There’s nothing like a good road trip—you grab a handful of your favorite CDs, some snacks, a sense of adventure, and you’re off! Cruising down the open road, wind blowing through your hair, eyeballing heretofore unknown terrain, wondering who the heck lives in that little shack beside the highway in the middle of nowhere.
“This is a good company from Australia who is well funded, well banked, and they have bought a mine in Montana and have every intention to ship it to Asia. It's a great story.”
- Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer
Yes, governor, it’s a great story. It’s a story of air pollution, global warming and ruined landscapes. It’s a story of hazardous waste, poisoned water and destroyed communities. It’s a story of a 19th century technology wearing out its welcome well into the 21st century.
You can’t get something for nothing—there is always a trade-off, always a catch. In the case of Canada’s tar sands crude oil project, what’s being sacrificed in the name of the United States’ oil addiction are the lives of stoic woodland caribou and majestic whooping cranes.
Try this the next time you go camping at your favorite state or national park: dump into your campsite’s fire pit a few tires, a little plastic, a dash of chemical solvents and some random industrial waste—then strike a match and let the inferno begin.
Oh sure, you’ll be sending toxic pollutants into the air but, hey, when the ranger comes by and asks you if you’re crazy, just tell him that you’re taking your cue from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Cars sure are important. I mean, we design our towns and cities—heck, our whole civilization—around their ubiquitous presence. We construct massive parking structures where cars live for temporary periods, have a whole dining subculture based on the automobile, and dot the sides of our city streets with parking spaces deemed so valuable as to demand a fee for their use.
That’s why what I saw when I strolled into work today was so refreshing.
Environmentalist author Chellis Glendinning’s 2002 work of nonfiction, Off the Map, is an indictment of maps and cartography. Glendinning asserts that maps have historically served as tools of conquest that define the territory which is to be exploited.
The U.S. Department of State today issued the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the Keystone XL pipeline project, which would transport tar sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast.