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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

9 Responses to BLM plan calls for 4400!! more wells on the Pinedale Anticline

  1. avatar Cowboy the Cat says:

    Jesus. When will it stop!?!?!

    The excuse used to be “it has neglible effects on wildlife.” How long before it’s “well they’re all gone now anyway, so you might as well let us tap it dry…”?

  2. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    Cowboy,

    It’s not going to stop; it’s not going to even slow down. As the U.S. population grows every single year, the demand for gas and electricity increase every year as well.

    You can only conserve so much demand away, in the long run the U.S.’s appetite and demand for energy will only increase further.

    Whether it’s oil and gas, or alternative energy sources, the demand for energy will always increase. It always has, since the founding of our nation.

    This trend is the very simple and undeniable result of the ever-increasing U.S. population.

    Funny that is never addressed, though. Edward O. Wilson once wrote that every single environmental problem had the same root cause: too many people.

  3. avatar kim kaiser says:

    “funny that is never addressed, though. Edward O. Wilson once wrote that every single environmental problem had the same root cause: too many people.”

    amen !!!!

  4. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    SmokyMtMan,

    what do you propose we do to alleviate overpopulation ?

  5. avatar Catbestland says:

    Brian,
    Of course education is the first measure to be taken in alleviating population. But tax incentives for those who limit the number of kids they have is another along with not rewarding those who keep having them to increase their welfare. I’m not trying to be heartless to the poor but the poor have to realize that the increasing population will only perpetuate the problem.

    My fear is that we are condemning the next generation to a manner of living equal to that of slavery. Like it or not living on a minimum wage is equivalent to slavery. Even though opportunities for higher education are more abundant for those in the US, this is not the case in most of the world. And possessing a degree does not guarantee that one will be successful. There is simply too much competition out there for the few jobs offering comfortable income.

    Competition for resources will only increase. Even though we have the means to feed the world, that takes a willingness to accomplish. Unfortunately the human condition is one defined by greed. There is no escaping this fact and there is no changing it. We can run behind the abusers and play catch up by passing legislation that will stop them once they have gone too far but by that time they have moved on to another resource to exploit. As the population increases the rift between the affluent and the needy will continue to grow with what is left of a middle class draining into the slavery class. And of course the rich will get richer. I can’t see providing the mega-rich conglomerate industries owners with an endless suply of slaves to exploit. I don’t want this for the next generation. It is time to look at serious population control.

  6. avatar Catbestland says:

    My last comment, first sentence, I meant “. . . in alleviating OVER-population.”

  7. avatar Cowboy the Cat says:

    Smokey,

    The rise in natural gas drilling activity has not followed the rise in population… to relate one as the direct cause of the other is ludicrous. There is one cause only… rising energy prices, which make wells that formerly weren’t cost effective worth drilling. Rising energy prices also can not be traced directly to rising populations. It relates to a lot of things: A weak dollar, an out of control speculation market, and lax regulation by corrupt officials.

    My rhetorical question “when will it stop” is directed more at the insistence to continue drilling more and more wells in areas like the Anticline and the Jonah field in the face of overwhelming evidence that it is doing irreparable damage to the area.

    The rhetorical answer is “when the wells run dry”. Then, my beloved Wyoming will be back where it was 15 years ago (in a bust), and less beautiful for it’s trouble.

    Of course the population has an effect, but it is not equal to the skyrocketing prices and subsequent drilling increases. The real culprit is greed. In my opinion your explanation oversimplifies.

  8. avatar Salle says:

    Actually, population increase IS a MAJOR cause to this situation.

    The human race has exceeded the carrying capacity for the planet, that happened over fifty years ago.

    And

    Not to sound cruel but, like other species, the process of natural selection usually takes care of such issues. In other words, a major depopulation event is the only real answer. the problem is that we falsely believe that we are not susceptible to the natural order of life because we have medical science to keep everybody alive and isn’t that what it’s all about? Nobody is allowed to die, it’s okay to kill but dying is not acceptable. Thus, the medical industrial complex gets carte blanche with how we live and how well we live/feel based on whether we were “selected” to be the next addicted moneybag for them or not.

    I wrote something about that… http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/10/01/4235/

    a while back. Funny, this article circled the globe in hours and was widely commented on but nobody really goes into action over it because we’ve built institutions based on the concepts mentioned in the article. EVERYBODY MUST be kept alive no matter the cost and how futile the effort. You know, no matter how much you pay nor how good your insurance coverage is, you’re still going to die at some point.

    There should be roughly 3.8 billion fewer humans on the planet with that number increasing with each live birth.

    Yes, education is a major influence in changing the problem but all those folks who seem to NEED to have children are buying into another aspect of consumerism for the benefit of the few producers of all that most survive on. And then there’s that other can of worms, religion… as in “Go forth and multiply in mass quantities” mindset and the idea that there is something wrong if you don’t reproduce. Yikes.

    If we were willing to allow for natural selection, not us choosing who when and how to die, would be a major contribution to the solution.

  9. avatar JB says:

    Salle,

    I’m having a hard time following your logic. I don’t disagree that the earth is overpopulated, but what constitutes “over” population is largely subjective–it depends on your perspective. If we have 3.8 billion more people than the earth is able to sustain, then we should be loosing roughly this many to starvation each year. Many people do die of starvation, but no where near that amount. E.O. Wilson wrote several years back that the earth could sustain as many as 10-12 billion people, though this would require significant modifications to our system of agriculture.

    I also take exception with the following statement: “a major depopulation event is the only real answer.” A relatively slow depopulation would be equally effective and can be achieved by putting the incentives in the right place. Children should be a tax burden; certainly we should not incentivize increased reproduction like we currently do. My suggestion would be to tax people who choose to have more than two children (replace themselves), and to increase the tax dramatically for each child beyond three. However, I’m pessimistic that any politician will muster the political will to make such a decision.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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