What future are we leaving for our children (letter)
Jetting up US 25, north, 89 mph on the instrument cluster. Gillette, Wyoming for business. Never been here. Never seen such lonely country. The Rockies peel away to my left as I continue on, replaced by railroad tracks. Five-mile-long trains full of coal chug south to feed the beast as empty ones return north. Belching smoke in the distance. Two open coal mines just to my east. A green line of overburden caps the line of fossil fuel awaiting the Tonka Toy of a young boy’s dreams, scooping, hauling, expelling yellow diesel dump trucks the size of a city block. Never stopping, never quitting, 24 hours a day, scooping, coughinh, hauling. Water trucks abound around me as my only companion on this desolate road. Tires splayed under the weight of the resource tucked away within the tank. Water. Gas fires released from valves from the wells which dot the countryside like cancer cells presented in a microscope slide. Everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. Halliburton trucks scurrying from one frack pad to another. Evidence of two huge gas/oil pipelines which must have recently been buried next to the road. Mile upon mile. Extraction is what Wyoming’s up to. And lots of it. Those folks who push strollers around and busy at reproduction of the human race, what are we leaving those kids as a legacy? Why me, as an environmental advocate with no children care so much about this planet’s future and most people who deny our criminal involvement of its pillaging care so little. I have no one to leave anything to upon my deliverance to the unknown, but you folk with your children. What will your epitaph say to your beloveds who visit after your death? What advice will it hold? I know mine……”Learn to swim”.
Scott C. Mathews
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