Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Today In Tar-Sands

Curious as to why the Keystone XL Pipeline is such a big, freakin' deal? These three pieces should go some distance to enlighten you. The POV that generates the lot of them is, I think, plainly antagonistic toward pipeline development, but they each contain specific, critical insights into some crucial failures of perspective, communication, and ethical commitment on the part of the various oil industry proponents, including our Prime Minister.

The first is a lengthy New Yorker profile by Ryan Lizza. Lizza's comes closest to covering “both sides” of the debate, and although he does not state it explicitly, he adroitly exposes the vulnerability of the environmentalist arguments (see if you can spot it).* At the moment, it does appear as if the environmentalist argument has considerable sway. There are reasons for that, and among the most notable is that under Harper, “Canada's record of keeping its climate change promises has been deplorable.”

It should be said that Canada's record on that score has been deplorable no matter who's in power. But the fact that Harper can't even meet his own sub-par promises (“Mom! I swear! I'll make 48% on the next science test! Just please let me go to the skate park!”) makes him a non-negotiator. As John Michael McGrath points out, “There are many things Stephen Harper is good at, politically, but negotiation has never been one of them.”

*Here's a clue. Here is another.

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