In a new Penn State study on global warming, Department of Environmental Resources Secretary John Quigley refers to its findings as “profoundly disturbing.” The research predicts dire health problems for Pennsylvanians — increased respiratory and heart diseases, insect-borne illnesses, allergies and heat-related deaths.
The overwhelming scientific evidence blames climate change on the excessive burning of fossil fuels — coal, natural gas and oil. But instead of taking major steps to curtail our use of these fuels, we exacerbate the problem with the “drill, baby, drill” mentality.
The Marcellus drilling hype overlooks the fact that natural gas methane contributes 85 times more to global warming than carbon dioxide produced from burning coal. And a study by the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University shows the negative health effects for those living near shale drilling are overwhelming. This has led Maryland to ban fracking and New York to issue a moratorium on it while our citizens continue to be used as guinea pigs.
Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si, warns the world of the disastrous consequences of climate change. The VND editorial page has denigrated the pope's message. The Penn State report should be another wake-up call to the VND that climate change is real and foreboding.
As Pope Francis states, “God forgives, but Creation does not.”