Michigan apparently is sitting on valuable oil and gas reserves and is quickly becoming a battleground between those people who want to environmentally extract these valuable resources to power America and those who worship the Green God.
Those who worship the Green God believe that no drilling should occur in their backyard, although they will repeatedly state that they have no problem with it being done in a much more environmentally destructive manner in other areas and then being shipped at great damage to the environment to them to power their cars and homes. These people believe that those who do want to drill are all part of some hidden conspiracy that includes the regulators, the regulated, elected officials, and any citizen who supports drilling in an environmentally friendly manner, but they through their superior morality and intelligence have seen through this conspiracy and know the real TRUTH. They don't really want to protect the environment, you see- in many cases these groups actually oppose drilling even if it is done in an environmentally safe way that bans controversial methods like hydraulic fracturing (better known as "fracking")- these people are not so much environmentalists who care about the environment and doing things in a manner that protects it, but rather they are worshipers of an old religion and shout their beliefs from a wellspring of faith.
These worshipers of the Green God believe in an elaborate cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness. They will frequently make derogatory comments about the material world, sneering at money and budgets and putting food on the table and powering their cars, instead speaking lovingly of some sort of greater spiritual world that is being damaged by these things. They view what is happening with fracking and drilling as some sort of ongoing process in which they are battling a historic battle to keep the light of the environment protected from those who are gradually processing and drilling it and moving it into the world of matter. Of course they know the real knowledge of the world, having watched some sort of movie or youtube clip or read it on the internet. They gather in their societies and have meetings where they talk about these ideas until everyone is faithfully preaching the same message. And then they go forth to battle those who would harm the light of the world by drilling it and using it, screaming 'shame on you' on those who they oppose as the pass judgement on them, which they see as only natural since they have achieved mystic enlightenment, or gnosis, whereby others have not.
At local meetings around Michigan that are discussing proposals to drill or engage in hydraulic fracturing, logical arguments are advanced and sensible safeguards are proposed, but in meeting after meeting- Barry County, West Bloomfield, Waterford, Rochester, Ionia, etc- the meetings inevitably break down in order as those who worship the Green God are not interested in logic or reasoning or really even protecting the environment- to them it is instead a matter of questioning their faith.
For example, Independence Township Board is currently considering a proposal from Jordan Exploration, an oil and gas company from Traverse City. Jordan Exploration has offered to enter into a nondevelopmental lease with the township board, which wouldn't allow a wellhead on township property. Instead, wellheads would be located on nearby properties owned by private landowners. In other communities they have also promised (and signed a legally bind document that stated this) that they would not engage in fracking on township land- or any other land in the community that they legally could do so- if the lease was signed. And they would pay generous royalties to the community that would help them to pay police, fire, library staff, and build parks and sidewalks. And America would become more energy secure and prosperous. And the whole process would be supervised by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), with environmental groups ready to sue if any sort of infractions occurred. It's a good deal that only someone who was motivated by something other than logic and reasoning could oppose.
Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash is obviously this sort of person- at that meeting he said- "you can put on all the safeguards you want, but human nature is we're not perfect and things happen." This sort of idea that human beings are imperfect yet the environment is fits with the Manichaeism ideology that is the older form of the worship of the Green God.
At the Independence Township Board meeting and others, experts and geologists and those in the industry and even lawyers came forward to testify that the environmentally friendly route to go that would also provide revenue to the township would be to sign the lease- and yet the worshipers of the Green God kept calling out for a "real expert" to testify on their behalf. But in all honesty, they were not looking for an expert to speak on the issue- they wanted a priest of their religion to testify and call down the wrath of their God on the unbelievers. The wild look in their eyes betrayed their agenda- go to these meetings yourself and you will see, as I did at recent meetings in Genesee County over this issue.
And the saddest part of this whole debate is that those who oppose fracking 'in the name of protecting the environment' really are producing more damage to the environment. Their opposition to fracking is lessening the use of natural gas, which offers significant public health and climate benefits over coal and was once seen as the bridge fuel to a clean energy future. But better public health, protecting the climate, and a cleaner energy future aren't really the goals of those who oppose fracking- instead, it is a worthy tithe to the Green God that demonstrates their superior morality over the other fallen beings of the material world.
Celebrities such as Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Mario Batali, Scarlett Johansson, Alec Baldwin, and Matt Damon have spoken out against the expansion of natural gas drilling, producing movies like Gasland and speaking at fancy events on the issue- even though natural gas provides a very substantial health benefit in reducing air pollution and leads to tremendous health gains (source). These are simply false prophets leading followers of a false god to a worse world.
Be prepared- followers of the Green God or some sort of other Gnostic god will increase as our schools churn out more children filled with dubious scientific knowledge, rejecting Christianity, and filled with a willingness to assert their opinions vociferously even though they are unable to put together a coherent argument. We must teach these people and work to move our nation back to a more moral, logical, spiritual, and prosperous path that includes more environmentally safe drilling and oil exploration.