Romney and found them standing in front of the Kool Wink hotel waiting for us.  We loaded up the truck with the two bikes and began our journey back to Augusta.

In a short amount of time I became very comfortable with our two guests and spent much of the evening discussing a wide variety of subjects.  Kate is a psychologist and Nate is a biological archeologist.  There interest lead to some great discussions and a wonderful evening.

Later we talked about their continued journey and I advised them that they should travel to Paw Paw and catch the C & O rail-to-trail to Cumberland and then hop on the Great Allegheny trail and ride all the way to Pittsburg without ever being bothered by a car or dangerous roads.  They agreed that this was a good idea and the next morning continued with their journey across America with a few Charlie improvements.  They planned on being in San Francisco in about 30 days. I wish them luck and hope to hear from them about their journey as they make their way west.