Monday, January 9, 2012
"Foreign money" could gum up pipeline approval, Harper warns. (The Globe and Mail, January 6, 2012)
"Foreign money" refers to "environmental and other radical groups" (according to Resources Minister Joe Oliver). As if the oil industry money is "local money".
And as far as standing up for the environment and the people directly affected by the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, there should be no distinction between foreigners and locals. Pollution recognizes no borders, money knows no borders, and Robert Redford and Leonardo Dicaprio are world citizens when it comes to the environment. How convenient it is to collectively call ourselves "westerners", i.e., more enlightened, when faced with terrorism but all of a sudden, it's foreigner Americans for the likes of Redford and Dicaprio (and the other millions of sympathetic souls).
There's the unmitigated gall, criminal actually, when the government holds public consultation on an issue that it deems to be a fait accompli. "Growing concern has been expressed to me about the use of foreign money to really overload the public consultation phase of regulatory hearings just for the purpose of slowing down the process", the Prime Minister told reporters Friday in Edmonton.
As it has done in the recent past to have its way with their plans, the federal government is threatening to introduce legislation to limit the "consultation process" so as to speed up the approval process. Why consult if it is going to be approved anyways?
The environmental catastrophe that is unfolding with our dependence on dirty oil (or any other oil, for that matter) is a criminal offense that would dwarf the number of victims of all wars ever fought (my estimate). The Hitlers, Stalins, and Pol Pots of our past will look like rookies of their trades. Unfortunately, our human minds are not equipped to be emphatic to the victims that we don't see, the victims of stronger-than-ever storms, desertification of farmlands, rising sea levels, droughts, etc. The shareholders of oil companies who view their holdings as mere statistics, so conspicous by their silence, are complicit in this crime. By their silence, the religions of the world who trumpet the supremacy of made-in-the-image-of-god humans above all on this earth are accessories to crimes against humanity and the earth.
Perhaps as Canadians, Western Canadians especially, the effects of climate change will hit close to home after the prairie fields become deserts when the rivers dry up after the Rockies glaciers have disappeared. By that time, the permafrost will be no more, and as a result, the atmosphere will be closer to the one in Venus. The desecration and spoilage of aboriginal lands from resource extraction is akin to small-pox-tainted blankets and the wholesale slaughter of the prairie buffalo; we are all just 1 or 2 degrees away from the first victims.
It's worth remembering the photo below, snapped by astronaut Bill Anders on the Apollo 8 mission:
"To see the Earth as it truly is,
small and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats,
is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together,
brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold -
brothers who know now that they are truly brothers".
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