Sunday, July 15, 2012

‘The Politics of the (Im)Possible’ – Ed: Barnita Bagchi

Everyone is downstream
"As I write these words, Canada is engaged in the largest industrial project in the world: the extraction of oil from the so-called tar sands in north-eastern Alberta. The project involves tearing up enormous swaths of hunting territory, producing massive tailing ponds, sapping rivers, constructing a grid of pipelines from the north and the west and to the south and the east, using the so-called clean natural gas to produce greenhouse spewing oil, importing workers from around the world, and pumping pollutants into once pristine rivers. The oil produced is to be sold as a 'secure' energy source to feed the voracious market of the United States for individualised transportation. From an ecological perspective, it is a kind of madness.'
"On the front line of the struggle against this project are the Cree and Chipweyan communities directly downstream, though the network of indigenous and environmental activists working to oppose the insanity name their annual gatherings 'Everyone Is Downstream'… If the Mikisew Cree are seen as 'traditionalists' romantically attached to an outmoded form of social organisation, capitalism need not look back at what it leaves in its wake and can even praise itself for offering up a few 'jobs' to this backwater territory."
(p. 59, Peter Kulchyski's essay titled 'Echo of an Impossible Return' in 'The Politics of the (Im)Possible' – Ed: Barnita Bagchi – Sage) 

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