We live in capitalistic societies. One that supports competition between companies and as a people we demand the lowest price at a speed that keeps up with our fast moving lives. The problem is, we don’t usually think about what the repercussions of our wants are. We have become so used to having everything and because of this we continue to ask for what we want and the companies continue to oblige our demands. No matter what the environmental risk. If it can make a company money they are willing to invest.
One of my friends’ uncle works for a private equity firm that invests in oil and gas. One of their current investments involves hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania, also known as fracking. This new form of drilling is able to access a resource of petroleum and natural gas that has previously been unreachable to us. However with fracking come the possibility of ground water contamination and the possibility of a spill. These consequences sound too risky but the incentives of the profit was too much for people, including his uncle’s firm to resist.
It’s weird to think that we argue these things casually but often times we don’t realize that we are supporting them in so many different lights. As consumers, as investors, as car owners we are all stuck in a circle centered around a resource that will eventually run out. It is easy to argue that we shouldn’t be doing many of the things we are as a community, but I don’t know if I can say my friend would give up his education for his uncle’s company not to be invested in fracking. I can’t foresee people giving up anything of the likes for a very long time.