Monday, November 2, 2009

What qualifies as riches?

New Mexico has the third largest natural gas reserves in the country, and we often hear about the money generated by drilling activities. Not so widely commented on, is the price paid by individuals whose health is sacrificed, air quality that is impacted, water that is contaminated, and irreplaceable environments that are destroyed in the process of oil and gas development.
Many of us probably wouldn't mind having a bit more money in the bank, but at what cost? While lack of money oftentimes leads to hardship, it is possible to overcome the hurdles of monetary need; however, there are no forms of life on earth that can survive without water.
We need to reassess our values and determines what truly makes us wealthy, is it industry's contributions to schools and political campaigns, or is it the unique environments that surround us and the irreplaceable natural resources like water, that we cannot live without?