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Mobilizing to Stop Fracking

By Mike Coday

Local folks with an interest in long term survival on Mother Earth have been meeting over the past few months to determine how to mobilize to join the global movement for environmental protection that was jump-started by Idle No More in Canada and by Keystone XL (Xtra Leaky?) Pipeline in the US.

The shores of the Salish Sea can look like a refuge from environmental destruction until you start measuring sea level rise and ocean acidification. At that point you realize that the greenhouse gas-driven climate crisis is going to have impact in our own front yard. If you think more about the climate crisis you realize the challenge is global. It is, and will be, ever present, everywhere in some form.

Certain questions arise: What part do we have in creating this disaster? And what part do we have in responding to this disaster? Like the problem, the solution to the climate crisis is ever present everywhere. We can start changing our lives and our infrastructure to reduce our personal and collective carbon footprint. Climate change realities are going to make that happen. We can go there with eyes wide open or we can get dragged kicking and screaming into a disastrous and chaotic change of lifestyle. We get to choose how we make this move.

The Port of Olympia is currently importing hydrofracturing materials from China and sending them by train to the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. The ceramic proppants that are being imported are infrastructure for the next generation of fossil fuel extraction. The fracking fossil fuel extraction boom promises jobs and increased energy independence and these are seductive promised, but the fossil fuels are being extracted in a profit-driven frenzy that guarantees short term environmental damage and takes us farther down a dead end road. A push for national energy independence that worsens the global climate crisis we face is stupid energy policy.

Some folks in Thurston County have been working to persuade the Port of Olympia to stop the import of ceramics proppants. Ceramic proppants are used in "fracking," an environmentally destructive advance in fossil fuel extraction. Stopping the fracking trains from the Port of Olympia is proving to be hard work.

We will have to do the heavy lifting that is required to power the change to a post-fossil fuel economy. We have to stop creating fossil fuel infrastructure that guarantees additional greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere. The climate crisis demands that we use every means at our disposal to stop the creation of new fossil fuel infrastructure. The energy demand pressure that arises with the disruption and decline of the fossil fuel industry is the engine that will drive our conversion to cleaner energy systems.

The climate crisis is a jobs program. Global transition to a more sustainable economic model and to cleaner energy systems is going to be a lot of work. Our local part in this global action is to engage in demonstrations of dual power:

  • We act in opposition to the prevailing economics of environmental destruction, we vote, we write, we call, we protest, we obstruct the economic engines that rely on and attempt to justify environmental destruction.
  • We build the the world we want to inhabit: we garden, we live locally. We insulate our homes, we install solar or wind or other forms of sustainable energy generation. We conserve and change our lifestyle to consume less.
  • We choose to become a generous and cooperative community instead of a more competitive and greedy community. -}

    Generations to come will thank us if we stand our ground. We must stand like a tree by the river. We must not be moved.

    Mike Coday is a member of Olympia Against Fracking's Direct Action Committee and Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace. He blogs at http://www.smallblueplanet.org

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Updated 2015/01/07 21:14:22