A trip to Barnegat Light

By Reed Hennesey
Sports Editor

Ever since I can remember birds have been something I always can depend on. People can fail me, but I can always depend on the birds to lift me up. Anyway, last weekend I went up to Barnegat light to catch a sight of some ducks. I swear the ducks at Barnegat light always knew when they were being watched, they showed themselves off like a prize winning pony.

The drive there is always the best, the anticipation I feel, wondering what nature has spread out for me to witness. I can’t imagine what distance these birds have traveled, across countries, oceans, lakes and rivers; no limits or restrictions. But they’re in danger; man keeps building and ravaging natural resources, destroying the natural habitat of the birds.

I mean I thought the BP oil spill would’ve been enough to wake everyone up and realize that we are harming the environment. But as usual, the rich bastards of the oil industry keep lining their pockets and using it to keep building. I am talking about the Keystone XL pipeline.

While at Barnegat Light I met a fellow Delaware Valley Ornithological Club member whose name I shall omit was part of a protest group against building this pipeline. The Keystone XL pipeline would be an add-on to the already built Keystone pipeline. It would also cut through the Sand Hills in Nebraska, a key part of the central flyway for many species of my bird friends.

Not only does it disturb land and water resources but cuts right through the middle of the Great Plains. To make matters even worse the pipeline will not extract conventional crude oil but tar sands oil. Now, oil sands are loose sand containing naturally occurring mixtures of sand, clay, and water, saturated with a dense and extremely viscous form of petroleum.

The biggest problem with this process is that it emits 12 percent more greenhouse gases per gallon of crude oil than conventional extraction. The man I was talking to while birding wasn’t one of those crazy environmentalists who thinks mankind can survive without oil. Unfortunately mankind does rely on oil (and we are screwed when we run out).

Especially after seeing the all the ducks, gulls and sandpipers I thought about the future of not only the environment but mankind. I mean there isn’t one thing in my house, school, and town that wasn’t directly or indirectly made by oil. Providing energy is important, not to say I support the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, but shouldn’t we be moving towards renewable energy resources?

I just wish those who had the power to make change happen, did. Politicians today promise a lot, but unfortunately they rarely deliver. Really when voting it comes down to who is going to screw me over less. I am afraid for the future; whether or not the world is headed for the toilet I can always depend on the birds.