June 12, 2010

Environmental hazards

Marcellus gas wells are a relatively new idea, especially here in rural PA.  My friend and her family own a small organic farm just a few miles from my home.  Just across the road from their farm, is a larger plot of land that has signed a lease to have marcellus wells drilled on their property.  The site for the well is very close to the lane that separates the property from my friend's farm.  Not knowing what the far reaching effects of the fracking chemicals will do to their water supply and how it will leach through the ground to affect their organic blueberry fields, fruit trees and gardens is worrying them sick and with good reason.  The fumes and air born chemicals that will be filtering over their farm for the duration of the process will have a more immediate effect.
Here's a link to what we have learned about the effects fracking chemicals have on the human body.


We're not only getting hit by pollution in the air and in water from the treatment plant; now folks with pure water from under ground wells and springs are going to be in danger too.  Last week there was a problem with one of the marcellus drilling operations near here and the result was huge quantities of raw gas and fracking chemicals spewing out of the well and flooding the surface, unconfined, for several hours.  This spill occurred near the head waters of a watershed which supplies a lot of homes with drinking water.  It's also near the top of the eastern continental divide line where the water flows east to the Chesapeake Bay or west to the Mississippi. 

While this is certainly a scary thought and we must speak out to make folks aware; what can we do to stop it?  Probably not much.  In this ever more polluted world that we live in, sometimes the most we can do for ourselves is to stay as healthy as we can in order to allow our bodies to do what they were meant to do.
We can do this by choosing free range meats, organic produce and protecting our home environment as much as we can.  In our area there are two organic farms who offer CSA's (community supported agriculture) to their sponsors or members by using their membership fees to grow a variety of vegetables, fruits, free range chickens and eggs, fresh baked bread and some herbs.  Each week during the growing season, each member family gets a box full of what ever is in season.  It's comforting to know that you can rely on your farmers to grow healthy foods for your family.  Check out the links for two of the farms near us; www.westlibertyfarm.com/  and www.quietcreekherbfarm.com/ .

In addition to what we put into our bodies, we need to be concerned with what we put ON our bodies, too.  Many products contain cancer causing ingredients and toxic chemicals that can build up in our systems over time creating health problems.  Then there's the water issue.  Already it's been found that water treatment plants are not able to filter hormones out of the water that supplies many homes.  This means that men and women alike are exposed, unknowingly to hormones in their water, their meats and personal care products.   But it's all big government and there's little we can do outside our own little sphere of existence.

Aside from that, our best hope is in finding the peace that passes all understanding.  We have a caring God who answers our faithful prayers.  He's promised to stay with us and give us the strength to get through each and every situation in which we find ourselves.
Does this mean that He will always answer our prayers the way we want?  No.  Why?  Because He knows the whole story...He sees the big picture.  What could the possible reasons be for all the pollution that is allowed to go on in this world?  I can't even begin to imagine except that we live in a fallen world and God doesn't make people follow Him or turn their hearts to Him.  He allows them to make that choice for themselves.  Greed and desire for power and money often drive people to create things that provide immediate monetary gain while purging natural resources and destroying the already depleted soil and water that we have to use.

I guess what I'm saying is that we need to be concerned but worrying isn't going to change anything.  We have the responsibility to do what we can, but our hope can't rest in our own abilities; it must come from the one who can give us true hope.  When we look at the sacrifices that Christ made for us so that our sin wouldn't separate us from God for all eternity, giving our heart and soul to His service for the short amount of time that we spend on this earth in relation to what forever really means is so small.  And think of the alternatives...if you think pollution is destroying our planet and making it a horrible place to live, what's it going to be like for all eternity if we choose to ignore God?   There are only two places we can spend it; there's no in between.  So if we believe what the Bible says and accept the gift Christ has to offer, when our life is over we'll have gained an eternity to rejoice.  If the Bible is true and we choose not to accept it, we'll be spending that eternity in suffering and pain beyond our imagination.   But if we're wrong and the Bible is just another book, what have we lost?  If there is no God, no redeemer in Christ, and life just ends, the best we can hope for is to blink out of existence into nothing.  That's not much to look forward to, now is it?  No hope for tomorrow, no peace for today.  Personally, I'd rather believe that it's true than take a chance that it's not.  Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to find peace at all.

If you want to know more, the Bible is the place to find answers.  But sometimes it's a little overwhelming, especially to a newcomer.  Pray to God to give you a personal understanding about what His word tells us and if you think that I could help you, please contact me.

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