Would Tar Sand Flowing Down Your Street Be Enough to Make You a Doomer?

As I’ve written before, we doomers suffer from the connotations, lobbed onto us by pretty much everybody, of the end-times-are-nigh-shouting, cardboard-sign-holding, Bible-thumping lunatic. But c’mon, isn’t it crazier to ignore the mountain of observable evidence?

The signs are all around us, and I don’t even need to write “if one chooses to look,” because frankly it doesn’t matter if one looks or not; toxic waste being pumped onto the land and into ground water is quite impossible to ignore once it’s in your back yard (and therefore in your food and water). Oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico? Let the dolphins sort that one out (they’re now being born without eyes). But that oil also washes ashore, and is now oozing over more and more of the country—that is, the parts that aren’t already contaminated by toxic nuclear waste.

Take, for example, the very recent spilling of tar sand and its waste products into the ground in Arkansas. According to this report, “Residents were evacuated to avoid health hazards from crude oil fumes and to keep stray sparks from igniting the standing oil. Emergency workers contained the spill by hastily constructing earthen dams.” Neat.

And the rest of my analysis pretty much writes itself: “The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission told Channel 7 News that, as an interstate pipeline, Pegasus has no local control, oversight or inspection. Only federal officials from the Pipeline and Hazard Material Safety Administration are authorized to inspect and maintain the pipeline.”

Here’s some video:

This is the landscape our culture produces. We turn thriving, diverse ecosystems that have existed for millions of years into… that. And while Exxon and its sycophants will call this spill an “accident,” it’s actually quite on purpose. Not only does Exxon calculate spills like these into its externalized risk (a risk it’s quite hastily willing to take; it’s not the Exxon CEO’s land, after all), but such spills are the logical conclusion of the system we’ve built or have allowed to be built.

So who’s crazier? Those who not only tolerate but actually desire an oil-soaked wasteland, or those who think we can do better?


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