It’s Mother Earth’s battle cry inspired by the world’s dire climate crisis that has been sung by so many others for years yet still hasn’t had the intended effect because it still hasn’t resolutely been taken up by the world as a whole. So the cry remains: what ultimately is more important: Water or Oil?
The Human World is starved for both. But which of the two will ensure the ultimate survival of life on this tiny orb commonly called the Blue Planet?
The dilemma of modern human civilization and plight of our Mother Earth are one and the same. The lack of water eventually will kill both, while the abundance of oil eventually will also kill them both.
There’s a very real, simple reason why every aspect of the planet’s corporate world order – and especially its corporate mainstream press, governmental bodies, political parties and energy sectors – refuse to truthfully air the ramifications that underlie why there exists such a climate crisis in the first place, and what actually would have to be done – not by the year 2030, 2040, 2050 or 2100 – but Now – Today – to lower pollution emissions that are inexorably producing ever-greater planetary climate change imbalances. The reason is simple.
No truthful dialogue is occurring to come up with the kind of immediate, dramatic, workable solutions desperately needed for any true reconciliation with the planet because it would require a complete and utter re-definition, re-calibration and re-tooling of modern human civilization’s entire raison d’etre. To get the world’s titanic energy juggernaut to move even a few degrees to avoid the fatal calamity that lies ahead is all but impossible. It won’t ever happen until whatever calamity will happen, finally does happen. Until then humanity’s modern civilization will continue to whistle in the dark, espousing whatever hypocritial doublespeak, while applying whatever band aids to wherever the hurt is greatest while paying lip service to all the rest.
As a result, a fatal disconnect exists in Canada, as indeed it does everywhere else in the world, between an avowed desire to protect and care for Mother Earth’s natural world, her finite resources and the opposing reality of mankind’s greedy, desperate, ever-burgeoning political-corporate-societal needs for ever more copious amounts of oil and fossil fuels needed to continue: to run all of its vehicles, planes, trains and ships; grow all its food crops for an ever-exploding population, while continuing to manufacture and sell every petroleum starved man-made thing in the modern world’s endless inter-woven, ever-expanding array of Chinese Silk Road’s that keeps the ever-burgeoning masses busily employed and the whole business of life proliferating, however greedy, unbalanced and suicidal that may be.
This is why countries like Australia, Canada, the United States and so many others still refuse to fully and openly discuss the climate crisis issue and ongoing degradation of their nation’s pristine habitats and finite natural resources, even though in places like Australia’s New South Wales a recent report revealed that the destruction of its natural habitats, forests and woodlands have increased five fold from what the crisis was only a few short years ago, with its iconic Kaola Bear on the verge of extinction. While in the United States, ever since the violent debacle of its Dakota Access Pipeline occurred, the need to further expand the amount of barrels of petroleum flowing through that pipeline maze continues to increase with no end in sight. While in Canada’s Alberta Tar Sands, that province’s devastated region already has been turned into a virtual national sacrifice area. What is everywhere going on in the world is nothing more nor less than a form of sheer madness matched only by unparalleled greed.
Yet to keep mankind’s world running as it is means ever greater amounts of the planet’s pure, precious, finite waters must, knowingly and willingly, continue to be consumed, polluted and destroyed to perpetuate human civilization’s hopelessly-addicted fossil-fueled way of life hell bent on its own self-destruction and that of all life on this, ourexquisitely beautiful, Blue Planet.
It’s a cliché to say the time has long since past the critical tipping point when humanity can no longer have it both ways. Every human must, sooner or later, once and for all, choose which side of the debate they’re on and then accept the consequences of whichever side is chosen.
One prime example of that is Canada’s decision to continue to choose this fatal addiction to oil and fossil fuels by its latest decision to continue building a Trans Mountain pipeline from the Tar Sands of Alberta to the coastal waters of British Columbia. This plan will only further increase the flow of toxic bitumen – one of the dirtiest of all substances known to exist – to a world hopelessly hooked on yet its next fix of the deadly black stuff. Canada’s in–between a rock and a hard place decision flies in the face of whatever constantly re-adjusted Paris Accord Agreement or proposed grandiose Green Environmental Plan it may design to help humanity once and for all kick this fatal attraction. Every new scheme in this direction, whether it’s a so-called aboriginal/First Nation ‘Reconciliation’ Pipeline, to get their own ‘slice of the pie’, or whatever other spinoff plan of the same thing boils down to a falsehood of perpetually trying to have one’s cake and eat it, too.
it’s always a curious fact to note that oil is what remains as a by-product of one of Earth’s most primitive epoch’s in its evolutionary journey yet also is perhaps the main cause of what scientists now refer to as the Anthropocene Epoch in geological history that is in the process of repeating yet the sixth great extinction of all of life on earth.
