Tar Sands Action
Why I am Going to Ottawa
(Originally pubished on the Ottawa Action website.)
I am traveling to Ottawa to join in the Tar Sands Action there, Monday, September 26. I will be there to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would prompt a dramatic increase of production and export of tar sands oil by providing access to refineries in Texas. I will be in Ottawa to stand against any intensification of tar sands production, and to wholeheartedly support creative, humane, and ethical solutions to our global dependency on oil.
I will be in Ottawa to demand that the Canadian government govern for Canadians, not for oil industry interests. The blatant and explicit entanglement of industry and government marches us all, lockstep, towards irreversible climate catastrophe, the likes of which humanity has never seen. We have options, now, to pursue sustainable energy practices. Why does Canada actively obstruct global green initiatives? Our reputation is tarred abroad, painted with the black sticky brush of contempt for the land, contempt for the people and wildlife poisoned by the tar sands, contempt for the future. We need not contempt, not cynical amplification of our most negative impacts on the earth, but instead, inspired and brave solutions. There are alternatives now, and ever more innovations. When we put our full creative potential to the task, we will find ways to meet humanity’s basic needs without compromising the earth’s ability to nourish us.
The disputable economic advantages of exploiting the tar sands cannot outweigh the real and terrible burdens imposed on human and wild lives, and the devastation of our atmosphere as a consequence of ever increasing fossil fuel consumption. I will participate in this action as I demand integrity, fairness and respect from this government–as a Canadian, as a mother, as person who strives to live an ethical life. I will not stand quietly by as crimes against the future are committed in my name.
September 25, 2011
“The Alberta Oil Sands is the largest energy project on the planet, lying beneath 140,200 square kilometers of northern Alberta forest, an area almost as large as the state of Florida. This area represents 21% of Alberta and 37% of Alberta’s Boreal Forest Natural Region. As of mid-2009, there were approximately 5,012 oil sands (mineral rights) agreements with the Province and 91 active Oil Sands projects. Oil Sands development is turning once pristine stretches of forest into desolate landscapes.” Michelle Mech, quoted here.