An Open Letter to Fellow Environmentalists | Deep Green Resistance New York

“I write this as an open letter to environmentalists, but to be honest, it isn’t truly an open letter. Many of you (probably most) will continue to call for these unsustainable forms of energy, despite knowing that to do so is to beg murder upon the migratory birds, the (very few remaining) unpolluted streams, rural Chinese farmers, and ultimately upon what remains of the living world. Many of you don’t want a truly sustainable way of life, but to sustain a functionally unsustainable civilization. Many of your salaries and personal identities depend on “clean energy,” and you won’t dare challenge it. And for me, this is incredibly saddening and disheartening, as I know many such people. So this letter is not written to you.”

via An Open Letter to Fellow Environmentalists | Deep Green Resistance New York.

Here is a wakeup call. One that insists we strip off the blinders and face our own delusions in order to survive.

I had heard some of these statistics, some of these uncomfortable truths, yet allowed myself to cling to the fantasy (is it? really?) of solar cells painted onto rooftops, of wind power made small scale and affordable and powering local homes in local grids .. while worrying underneath about rare minerals (yes, I own a cellphone) and migratory birds and hoping technological advances would quickly resolve these anomalies. The kicker, though, is that the same argument is used by the industrial giants against whom I want to  (and often do) rail… the Enridges, the BPs, the Shells, of this world. They, too, rely on technology to ‘solve the problem’ of carbon emissions and climate change and those billions of gallons of spilled and leaked oil contaminating our world. and so for now they continue, comfortable in their conviction that one day, some day, technology will clean it up and resolve it all.

Yes, there’s food for thought here and more research to be done. Here may be a very good starting place. But I warn you, it may make you deeply, even frighteningly, uncomfortable.

Oil-sands expansion conditionally approved despite ‘significant’ effects on wildlife – The Globe and Mail

Federal and Alberta regulators have conditionally approved Royal Dutch Shell’s multibillion-dollar Jackpine oil-sands mine expansion despite their findings that it would have a number of adverse environmental impacts.

A joint review panel, appointed by the federal Environment Minister and the provincial energy regulator, ruled that the project’s effects on wildlife and vegetation will be significant, but that it is nonetheless in the public interest.

via Oil-sands expansion conditionally approved despite ‘significant’ effects on wildlife – The Globe and Mail.

Last Saturday I had the privilege and blessing of walking with 500 others, led by Elders who stopped at key points to offer prayers for the healing of the land, for 8 and a half hours through part of the tarsands development, including alongside a highly toxic tailings pond around which canons are fired every few minutes in order to frighten birds away. Landing would mean – and has caused – instant death for birds.

That this expansion has been approved in the face of recognized significant environmental impacts is beyond comprehension. This is the boreal forest and part of the Athabasca watershed..home to rare wildfowl species and many others, home to First Nations people who have watched in horror as their means of livelihood is devastated and toxins enter their wetlands areas, watching as more and more of their people die from rare and unusual cancers..

Our rapacious and insatiable greed cannot continue, nor can our lack of willingness to give up accustomed comforts manufactured from oil-based products.

Last year, standing outside the White House protesting the Keystone pipeline, Robert Kennedy Jnr stated:

“we not only have the right, we have the duty to disobey the law to show our discontent”.

He is surely right.

Hope for the future survival of our own species as well as so many others lies in our willingness to refuse to obey the dictates and insanities of greed and power, it lies in our willingness to act with unbounded love for our planet, our families and all our relations, and in our determined refusal to give up our children’s and their children’s future to those who would destroy it.

Fort McMurray, Home to 176 Square km of Tar Sands Tailings Ponds, Overwhelmed by Floods | DeSmog Canada

Fort McMurray, Home to 176 Square km of Tar Sands Tailings Ponds, Overwhelmed by Floods | DeSmog Canada.

On Friday the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), the Alberta government’s industry regulator, released a report stating that tar sands companies have failed to comply with pre-existing agreements to limit the amount of water used in tar sands extraction and processing as well as the amount of polluted water that ends up in the region’s growing toxic tailings ponds.

The release of the report coincides with massive floods near Fort McMurray, wreaking havoc on the city’s infrastructure. Since Friday the region has seen between 80 and 180mm of precipitation. Major highways have been closed, roads have been partially washed out, buildings flooded and homes evacuated. The city of Fort McMurray officially declared a state of emergency today, while unseasonably high temperatures prompt snow melt and rain is forecast to continue throughout the week.

The immediate question is apparent: what threat does the flooding pose to the massive tailings ponds lining the Athabasca River and the millions of litres of toxic contaminants they contain?

According to recent industry figures, tailings ponds, which hold the billions of litres of contaminated waste water used in bitumen extraction and processing, cover 176 square kilometres of the tar sands region.

The Cleanest Line: The Final Countdown – Kiwis Organizing Against Seabed Mining in New Zealand

The Final Countdown

There’s a sharp crack as another four-foot wave hits the shallow boulder/sand reef and rifles off down the line, little explosions of whitewater glistening in the morning sun every few meters as some lucky local tears the smooth wall to pieces. Standing over the action, its deep valleys and high ridges cloaked in a thick dark green forest, lies Mount Karioi.

This is the area known as Raglan, on the North Island of New Zealand’s west coast. The skies are clear and blue, the air so fresh it lifts me up with each breath. The sun, the waves, the bush-clad mountain behind me, the scent of the forest gently drifting down on the offshore breeze, at this moment I feel like there is nowhere else in the world I’d rather be.

Looking out to sea, waiting for the next set, a deep sense of calm settles over the lineup. As we watch the horizon, we notice some dark figures heading around the point in a lazy manner, appearing and disappearing, in rhythm with the long ocean swells marching towards the coast in perfect unison.

These are the popoto, or Maui’s dolphin, that call this area home. Known for their inquisitive nature and playful disposition, they bring a smile to all who see them glide by. I feel a touch of jealousy as I imagine what it would be like to ride a swell with even half the grace or fluid motion that these beautiful creatures of the sea possess.

via The Cleanest Line: The Final Countdown – Kiwis Organizing Against Seabed Mining in New Zealand.

Shell presses ahead with world’s deepest offshore oil well | Business | The Guardian

Shell presses ahead with world’s deepest offshore oil well | Business | The Guardian.

No end to our insanity in sight? What, after all, could possibly go wrong?