Better to be safe than sorry. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Turn a blind eye. Hell in a hand basket. Last but not least. Back to the drawing board. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. A taste of your own medicine. Waste not, want not. And, of course, my personal favorite ... a fool and his money are easily parted.
Don’t you just love all those little nuggets of wisdom which – passed down from generation to generation – tend to make so much sense of life, typically in hindsight (when you don’t want to hear them)?
Not that we ever really listen to that voice of reason when it’s prudent to do so, particularly when it’s advising against a course of action that might keep us from that almighty buck.
Sometimes, however, people can surprise you.
Which was, needless to say, my reaction yesterday (surprise) when I read that Syracuse lawmakers had voted (unanimously, no less) to ban hydrofracturing within city limits.
And yes, I know such a decision is not theirs to make, according to those in favor of the controversial process (before you get all worked up). Instead, it’s up to the state, the DEC, Santa Claus, Pinocchio, the Jolly Green Giant or some other as-of-yet unknown entity, and not the individual municipalities themselves. Trust me, I get it.
That’s not to say I wasn’t pleased with their choice, however, one that puts Syracuse among the ranks of some other cities or townships you might’ve heard of, all of which have made a similar move, namely Buffalo, Ithaca and Albany.
Maybe those big-city boys know something I don’t, because any more these days, all I hear is how great, how wonderful and how astonishingly safe hydrofracturing really is. Then again, nuclear energy is completely safe too, until a massive earthquake, tsunami or other natural disaster strikes (remember Japan not so long ago).
My only question is (and has been from the start) ... is the risk really worth the reward?
It’s all a matter of needs versus wants, actually. And considering what’s at stake, I simply can’t come up with one good reason to risk one of our most precious commodities. You know ... clean, healthy drinking water.
Around here, that kind of opinion will likely get me a big fat zero on the popularity scale, I know. But hey, I just call ‘em like I see ‘em.
Do you know what else I wonder? What the hell did we ever do without hydrofracturing? I mean, it’s been touted as an economical life-saver from day one, and yet we’ve always seemed to get by – maybe not just fine – but get by, regardless, prior to its invention. And if you think about it, we probably would be just fine if our “leaders” got their heads out of the ... err ... sand, politically, economically and financially speaking.
Because – trust me – I realize we’re pretty much broke around here, what with the loss of jobs (or lack of), schools threatened by bankruptcy and the like (which begs the question ... where does all that lottery money go?). Yet I find it hard to believe that drilling, whether it’s safe or not, is really the end-all to all of our problems here in New York, financial or otherwise.
Then again, why beat around the bush, get bent out of shape or blow one’s top over the entire debate. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that – sooner or later – drilling will commence. Which is not to say I won’t be the first person to say “I told you so” if and when something goes wrong (because I will). Hopefully, everything goes according to plan and drilling turns out to be the economic savior it’s proposed to be. And if things go bad (like I’m predicting they will), well, I guess we’ll have no choice but to lie in the bed we’ve made for ourselves, for better or worse.
Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunbrian.