Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tar Sands, Copper Mining vs. The Environment

Isn’t this great, having so many millions of unemployed Americans? No, not for us, of course. But for the Oligarchy, the one percent of the population that owns and controls virtually everything, unemployed desperate people are a gold mine.

If you’re a one-percenter and you have a new profit-making venture that threatens public safety or the environment, all you have to do is yell out “This Will Create Jobs! JOBS!!!”

Immediately, millions of frantic out-of-work people will be clamoring to get those commie treehugging safety regulations out of your way, so you can get right out there and start wrecking the environment and “creating jobs.”

One current example is the tar sands project in Utah. There’s a sticky tar-like substance under the soil of eastern Utah, in the Uinta Basin. This tar could provide a huge new source of petroleum. And we just happen to be in the middle of an energy crisis (as usual) and a shitty economy. How conveeenient.

Unfortunately a bunch of bears, elk and bison have the nerve to be living above this tar, and they’re in the way. In case there’s any question of priorities, the answer is in the Bible. Who could ever forget that stirring passage where Jesus said “Get those fuckin’ filthy animals out of there and start digging for tar. NOW, Asshole!”

In Minnesota, increased copper mining is a threat to the local water quality, and this could jeopardize the state’s famous wild rice farms. The threatened land — and wild rice too, for that matter — is sacred to local Indian tribes. The water projects coordinator for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa said:

“It is sacred. It is a gift from the Creator. It is central to Ojibwe cultural identity. The cultural significance can't be overstated.”

Now now, before you start getting all warm and fuzzy about Indians and rice paddies, remember: “JOBS!”

Someday, we might actually learn something from the people of Bolivia and Ecuador about protecting nature.

Nah. It can’t happen here.

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Blogger Snave said...

This all sounds like more "shock doctrine" stuff to me... use a crisis and the people's reaction to it to get away with all kinds of icky stuff. If the crisis is bad enough, millions of us will bypass our critical thinking skills and not think about the motives of those pushing their agenda. At least that is what they expect from us, because they tend not to like us; "we the people" are too frequently an obstacle to them getting their way.

"9-11" was a convenient excuse for creating the DHS and for ramming the Patriot Act down America's throat. "9-11" was also used as an excuse for invading Iraq, and lots of scared people bought into that one, too. The left has been guilty of using such scare tactics as an excuse for pursuing an agenda, but it seems like this tends to be more of a right-wing thing... at least if you believe what Naomi Klein has written about the phenomenon.

Now the nation's economic crisis is being used as a way to get rid of all kinds of things those on the right don't like, such as NPR, Planned Parenthood, unions, safety regulations, and environmental regulations.

In fact, anything that involves any kind of spending is now fair game, and if you oppose the cuts they want to make, you will be labeled as a "job killer", "tree hugger", etc.

Sadly, stories like these about the tar sands and the copper are going to allow those on the right to spin things in their favor at a pretty dramatic level. The left needs to get into some good media blitzes, but I don't know if that would be enough to counteract the right-wing spinners...

April 15, 2011 at 4:46 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

You're so right about what desperation for jobs can mean for the environment. It's the kind of leveraging of other people's needs and disadvantages corporate America's greediest bastards are becoming more and more adept at.

But keep in mind, along with needing more jobs, we need more petroleum in the immediate term.

In the medium term, we need to get off gasoline and diesel and on to hydrogen fuel. That's the answer.

However, the petroleum and financial industries, along with speculators, are in no hurry. They want to squeeze as much money out of consumers as they can for as long as they can, because when hydrogen fuel is the standard and as widely available as gasoline is today, petroleum sales will drop like a rock.

One last thing. If we're smart, we'll cut Big Oil and the U.S. Chamber crowd out by mandating hydrogen fuel will only be mass produced and distributed by a government-controlled corporation (like USPS). Otherwise, the SOB's will soon find ways to screw us for hydrogen fuel the way they're screwing us for gasoline and diesel now.

April 15, 2011 at 6:52 PM  
Blogger Demeur said...

It's almost getting to the point where we can't do anything worst to the planet. Lem me see. We've got a mass of garbage swirling around in both oceans. The Gulf of Mexico will be dead shortly. The Great Barrier reef is nearly dead. And Japan is dumping enough radioactive water as well as all that debris from the tsunami that will hit our shore shortly.

Maybe the Mayans were right and the world will end next month.

Can we do anymore damage that you can think of?

April 16, 2011 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

The good news is that we'll all be red gianted out of existence, so eventually the universe wins.

April 16, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: I think "Shock Doctrine" is exactly what this is. When there's a crisis, plutocrats see dollar signs. The Left definitely needs to start learning how to frame the issues and start winning the message war.

SW: Bring on the hydrogen. I agree that the government needs to oversee production and distribution of hydrogen fuel. Otherwise there'll be fake "shortages" before we know it.

Demeur: Enough of that sunny optimism :)

Randal: Either way, the universe wins.

April 16, 2011 at 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

And not only will tar sands create jobs, but because extracting it is vastly more expensive than pumping liquid oil, it'll drive the normative price of petro-chemicals even higher.

The 1% wins again.

April 17, 2011 at 3:23 PM  

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