Well, it happened. Finally! The mainstream media has finally shown their highest level of interest in a major story that has evolved in no small part because of the realization that climate change is already acting upon the atmosphere now. And the problem, so it seems, is that plateau of interest generated in the major press in the United States brought about because of events like Sandy, towards climate change. For a short while, Keystone XL managed to garner certain levels of respectable stories, but like media relations campaigns on twitter, the trend abates and so does coverage.
Whether or not stopping tar sands is needed is not the main issue; Climate chaos is here, happening on a grand scale and needs to be resisted through serious attempts to shut down the anthropogenic industries most responsible. This was identified– along with coal– as the tar sands located in Canada. The level of damage done has only grown, the level of damage predicted takes a sharp curve upward over the next couple of decades. The problem is the speed of other developments, and the single focus of the Big Green movement on KXL.
With fracking changing the US oil-production and consumption numbers so dramatically, it seems time to challenge the notion that tar sands– and the carbon released if tar sands production continues to climb– is the “make or break point,” an “endgame” whose development signifies “game over for the climate,” as stated several years ago by Dr. James Hansen. Tar sands development is no less extreme, of course, no less destructive, no less genocidal to those living in the affected areas. Shutting down the tar sands– completely, and not negotiated as a phase out nor leaving the corporations in power afterward– is more important than ever, and on as many fronts as possible.
I’ll tell you what I’m not going to write about. Since Jim Flaherty decided to come within about an inch of telling you that environmentalist NGO’s are terror funded (he didn’t directly say it, he just instead implied it) or terrorist themselves, I’m not going to explain that this is wrong. That’s so stupid of an implication that people who even explain that NGO’s who talk about trees, climate and simultaneously defend capitalism are not “terrorists” are insulting themselves and the reader. I want to mention instead the implications of such comments, and the far more important dangerous deeds of the Harper government towards any activism to stop industrial ecocide.
There are so very many reasons to go “Beyond Keystone” in thinking about resistance to climate change or even just tar sands alone. Several of the “not so famous” pipelines have received mention here or there: Flanagan South, for example, has nearly the same ability to facilitate tar sands growth as does KXL. The Gulf Coast Pipeline, now operational, works in conjunction with the original Keystone pipeline and the southern leg of KXL to take bitumen to the Gulf Coast. The question is no longer if bitumen will flow to the Gulf Coast through Keystone XL, it is only a question of volume.
Is the (current) Fuel Quality Directive (proposed legislation from the EU) a threat to Pacific Coast forests? The short answer is maybe. The same answer would follow the question with Brazil or Indonesia as the location of said forest. With a sub-section of the over-all Kyoto goals of the EU involving cuts in emissions from transport and the fuels used for transportation– and Canada, Estonia and others trying to desperately eliminate such a standard– industries such as biofuels have ‘demanded’ specifics, in order to “force” EU countries into embracing giant agro-fuels and other falsely labelled “renewable” sources for energy.
Sounds good, right? No. It sucks. Continue reading
So I put together a little sheet on Canada-Israel extreme extraction links below. Why did I do that? Well, it’s been a strange week for tar sands developments, if you’ll pardon that pun. Almost a week ago, and during his Honor the Treaties tour, Neil Young was revealed to currently have booked an upcoming trip that will include playing before an apartheid audience in Tel Aviv. Young’s incredibly successful, powerful concerts and fund raising endeavor on behalf of legal defense for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation concluded on Sunday, which not at all coincidentally now kicks off the second Neil Young, solidarity with indigenous resistance campaign– this time, without him.
The possible damage to the struggle in Palestine is already being celebrated by various advocates for Israeli colonialism. Titles such as “Neil Young Proves the Failure of BDS’s “Cultural Boycott” with screeds denouncing people such as Roger Waters or Alice Walker (who wrote an excellent appeal to Alicia Keys, who played Israel last year in defiance of the boycott) have flooded out already. In one of the initial reports, in fact, Israeli apartheid apologists couldn’t conceal their glee in what was supposedly a simple news story at the Jerusalem Post: “With reports of shows by The Rolling Stones, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga still in circulation, 2014 is shaping up to be one of Israel’s most active for musical imports. Did someone mention boycott?” Continue reading
The story of Neil Young and his advocacy on behalf of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation’s challenge to tar sands supremacy has garnered a lot of attention, and in itself this must be seen as a good thing. To have an entertainer of his caliber take on the Gigaproject can only bring an overall rise in attention to the suffering caused by tar sands. As but one of a myriad of people who have enjoyed his music, this deserves thanks. I just hope that this part of what Young is saying does not get going as a regular part of tar sands resistance:
“It’s all marketing. It’s all big money. This oil is all going to China. It’s not for Canada. It’s not for the United States.” Yikes. Well… then Young goes on to say: “It’s not ours – it belongs to the oil companies, and Canada’s government is behind making this happen. It’s truly a disaster.” And it seems clear to me that his focus is on the tyranny of tar sands development and the decimation of self-determination at the hands of the oil companies. But I still think it needed to point out that the oil is not going heavily to China, there is no yellow peril threat to Canada, and that the US already gets the bulk of Canadian oil.
A separate economic note brought a slightly older story to light for me today. It seems that in Mongolia last June, which is just two months after the announcement of new mining contracts with US company Genie Energy to extract kerogen-based oil shale, Mongolian start up corporation HB Oil announced a deal to buy into a refinery by the name of Sungri in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or north Korea.
At the time of the announcement the link to the oil shale developments was not made, however Chinese influenced Mongolian MAK and Genie have now been linked to the possible future feedstock of the DPRK located refinery. Accordingly, it seems that US owned and Zionist-conceived Genie Energy (whose advisory board includes Rupert Murdoch, Lord Jacob Rothschild and Dick Cheney, among other prominents of reaction) may now be teaming up in a round about way (Mongolia has nearly no known conventional oil) to open up the “final frontier” of commercial oil to decimate the climate.
In thinking about a new rant on the tar sands to begin 2014, thinking of trying to sum up the previous year seems nearly impossible. So that, really, is a summation. Let me explain.
In previous eras of tar sands resistance we had a few flash points. This, of course, is in the time since it began to get attention beyond the families it ravaged through disease, or families it kept separate through cross-country employment. Since the call of climate change made attention to tar sands inevitable the “flag” of tar sands resistance has sprung up in such a varied, continent-wide and even international manner that even betrayals from Big Green would likely not do much more than wound resistance that has sprung up in locale after locale.