Human society must keep reminding itself that it’s by-products like bitumen that are fueling this epoch extinction and literally every aspect of the human world’s modern civilization, and that such decisions are bringing about, if not speeding up, this fatally destructive geologic epoch that, to continue to do so, must knowingly and willingly consume and destroy ever-greater amounts of the earth’s precious, finite natural sources of water that, literally and figuratively, is the very essence of life. It’s the only lifeline that sustains all of earth’s living things as we all travel together safely through time and space on our tiny, resilient blue orb through an incredibly harsh, unforgiving, hostile universe. One could even go so far as to say that the ancient waters that daily course through all our bodies is a holy communal fluid full of actual hosts of ancient ancestors of all manner and kind going back to the very beginning of creation. Therefore, no matter how else one may put it: Water is the Most Sacred Substance of all that not only Protect’s but Inspires the Journey we’re on Together.
Of all the holy mantras ever sung, this should be the single-most one the people of Canada and everywhere else in the world chant to themselves as they awaken each morning to greet the new day. It’s a mantra to be repeated as a ritual on the full moon of each month as the waters in our bodies, mystically, are pulled this way and that in the same way that the currents and tides cause the planet’s own waters to ebb and flow. It’s a truly sacred mantra to be repeated everytime we turn on a tap to fill up a glass of water to quench our thirst and then mindfully pause for still a moment longer to give thanks and ponder this whole wondrous story of our Mother Earth’s endless journey through time and space and her ability to quench the thirst of every one of its lifeforms with the same waters that literally and figuratively always have been since the beginning of time and, in some form or another, always will be to its final end.
Such awareness should give every human cause to pause for one moment longer still before quenching one’s thirst to consider how wondrous this precious, finite substance is that already has been in the bodies of so many famous or infamous humans, or taken such an eons-long circuitous journey through still so many other innumerable living beings and lifeforms going all the way back to the dinosaurs and beyond, and yet continues to enrich our lives as it did their’s.
Before Canadians and other peoples of the world decide to give any further support whatsoever to a woefully-disrespecting corporate world order that perpetuates this reality they should use this daily water mantra to call their mind to the kind of destructive fossil-fuelled way of life that, through the daily primitive, brutal mining and extraction of so many countless dirty, toxic ores and minerals poisons and destroys forever colossal amounts of this precious, finite, natural substance that without it our earth no longer would remain blue but instead just become yet another brown, shrivelled-up, lifeless hulk endlessly hurtling through empty space.
In a National Observer opinion article (“The Juggernaut of corporate oil must be stopped” June 18th2019), Giindajing Guujaaw, an Hereditary Chief Gidansta of the Haida Nation, who also is an advisor to British Columbia’s Coastal First Nations, spoke out in response to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to approve the extension of the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline from the Tar Sands of Alberta to the coastal waters of British Columbia and beyond.
The words of Guujaaw – a Haida activist, leader, visionary, drummer, dancer, carver among his people – hereditary leader of the Gakyaals Kliqawaay, a Haida family of the Raven Moiety, protector of Gwaii Haanas (South Moresby), who was instrumental in the renaming of the Queen Charlotte Islands as Haida Gwaii – is one exceptionally inspirational First Nation man whose song represents a centuries old battle cry that has been sounded in every corner of the earth, manytimes over, in as many ways as there are a multitude of fine speakers who have ever come and gone upon our earth. His lofty words should be taken as a renewed living retort to all those Canadian politicans-indian leaders-energy CEO’s and voters alike who consider themselves, consciously or unconsciously, to be part of the corporate world order as they willingly and knowingly continue to support the sacrifice of so much of the earth’s precious finite resources to be further misused to satiate whatever humanity’s immediate selfish needsrather than treat as a sacred trust to be bequeathed as a legacy to future generations.
Amplified here, in light of Canada’s recently-proposed concept of a so-called First Nation Reconciliation Pipeline, Guujaaw has taken it upon himself to call to all our minds what those basic responsibilities are that those of us of this living time in the earth’s and our own evolution now must do:
“Through the years”, Guujaaw says, “of legal battles and a very measured examination of Aboriginal issues, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has given well-considered definition to Rights and Aboriginal Title in the context of Canada in the modern world.
Aboriginal Rights are a far-reaching right of the collective, held not only for the present generation but for all succeeding generations. The rights also include an economic component coupled with a very deliberate and appropriate “inherent limit,” which requires that the land “not be used in a way that is irreconcilable with the attachment an Aboriginal group has with the land” nor shall it be encumbered in ways “that would substantially deprive future generations of the benefit of the land.” This is, in fact, a limit that, if applied to all, could go a long way in looking after the earth.
