Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.
Consol Energy/Dominion Resources plans to use contaminated mine drainage water instead of surface water and groundwater for "fracking" its Marcellus Shale natural gas wells, according to the news story "Consol pegs water as next business move" (May 5 and TribLIVE.com).
Since these wells use tremendous amounts of water for this purpose -- some of which is unrecoverable -- I guess using such acid-tainted water is a relatively good thing. But any such "permanent" depletion of the world's finite natural resources should give us pause.
As a society, we are already living beyond our means. Increasingly we rely not on conservation or population control but technology to provide for our excesses.
The oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is one more lesson that it is a dangerous thing to mess with Mother Nature.
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