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When I was a teenager and finally left my parent’s house, I rebelled against all the rules I had been forced to accept through the years of growing up and (among other things) bought myself a big bag of Bazooka Bubble gum. I chewed right through that bag…sometimes two or three pieces at a time. I had a great time and got pretty good at blowing some awesome bubbles.

I have a mouthful of fillings in my teeth from that stupid act of rebelliousness..but I also gained a bit of insight from Bazooka Joe. There were these comic strips featuring a character named Bazooka Joe that came in the packages of bubble gum and most of them were either really lame or for some other reason, I didn’t get the joke. But one has stayed with me for all these years…..Bazooka Joe was complaining about how awful the food at the cafeteria was in one frame, and in the next, he says “and the portions are really small, too!”

I know it’s not a perfect analogy, but this comic strip keeps popping into my mind as I ponder the acceptance some folks have to our state hooking up to buy “cheap, natural” gas. On one hand, they admit that gas drilling may be bad for the environment, but they are still asking for distribution to their homes and businesses. In my previous posts on FPF I have been asking folks to do some research about the effects this industry is having on the earth. And I have been getting many supportive responses from neighbors about my posts. Thank you so much for your kind words. But others are still trying to sell us the line that gas is the only alternative to oil and that it is the lesser of two evils as it is cheaper to buy and more plentiful and found right here in North America. Most of those things are true, and I am ashamed to admit that I am guilty of believing most of that line as well…or at least I was until about a month ago when we learned that the pipeline is routed to go right through our farm.

I reacted by doing a lot of research and found that this tube is hooked directly to an industry that is, as we speak, destroying the environment and poisoning people and livestock around the world. True, the emissions from the burning of unnatural gas are cleaner than those of oil, but the total emissions from cradle to grave are higher and the process of extracting the gas from the ground pollutes the earth and the air with chemicals that are known carcinogens. And, since it is going on right here in the good ol’ US of A instead of half a world away, we can see directly the side effects of the thousands upon thousands of gas wells that are already in place and are being drilled every day. So don’t think for a minute that the total cost of this unnatural gas would be reflected on the bill you would get from Vermont Gas every month.

We have the choice, folks…to hook up and suck on that tube, or reject it and demand alternatives. If we don’t reject it, we stand to lose many things that are not replaceable…. I used to think I could help save the earth. I have come to realize that the earth will survive (although somewhat altered)…it is humanity that will not.

For those of you that don’t know me, I need to tell you that I am writing these posts from the heart. It has been very difficult for me to click on that “SUBMIT POSTING” button at the bottom of the page sometimes. But I guess I figure…what have I got to lose? This is my home. I love this place and I empathize with the people in the 32 states in this country and across Canada who are living, breathing, and drinking the spoils of the oil and gas industry. No, I do not want this pipeline on my land, in my town, in my state.

If you agree…make yourself heard. Send letters to the PSB. Here is a link: [important][/important]

Send emails to the governor who is supporting this pipeline because he thinks it is a good move for Vermont. He says,“By switching to natural gas when possible, customers who use oil for heating and hot water can often reduce their energy bills, and the cost to our environment is much less.” [important][/important]

Make yourself heard.

Write to your select board. Write to your state representative….to Vermont Gas…. Write to anyone else you think has some influence in this decision. Make yourself heard. (insert sound of bubble gum popping)


Nat and Jane Palmer


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