My recent entry in the “No good deed goes unpunished” category is my decision to heed the call to post comments to this article – in the Wall Street Journal, no less. Before you go clicking on the link, I’ll warn you that it may not open if you are not a subscriber. Actually, I’m not a subscriber either, but often you can read articles if you click through a link posted through social media. That is how I can get through the paywall to comment. At any rate, the article is about how a few towns in the Southern Tier of upstate NY, including mine, are looking into seceding from New York to join Pennsylvania so that they can get permits to use high volume hydrofracking to extract shale methane from beneath their land.
Which is a totally bogus concept on sooooooo many levels.
I took time to formulate a comment, specifically as a resident of this area, not thinking about the prospect that I would get replies sent to my email. While I originally regularly responded to replies to my comments on fracking, I gave it up months ago to protect myself from some nasty personal attacks. They still got posted, of course, but I didn’t see them. I didn’t go back to articles on which I had commented and assiduously refused to click on the Facebook notifications generated by Gannett papers and other sites that use FB as a commenting platform, supposedly to increase civility. I also seldom read others’ comments when I was posting.
Getting replies to my WSJ comment by email reminded me of several things.
1.) Many people who comment are snarky. One respondent took great glee in explaining that there is this thing called the Internet with a search engine called Google and therefore he could tell I was lying because the Marcellus shale underlies so much of NY that it was obvious there was all this methane just waiting to be extracted. Which leads to…
2.) Many people who comment don’t know what they are talking about. So, when I explain that the shale needs to be a certain thickness, depth, and thermal maturity to contain significant amounts of recoverable methane, they go on as though none of that matters.
3.) Some people refuse to believe a fact if it doesn’t go along with their political viewpoint.
4.) Some people don’t think there should be any taxes, but they seem to want all the things that tax money provides for their community, state, and the country.
5.) Responding to replies is a major time sink. I spent hours and hours on this one article commentary, which reminded me of how many hours I used to spend on this. While there is still a fair amount of commentary that I participate in on fracking and climate change, I am grateful not to be spending so much time on it as I did before the impending NYS HVHF ban was announced.
And, for the record, no New York town is going to be leaving the state.