Patience. Our Least Costly Option.


When I was much younger, I had a friend who offered some advice – that, unfortunately, I heeded far too infrequently:

Don’t be in a rush to spend your money because there will always be someone willing to take it.

The intent of those words was quite simple. Be responsible when spending money and be sure to do adequate research before proceeding with any transaction.

Part of the maturity process is to be able to analyze the pro’s and con’s of a situation before carelessly moving forward. More often, our actions are “Ready, FIRE, Aim.” Each action is important as well as the order in which each action occurs.

Sometimes, Inaction is our BEST action.

I had written on three previous occasions about the issues surrounding gas extraction from the Marcellus Formation and about gas extraction in general: Maryland’s Got Gas: Part 1; Maryland’s Got Gas: Part 2. Environmental Concerns and Economics; Maryland’s Got Gas: Part 3. Marcellus Formation Meet the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

This post is all about the patience displayed by the Maryland General Assembly in its recent decision to delay moving forward with gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale Formation in the western counties of the state.

In a vote that reflects growing national concern over the practice known as hydraulic fracturing, state lawmakers in the House on Wednesday passed a bill that would essentially place a moratorium on drilling until the Maryland Department of the Environment completes a two-year study to determine whether it endangers drinking water and public health, as some environmentalists in nearby states that allow drilling charge.

In my mind, this moratorium was an important deliberation of the sequence and importance of getting the actions of “Ready, Aim, Fire” correct – as best as possible. And, while we may not be able to assess the value of the patience being exhibited by these actions, this pause in action will delay the need to assess the future CONSEQUENCES of our failure to show patience at this time.

There will always be short-term benefits to the ambitious. The following, recent article (March, 18, 2011) from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Marcellus Shale Waste Released Throughout Six-County Region shows just how short-term ambition will often override future consequence. It’s ALL about the money!

So, is it possible to even put a price on patience? Perhaps the right question to ask is:

is it possible to understand the future consequences of our impatient, present, ambitious actions?

I think the answer is a resounding YES. Just take the time to look around. There is plenty of evidence of just how ambitious humans can be – at the expense of our future.

This entry was posted in Climate, Water and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>