Posts Tagged ‘oil’

Shameful Conditions in First World Canada

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

(‘So a baby seal walks into a bar…‘)

Over a month ago in northern Ontario, Chief Shawn-A-in-chut Atleo from Attawapiskat First Nation declared a State of Emergency. Living conditions had consistently declined for two decades, placing the 2000-member community on the brink of a “humanitarian disaster.”

The response from the Government of Canada has been slow, leaving the ball to be picked up by a group that should be out helping the rest of the world – the Red Cross. Yet Ottawa’s sluggish response stems less from their lack of belief about the dire conditions, and more from the pressing fear of what might happen should other First Nations expose their own appalling conditions

What an embarrassment it would be for Canada! On top of being seal-clubbing, cancer-spreading, earth-rapists, we’ll also bear the international humiliation of a neglected indigenous population. Dreadful.

On a related note, in the third world, out of the countless millions living on the brink of starvation, tens of thousands of humans die every single day. So, not to trivialize the plight of Canada’s poorest people, but labeling what we see in Canada as ‘Third World Conditions’ does a disservice to the world’s truly poorest, who must endure the absolute worst that modern life has to offer.

And now that I’ve gone off on a tangent, I may as well end up on a soapbox.

Canada has been spending over $8 Billion a year for programs and policies for aboriginal peoples, which is clearly proving inadequate. Not that more money is the only solution. Surely the whole branch of government could use a shake-up and maybe trim off the life-sucking bloated bureaucracy.

But compare that spending to the nearly $20 Billion Canada invested to bomb liberate the poor, hapless people of Afghanistan, or the $26 Million in Canadian taxpayer funds used for the humanitarian mission to execute Gaddafi, and one wonders where Canada’s priorities should lie.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for making the world a better place, and the more diverse our strategy the better. But if the goal is to help humans live better lives, we might find our efforts better placed in areas where armies aren’t a necessary part of the plan.

Plus, until we Canadians get our shit together back home, we really have no business intervening militarily in the affairs of other nations.

NATO Countries Divvying Up Libya’s Resources

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

NATO got the UN’s green light to bomb the shit out of Libya back in March, under the pretense of ‘protecting civilians.’ Since then, the campaign evolved into full blown regime change as intervening forces opted to lend support to one band of armed thugs instead of another.

Now that the old guard has fallen, the real driving force behind NATO’s invasion becomes clear. With the deck being reshuffled, the countries who lent support to Libya’s ‘liberation’ have been scrambling to ensure they get dealt a better hand.

Recently, allegations have surfaced that members from the NTC – the group of rebels who overthrew Gaddafi – promised France 35% of Libya’s oil exports if they lent military support for their coup. And that was all the way back in April.

But like Chris Nineham from the Stop the War Coalition says in this video, the NTC hasn’t won any election. All they did was get enough muscle behind them to oust the dictator, which is pretty much how the guy being kicked out got to power in the first place.

The Libyan people haven’t seen new freedom yet. So far, all NATO has done is swap one crooked empire for another, all the while securing their own permanence for years to come.

But don’t you just know that’s been their primary goal all along.

Sure, whenever nations go to war, defense contractors alone can rake in billions every year. But since you’re going to do all the fighting and killing anyway, you may as well use your military muscle to install puppet regimes and shore up juicy corporate contracts. You’ll get more bang for your buck that way.

fu bp

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

BP messed up, bad. And they’ve kept on messing up, too.

Why haven’t they stopped the oil? Seriously, its been what, 2 months now??? It seems as if their priority is not to plug the hole, but rather to keep it flowing and try to catch it – which is a big FU to the environment.

deepwater oil spill

(deepwater horizon oil spill as seen from space)

Considering BP’s disregard for the environment, their utter lack of a back-up plan, and overall gross incompetence, protesters in Atlanta have concisely summed up the voice of the people:

fu bp

(this message was sprayed on a bridge. time-lapse video below of it being made)

Given enough time, the ecosystem will recover. It just sucks for now.

One thing we aren’t hearing enough of is how dirty fossil fuels are. Bad for the environment, it seems. And on that same note, it bears mention of our shared responsibility for this catastrophe – our dependence on oil and reluctance to shift to greener solutions.

It also bears mention of how corporations are pushed to profit and cut corners wherever they can. Corporations will try to get away with as much as they can. It is up to us – average consumers -  to hold them accountable for their actions. When corporations grow too large and too powerful, both people and planet can suffer.

Examples of corporations run amok can be seen with the big oil companies in Africa, where what has happened in the gulf apparently happens there all the time. In fact, further highlighting the importance of fettering corporations, companies like Shell have THEIR OWN FREAKIN ARMIES. Hired goons to enforce the company’s bottom line… glorified security teams complicit in human rights violation. Privately funded, unaccountable forces are just one of the scary prospects that can happen when corporations have too much influence.

So the lessons that the 2010 Gulf Oil spill can teach us are:

  • It is time to do a major shift towards renewable energy. Let our burning of oil be to propel us forward into a new age of greater technology.
  • Keep corporations on a short leash! Corporations need to fear the will of the people, not bend the will of the people.
  • Maybe have a backup plan when you are doing something potentially catastrophic