We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Welcome to the New Third World of Energy, the U.S.

Click here to access article by Michael Klare at TomDispatch. (You may wish to scroll down to the article and skip the introduction.) 

The author warns us that US oil industry has big plans to exploit shale oil and gas within the US and will use their considerable influence and money to defeat any opposition. Given that the capitalist imperative for growth requires ever increasing amounts of energy and the ruling class addiction to the system which provides them with so much power and profit, it certainly looks like we are in for a herculean battle that will severely test the mettle of North American activists who insist that we maintain a sustainable environment and healthy ecosystem. It seems to me that this is shaping up to be an epic war for our future that could have wide ranging consequences: from revolutionary advances to nightmarish dystopias.

My only problem with his article is that he seems to suggest that Obama could be our ally in this war with statements like this:
To achieve these objectives, the API, which claims to represent more than 490 oil and natural gas companies, has launched a multimillion-dollar campaign to sway the 2012 elections, dubbed “Vote 4 Energy.” While describing itself as nonpartisan, the API-financed campaign seeks to discredit and marginalize any candidate, including President Obama, who opposes even the mildest version of its drill-anywhere agenda.
In his article he has made reference to an excellent New York Times article, but seems to overlook their factual statement which suggests otherwise:
More recently, with gasoline prices rising and another election looming, Mr. Obama has struck a different chord. He has opened new federal lands and waters to drilling, trumpeted increases in oil and gas production and de-emphasized the challenges of climate change. On Thursday, he said he supported expedited construction of the southern portion of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.
His apparent opposition to the whole Keystone pipeline will rapidly evaporate after the elections. Then, of course, there are all the other promises he made during the 2008 campaign and ignored after being elected. And, because he has served the ruling class of the One Percent so well during his first term, they will undoubtedly make sure he wins a second term.

Under Obama, the assault on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has continued with the firing of staff who objected to the favorable treatment of corporations and who reported violations of agency policies. In the following 2:23m video from Real News Network about a protest in front of the EPA, we see evidence of the war that is forming between environmentalists and the new push from Big Oil to fully exploit shale oil and gas within the US.