The Geopolitical Outlook of Giant New Pipelines
Doubling Tar Sands production for Imperial War
by MACDONALD STAINSBY
The continuation of the North American master plan for energy continues unabated. The newest pipeline– along with the corridor pipeline through Toronto to Montréal and the Atlantic Coast in Maine that Line 9 is a component part of–could facilitate the doubling of tar sands crude available to distribute daily in a short number of years. Well over a million barrels a day (1.1 according to the proposals) alone would flow through the “Energy East” pipeline to a Saint John terminal –including the refinery owned by Irving, the traditional oligarchy that believe they own large sections of the Maritimes.
I know it isn’t supposed to be like this. An engaged public, demanding action on climate in general and the stopping of new infrastructure for tar sands “oil” in particular, has been more than clear. In BC, opposition to the largest pipeline proposed (between 5-600 thousands barrels of oil a day– more than two giant mines worth) has been given near guaranteed approval, even with the knowledge that it means corporations and oil and gas have established near-total control over the decisions about development within the country. Continue reading
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.
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.
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
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.
Weekend Edition October 25-27, 2013
Inside the Big Green Machine
What We Talk About When We Talk About Foundation Funding
by MACDONALD STAINSBY
This was originally written as part four of a four part series for Counterpunch.org
When discussions begin among environmentally concerned people about foundation funding and how it offsets resistance, a common complaint is that such a discussion is unnecessarily negative. With all of the world at stake, so goes the argument, we need to involve as many “diverse” views and strategies to stop climate chaos as possible. Rather than “being divisive,” we need positive thinking.
While Big Capital and Big Green are trying to propose they are building a bridge to a better, healthy planet– whatever you do, don’t look down. The bridge is faulty, and you’re already half way over the chasm. Just trust the bridge– and keep walking.
Big Green, Sun Media and Elsipogtog
Fracking Indigenous Country
by MACDONALD STAINSBY
October 21, 2013
This was originally written as part three of a four part series for Counterpunch.org
If anyone doubted that it’s a good thing that Sun News in Canada has been both going broke and also denied the ability to force their way onto Canada’s basic cable system (vastly expanding their audience and getting themselves included in most homes with television subscriptions by default), the racist rantings of Ezra Levant in response to the recent RCMP attack on the Mi’kmaq community of Elsipogtog ought to clear it up.
Repeat This Aloud
How Tides Canada Controls the Secret North American Tar Sands Coalition
by MACDONALD STAINSBY
October 16, 2013
This was originally written as part two of a four part series for Counterpunch.org.
Before Tzeporah Berman began her current position as head of the North American Tar Sands Coalition, Tides Canada had already established these structures to create near-total control over budgets– and therefore, most decisions– for staggering numbers of organizations. Berman was around at the time, working for PowerUp pushing forward offsets garnered by river destruction. Some of the participant organizations already had working partnerships with multiple tar sands producers. The over-whelming majority were already greased by primarily high donors and foundations. Thus, joining the NATSC meant, essentially, double dipping.