In difficult times, our people stood to look after our land and restore our rights leaving us a solid legal base from which we can uphold our responsibilities. This changed the legal and political dynamic requiring governments and industries not only to consult, but to make accommodations, while the Supreme Court also called out for “reconciliation.”
And so it began: out of the sacrifice and efforts of our champions to look after the lands when came the attention of Corporate Oil, with the tried solution of simply buying its way.
Regardless of owner or name, a pipeline and all that comes with it crosses the “inherent limit” and certainly does not carry any Aboriginal Rights. There is none amongst us of any colour or creed that can claim a right to disregard the neighbour downstream, or who can claim a right to neglect life. There is none amongst us with the right to harm the great killer whale or the little barnacle.
An Indian pipeline would be a business venture as any other and is not “reconciliation”; rather, an infringement and a threat.
Be certain that the apparatus killing this planet is a nasty one and it seems intent on finishing the dirty deed. It gains strength through violence with the jack-booted obedient servants at its beck and call. It is commanding enough to recruit our cousins if not you and me. Though it is tough as hell, it’s not that smart.
Left to its devices this Juggernaut will continue killing our planet, and without intervention our fate is sealed and we may as well prepare a dignified exit, but that would be irresponsible.
While it must be stopped, don’t wait for the Indigenous people to lead. The Indians are few in number, battle-weary, and, along with the multitudes, distracted by the ballgames and trying to pay the bills. We are too easy to imprison, too easy to kill, and as you see, as fallible as any.
Be assured, however, that on the front lines the Indigenous people are already standing up for the health of the planet, already standing for basic clean air and water. Most of us love this planet and respect life before money.
Children all over the world are calling out for us to stop this careless behaviour and fix this disorder. The grown-ups still ignore the symptoms and avoid the cure.
Reach out across the chasms to your fellow earthlings and devote some time to figuring this thing out. In each of us is some measure of good and understanding of truth, and somewhere in there is the solution. There is no need to put anyone in harm’s way.
We, the multitudes, allowed it to come to this. We, the creators of the Juggernaut, have got to fix it together.
So with this further amplification of Guujaaw’s wise words, there should be nothing more left for the rest of us to say or do but for each human being in Canada and every other country to follow what their individual conscience and morality directs them to do to stop all the dirty deeds of this nasty oil Juggernaut and its jack-boots in the world that daily, steadily, are killing all our lives and that of our crystalline Blue Planet.
Each human being now must simply open up and speak truth to power every which way they humanly can in the face of whatever next wave of propaganda yet to be unleashed that will seek to convince us all of how right or just is the adequacy of whatever niggardly actions thus far have or will be taken to reduce the world’s climate crisis while, still in denial, will yet continue to suck Mother Earth dry of all her last resources while pumping yet more bitumen throughout the world for British Columbia, Canada and the world at large.
The Shit Has Long Since Hit the Fan! Our Beautiful Blue Planet Needs to Cool Down! It’s Time for We Humans to Switch Back and Move Forward to a New-Old Natural Way of Life!
The prize-winning author Darren Dochuk, in his new book “Anointed With Oil; How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America”, documents how oil literally has transformed virtually every aspect of American religion, business and politics, turning countries like the United States into an endless horse race for preeminent global power while, at the same time, shaped Christianity’s modern evangelical movement and its radical Alt-Right movement. The Petroleum black stuff continues to fuel literally every major right-wing political-religious power in countries like the U.S., Isreal, Saudi Arabia and China, who also continue to be driven by a quasi-theological imperative and virtual quest for terrestrial supremacy on the planet. This sinful marriage that exists in the minds of many world leaders, and embedded within the very fiber of their country’s make-up, between God and Petroleum is an unholy alliance that most probably now will never be broken. This means that Mother Earth’s struggle for her very survival, and need to preserve her precious dwindling supply of water, will only worsen over time as humanity’s desperate need for still more of the toxic black stuff steadily increases.
To date, it has been the youth – our children of virtual school age – who have taken upon themselves to commit to climate strike actions around the world. Now we, the adults of the world, must join with them because we allare the people who happen to be alive at this moment when our choices will determine the future for tens of thousands of years: how high the seas will rise, how far the deserts will spread, how fast the forests will burn. Our work, beginning on September 20th for a Global Climate Strike Day, now must be to protect that future.
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Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer who, for decades, in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has sought to call attention to problems of sustainability caused by excessive mega-developments and a host of related environmental-ecological-spiritual issues and concerns that exist between the conflicting philosophies of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.