In a recent thread in the cider press Paul wrote about changing the protest (from going to a large rally or sit in) to staying home and reducing our petroleum use as much as possible. He is asking for ideas that will help us reduce our personal petroleum footprint, and that a really good idea. He opened that thread with this quote
So many people have gone to protest oil use. There is a lot more to it, of course. And it is good that somebody protests. It is good to see a large crowd there.
I want to go to that place in Paul's mind that celebrates the large direct external protest, because although Paul's form of protest is extremely valid and valuable, I want to be sure that people understand that it is also very necessary to challenge the status quo with protest on the larger scale, and preferably at the source.
In Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau is doing what I call the Carbon Footprint Two Step, a sort of political dance in which he gets voted in with statements about the importance of combating climate change and the promotion of environmental protection (among many other things), and dramatically signs the agreement in Paris, but pretty much immediately also gives the nod for a pipeline to feed Malaysian state owned Petronas' massive LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) plant set to be perched on the juvenile salmon beds of the Skeena river (third largest salmon river in the world). The proposed pipeline will send natural gas (which is being marketed to the public as clean energy) from the fracked lands of North East B.C. (google fracking or hydraulic fracturing) to the coast for liquification and then shipped overseas. If you really want to get your eyes opened on Canada and fracking, watch the movie [url=https://www.ovguide.com/wiebo%27s-war-9202a8c04000641f800000001e931159]Wiebo's War[/url]
While it might not be seen as a carbon issue to create a massive dam, the project known as Site C was also given the nod from Trudeau this summer. The reason that it is a serious carbon issue is that it is set to flood an area of Peace River farmland large enough to feed a million people. And it's negligible whether the project is even necessary, especially if we follow Paul's lead on his form of protest! You might also imagine what the methane emissions (from rotting farm sod under the reservoir) and energy waste of concrete manufacturing will be released via the project. It's a carbon bomb.
It seems imminent that Trudeau will also give the nod to at least one of many oil pipeline projects, (very likely the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline which goes through my area). <- If this last project is stopped it would contain the oil being exported by mega tanker through Greater Vancouver from jumping to 7 times what it is with Kinder Morgan's smaller line at present. By stopping this project we lay the foundation to slow and potentially stop the expansion of Boreal destruction commonly known as the Tar Sands. It also stops the inevitable event(s) of pipeline spills on land, in land area waterways, and on the sea as the oil is moved from Alberta to overseas markets where demand for cheap oil (and corresponding increased greenhouse gas emissions), are partly being driven by it's easy availability here. We have a responsibility to say to our governments and the corporations that seem to control them that we as individuals actually control the economy, not them. And we CAN stop it.
Do it in any way that you can, but be responsible for your actions.
The more that we stop this direction of industrial expansion, and make all petroleum challenging to get to market, the bigger the impact that we have on a global scale.
Challenging the further expansion of mega industrial globalization into new markets via various forms of protest also sends a message to the rest of the world that the citizens of the affluent West are willing to do our part to reduce carbon emissions. By adding our individual voice or presence to petitions and in protest, we say that we are on board with the Paris agenda and that we are standing with nations which are being flooded by rising oceans, and with nations who do not have the financial capacity to change but are doing it anyway. We can do something that says that we are in control, in spite of the apparent corporate control over the economy and the politicians who seem to back them at every turn. It is actually us who control the economy, not only with our purchases (or lack of purchases), but with our 'saying no' more directly, at the source.
The developing world is looking to us (the western nation's consumers) to take the lead on the big project of emissions reduction, and this can start with three things only: 1.) Paul's method: Reducing our personal home and lifestyle carbon footprint so that we set an example for others to follow locally, 2.) Doing what we can to stop further development of mega petroleum infrastructure, through direct action or other protest 3.) Pouring our coffers and initiative into developing alternative energy streams that are appropriate and preferably local.
The examples set by those three things will combine to be the necessary protest that we can make, at the same time as giving developing nations a different direction to take with their own economies. Taking it home will not be enough.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."-Margaret Mead "The only thing worse than being blind, is having sight but no vision."-Helen Keller