“Landowners’ worst fears came true,” Jane Kleeb, the head of Bold Nebraska, told DeSmog after news broke about the latest Keystone pipeline oil spill. “When you have a pipe running through your farm or ranch-land all you think about is: it could break today.”
What’s missing from the way that our financial press reports about China’s economic slowdown is that it fails to take into account the role of the mainland’s people and the environment in how this crisis came to be.
The city of Flint, Michigan, has declared a state of emergency over contaminated water supplies amid calls for a criminal investigation, the resignation of the state governor and a class action lawsuit that could top $1bn.
ALLEN LEBLANC LED A VIGOROUS LIFE as a young man growing up in Mossville, Louisiana. He had a sheet-rocking business, drove trucks, and worked at the Conoco oil refinery. He helped his mother and stepfather run their nightclub, where Tina Turner and James Brown used to play. He also helped out at home with his five children, and he would paint, fix broken windows, and mow lawns for neighbors who couldn’t afford to maintain their houses. Now, at 71, LeBlanc is on disability, and for most of the last decade he has refused to leave his house.
Five years ago, in the middle of the night, an oil pipeline operated by Enbridge ruptured outside of Marshall, Michigan. It took more than 17 hours before the Canadian company finally cut off the flow, but by then, more than a million gallons of tar sands crude had oozed into Talmadge Creek. The oil quickly flowed into the Kalamazoo River, forcing dozens of families to evacuate their homes.
Last week I took my partner Darby out for dinner to celebrate our four-year anniversary. It was a clear Monday evening—the sky baby blue and cloudless—and we were halfway through our first drink when the air suddenly seemed charged with an icy electricity. Tree limbs overhead rustled frenetically, then we heard rumbling in the distance.