Civilization, that is, a life where some people can do work other than acquire food day after day, has been around eight or ten thousand years. It can go on for a very long time, if planned for. There is no reason to discount the future value of land services, particularly on a planet where many people do not have a decent life now, and where the population is gong to grow by nearly one-third in 30 years -- about the time the gas will be fading away.
We live on a space ship, as the astronauts tell us, not the center of a flat earth with great unknowns beyond what we now use. Space is very inhospitable to life. For us there is no other livable place but our planet, and that surface is all used. We must not destroy it for a few decades gain.
Bond, of Jane Lew, is a retired teacher with a Ph. D. in inorganic chemistry. He is a member of the Guardians of the West Fork and the Monongahela Area Watersheds Compact.