Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The XL Pipeline and Local Foods

From the Heartland, Margot McMillen writes: According to one map, on Wikipedia, a route for the Keystone XL pipeline goes right through my neighborhood, or, as my husband put it, “past our back door.” So I’m particularly glad that an estimated 3,000 Missouri college students went to DC for the protest. Can’t wait to see the few that went from our campus and hear what they think! Here's the link to the pipeline map: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_Pipeline Last night, the PBS news program, Newshour, covered the action and had interviews with a couple of folks with different opinions. I had just locked the sheep in the barn and come into the house, reported to my husband that a swarm of bright red cardinals were cleaning out the suet feeder and he should go look. But he was immersed in the TV where the talking heads were expressing different opinions about just where the tar sands oil, once refined, would go. Would it be piped to a Louisiana port, then traded to Asia for more computers and cars? Or would it help America overcome our fuel deficit with the middle east? Truly, neither of the guys seemed convinced that they knew. To Bill McKibben and the enviros, that doesn’t really matter. The point, to them, is that the planet can’t afford the carbon output, no matter if it’s burned in New York or Beijing. They point to the increase in carbon and the heat it traps, globally speaking. They say, “leave it in the ground and figure out new ways to take care of our needs.” They point to a 10% decrease in fuel consumption since Obama has taken office and say that’s great and we can do better. If a link in the XL pipeline comes through my neighborhood, and what does XL stand for anyway? Extra Large? Extra Leaky? Entirely X-cessive? Well, if it comes here, there’ll be thousands of new jobs and farmers will have to leave. To our biggest neighbors, that would be the end of hours on huge tractors, things they don’t really love to begin with. To the Economic Development people, it’s about good jobs that pay well. To sustainable vegetable farmers like us, it’s the end of community, nature, and our lives. To the eaters that depend on us, it’s back to canned foods from who knows where?

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