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I’m an Eagle Scout, and I Don’t Want Pipelines in My Wilderness


I’m an Eagle Scout, and I Don’t Want Pipelines in My Wilderness

Griffin Bird

I’m an Eagle Scout from Virginia.

Troop 149, an enthusiastic and lively troop from Arlington, made me the person I am today. Being a member of Troop 149 meant a lot of things, but most importantly it meant incredible outdoor expeditions on the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail, a treasured 2,200-mile hiking trail that traverses the Appalachian Mountains, was a mainstay of my youth.


As a fellow eagle scout and one who had the joy of driving the entire Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park last summer I highly concur. These lands are sacred to those of us who love the land. While as a scout, I blistered my feet primarily out west (Philmont) and not along the Trail, although I have done parts here and there since. Let’s always do a good turn and fight the despoliation of such sacred land. I am with you one hundred percent.


Another NIMBY piece. And proposing natural gas as a “safe” alternative is absurd. The former scout should know that the vast majority of natural gas comes from fracking which poisons underground water tables for centuries and heavily pollutes the atmosphere with “flaring.”

Doesn’t VA have wind and sun? Aren’t there additional energy conservation measures that can be used there? Oh, but they do have nukes, yet another “safe” and “non-polluting” form of energy. Seems like the fella missed out on a few merit badges in science, sustainability, climate change and economics.


If the effects of the proposed pipeline on natural areas would be that bad the state may not give the permits. States have stopped pipelines for this reason. Environmentalists in Virginia need to make the case that this route would cause too much environmental damage.


I can relate to Mr. Bird, Skyline Drive is one of my favorite places. It broke my heart when I saw there was plans to cross this area with oil and gas pipelines.


The primary purpose of the pipeline are to get the gas to the coast for the wildly lucrative export market. The gas production industry is aching for the enormous money to be made if they can:

  1. Build more pipelines to the coast for exporting the gas for which there is currently a big glut;

  2. Thereby relieving the glut and tightening the market;

  3. Thereby increasing the gas prices;

  4. Thereby spurring the drilling of even more wildly profitable fracking wells

  5. Proceed back to step 1

  6. Repeat.


Yes, I discovered my love of nature as a boy scout in Shenandoah National Park on its old favorites like Old Rag Mountain and White Oak Canyon.

But pipelines aside (and the pipeline route does not pass through the park), the park has been environmentally trashed through the years from a synergistic mix of invasive pests, warming climate, acid rain from coal power plants to the west, and DC-area automotive smog from the east. The huge old-growth hemlocks like the Limberlost Grove, White Oak Canyon and the west brow of Stoneyman are totally gone due to the wooly adelgid. The Gypsy moth and oak dieback disease have turned the former hardwood-covered slopes to just ugly brush, deadfall and briars - and acid rain killed off the red spruce and other trees on the higher summits.

Then, there are the hordes of DC-area yuppies who treat Shenandoah more like a city park and - against park regulations, - bring their obnoxious large-breed dogs (that all urban yuppies love) to run loose on the trails.

Most of the new residents to the rapidly populating areas near the park have no idea what the park used to look like. Someone needs to set up website with pictures of what the hollows and north slopes used to look like when they were filled with massive hemlocks producing that exquisite dark cool shade in the summer that only hemlocks do.


" But even if this wasn’t the case, the tradeoffs simply wouldn’t be worth it — not in Virginia, and not anywhere else."
What is the evidence to make this claim?

Yes oil and gas creates cost for our communities that we all bear in the form of health concerns, noise pollution, and changes in climate. This is the opportunity cost of choosing oil and gas. But what is the opportunity cost of not choosing oil and gas? I see so many of these articles pointing out that we need to live without fossil fuels and how our lives would be so much better without them, yet very rarely do I ever see articles that actually spell out what we would do instead, and how much this decision would cost. I very rarely ever see what is the cost of not choosing fossil fuels and how this cost compares to the externalized cost of using fossil fuels.

Now our technology is advancing, so in the 21st century we are able to make better answers for the question of what do we use to replace fossil fuels. There are many alternatives we could use that could be better, but given that we are already enduring the cost of our current technology it is critical that we do not forget about the cost of choosing new technology.


Every source of energy has conditions that contribute to pollution. Instead of simply disregarding a technology that pollutes, perhaps you should look into comparing the amount of pollution from all sources and the cost of this pollution to all sources.


No, nothing is sacred to these people who worship one god, Mammon and Mammon only. They pervert and poison everything that they touch and use all of their ill gotten gain to pervert every one of our institutions, even the Christian religion, for their evil ends. They are totally addicted to greed and the power to indulge in more greed. They will never be satisfied, because they can’t see that they are trying to fill up the emptiness of their souls with more and more money and Mammon will never satisfy them because only God can give them what they need. This means that they must submit to God, and repent of their evil ways but they are too insecure and too proud and arrogant to do this.

The worst part of what these evil men are doing is that they have managed to capture and brainwash the minds of almost half of the American people, by appealing to their bigotry, fear, greed, selfishness, laziness and ignorance. Too many Americans don’t care about learning things and are being told that facts don’t matter anyway. The bad guys have made blind ignorance and stupidity into a virtue in this country and made people very suspicious of expert knowledge and learning. Hence the alternative facts and support for people believing whatever they want to believe instead of trying to find out the real truth. Therefore, they can just not see that these pipelines are despoiling our country and any pollution that can’t be seen just doesn’t exist for them, like global warming. You can’t see global warming, or radiation poisoning or most toxic chemical pollution.

It grieves me to no end what is being done to our once beautiful America. The native Americans lived here for over thirty thousand years and they kept this land pristine because it was against their religion to despoil it and we killed almost all of them because WE dared to call THEM savages! We thought that they were uncivilized! Yet we are the real uncivilized industrialized savages who are poisoning and killing everything for short term financial gain. It isn’t even necessary. We have better technology today that isn’t as toxic and doesn’t pollute so much. The Amish are all organic farmers and they are ten times more productive than factory farms and they don’t pollute or destroy the land and environment. What we are doing is insane madness! Yet just try to stop it!

Not enough people will listen. Almost half of the American people do not have a problem with what is going on and even many democrats don’t think that fracking and oil pipelines everywhere is bad for the environment. There is way too much ignorance about environmental issues and they have the idea that pits the environment up against jobs and economic progress when that doesn’t have to be the case at all. However, we are actually destroying our long term ability to feed ourselves, our long term health, our ability to have clean water and air and we are poisoning everything so that all the fish and plants and animals and even ourselves are full of poisons like mercury, dioxin, PCBs, and hydrocarbons, and pesticides and herbicides and on and on. We can’t even afford to test for all the pollution that we are doing to our nation! I believe that soon, America will become a toxic wasteland, unfit for any life due to our gross mismanagement and greed and a testament to how foolish we are and how wise the Native Americans were to preserve this land and live modestly on the earth.

Native Americans didn’t have greed and couldn’t tell lies for the most part, and it will be our greed and lies and our other eggregious sins of murder, waste, bigotry, hate and selfishness and other sins that will destroy us in the end. Unfortunatly, we will also destroy this once beautiful country along with ourselves.