Sunday, July 07, 2019

On fanaticism

I've previously pointed out the connection between Andrew Scheer and an explicit effort to elevate the burning of fossil fuels to goal surpassing any interest in human well-being. But it's worth noting how much more extreme the same forces are becoming in order to serve the cause of extracting oil and gas - regardless of both the immediate and long-term human costs.

Kelly Weill reported here on the stunning machinations around emissions legislation in Oregon. There, voters elected Democrats to control all three branches of government, resulting in the introduction of a garden-variety, business-friendly cap-and-trade bill.

Republican state Senators responded by fleeing the capitol to deny quorum which would allow the legislation to pass. And that isn’t unprecedented.

But the Republicans also allied themselves with terrorist militias, openly threatening police officers if any effort was made to secure their return. Needless to say, that represented an unprecedented level of disregard for law and life (beyond the health costs of fossil fuels themselves), and all in the service of nothing more than untrammelled fossil fuel production.

We haven't yet seen the same explicit and immediate threats to life in the name of the oil sector. But we've absolutely seen the deliberate cultivation of both petrofanaticism and violent rhetoric - from Conservative-connected astroturf groups threatening civil war and attempting to silence anybody who dares to deviate from the oil industry's hymnbook, to a UCP government wasting public resources to demand fealty to oil barons (while conspicuously ignoring the much larger foreign influence on the pro-oil side).

And we should be calling out both the extreme voices and their powerful enablers at any turn - because the last thing we should be willing to accept is avoidable human cost in the name of the new worship of dirty energy.

1 comment:

  1. You're absolutely right, Greg. We should be calling them out. And Parliament should be acting on these threats and thugs. They plainly feel emboldened and the Liberal government bears at least some of the fault for that.