Monday, August 19, 2013

Dryden, N.Y., a glowing example for other aspiring David's against oil and gas Goliaths

Fires burning in the northwest U.S. with floods swamping the southeast!
Record temperatures, record storms in both intensity and in number!
Weather that is both more intense and less predictable!
Water shortages in the southwest U.S. and crop failures due to draught!
What will it take for the U.S. Congress to come to its senses and get serious about global warming and climate change?
Or are we all going to sleep-walk into our own inevitable and easily recognizable throat-crushing demise, fiddling with the Tea-Party's holding government in the U.S. hostage to their denial of science linked to their vacuous "faith" in a God of both mindlessness and mean-spirited vengeance?
And as for Canada, we are obsessed, at least at the level of the national government, with padding the pockets of big oil and gas, in an obsession with money, and the political power that money buys, that our "electorate", except for a few thinking and breathing cells of citizen activism, has gone into a state of somnambulance, sleep-walking its own way into complicity with the government's myopic and self-serving approach.
And we glance at the television screen to hear another oil-baron tell the world that a one-degree rise in temperature, if it were to happen, would be the extent of climate change...and that would be beneficial because it would generate more moderate climate conditions for more people. (Read: it would mean that there would be no emergency and oil and gas companies would continue their stranglehold on the governments of both Canada and the U.S.
In Texas, truckloads of water are snaking their way through communities to dump their precious water into the hands of the fracking companies who are then combining that water with unknown chemicals to pry natural gas from the underground, while leaving the contaminated water in the ground, thereby assuring that the water table will become contaminated. It was the Halliburton loophole, proposed and executed by former Vice-president, (and also former CEO of that behemoth) Mr. Cheney, that makes it both legal and open season  for the oil and gas companies to keep their "little secret" about the chemicals they are putting in the water used in fracking.
In upstate New York, a little town called Dryden has successfully fought off attempts to introduce fracking into their community, by bringing in national supports like Earthwatch and other environmentally sensitive and committed agencies, and has even convinced the town government to pass laws forbidding the fracking operations in their town. David is, once again, making it more troublesome for Goliath, and other "David's" are watching, gaining confidence and skills to bring the fight to their town and county.
Eventually, sanity might prevail in the U.S. where, as Winston Churchill once observed, "they always do the right thing after they have tried everything else!"
In Canada, on the other hand, we do not have a similar cadre of public confidence, public mission and public vision to bring the corporate-government monster to its knees. And we need both opposition political parties to take off their "politically correct" postures, make-up and theatre masks to provide both information on the dangers of embedding the economy in fossil fuels, and of rolling over if and when the oil and gas companies come to frack their way to another gold-rush. And we need the public media, the newspapers and the television station newsrooms to get out of bed with the corporations, and to return to their rightful place as the "fourth estate" on the side of both the public and the land and water that we watching become increasingly contaminated, for the profit of the 1%.

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