FIVE years ago the world was in the grip of a financial crisis that is still reverberating around the globe. Much of the blame for that can be attributed to weaknesses in human psychology: we have a collective tendency to be blind to the kind of risks that can crash economies and imperil civilisations. Today, our risk blindness is threatening an even bigger crisis. In my book The Energy of Nations, I argue that the energy industry's leaders are guilty of a risk blindness that, unless action is taken, will lead to a global crash – and not just because of the climate change they fuel.
VANCOUVER, UNCEDED COAST SALISH TERRITORY – On Sunday morning, activists with Rising Tide-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories set up a 15-foot mock fracking rig on Premier Christy Clark’s lawn and announced that “Because the Premier loves fracking, we figured we would save her the hassle of trying to take over other peoples’ homes and bring it right to her!” says Jacquelyn Fraser, an activist with the group. “We are just so worried about all the water that is being used and polluted in northeastern B.C. for fracking.
In December 2012, a pink-haired complex systems researcher named Brad Werner made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco. This year’s conference had some big-name participants, from Ed Stone of Nasa’s Voyager project, explaining a new milestone on the path to interstellar space, to the film-maker James Cameron, discussing his adventures in deep-sea submersibles. But it was Werner’s own session that was attracting much of the buzz.
“The rich are different from us,” F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to have remarked to Ernest Hemingway, to which Hemingway allegedly replied, “Yes, they have more money.” The exchange, although it never actually took place, sums up a wisdom Fitzgerald had that eluded Hemingway. The rich are different. The cocoon of wealth and privilege permits the rich to turn those around them into compliant workers, hangers-on, servants, flatterers and sycophants.
Canada's colonial past is present, however much Prime Minister Stephen Harper seeks to obfuscate the reality of the history of this land. This week has served as a prime example of how denial of past colonialism helps to perpetuate ongoing colonial relationships. The current flashpoint is the small town of Rexton, New Brunswick, where the Elsipogtog First Nation and their supporters are facing down massive RCMP repression of their protests against activity by SWN Resources, a company that is carrying out seismic testing for proposed oil and gas fracking operations in the area.
Yesterday, the RCMP launched a violent assault on a blockade protest against a shale gas fracking company on the outskirts of the New Brunswick village of Rexton, just north of Moncton. The protest action has been led by the Mi’kmaq people of the Elsipogtog First Nation. A symbolic protest that was slowing traffic on a nearby highway has been in place since Sept.
Urgent call for solidarity and support
Support #Elsipogtog and Mi'kmaq anti fracking blocakde
Friday October 18th
3:30 pm, gather at the South side of the Vancouver Art Gallery
March leaves at 4 pm sharp
Unceded xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.