Date: 17 July 2013

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Title: Intersection | ISSN XXXX-XXXX Vol 1 Set 1 Copyright © 2013 By Rolf Ludwig Auer All rights reserved printed in Canada First edition For info to reproduce selections from this newsletter, or to contribute, please email: rolfauer@yahoo.ca Intersection free online: www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rolf_Auer

Whether or not you climb from here to eternity only to end halfway up your hollow existence with both hands as empty as when you started is of no consequence. That you write is.
—Rolf Auer, epitaph (ca 1990)

Seeking volunteer contributors (to start). Unless you request it, your work is unedited.—RA, Ed.

Contents Page 4 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Oil Pollution Is Economically Inefficient Cartoon A poem, and a Bible verse The Graveyard Laugh

Oil Pollution Is Economically Inefficient Rolf Auer, 10 June 2013 No one can deny that damaging the environment costs. One of the advantages of sustainable, renewable energy production (“green” energy, from wind, solar, etc.) over conventional fossil fuel energy production is that with the former there is little or no environmental damage generated. Another advantage is that while fossil fuels are a finite resource, green energy is indefinitely renewable at little to no cost. We are at a transition point now where green energy is starting to become economically feasible, as green technology and energy production improves while fossil fuel production starts to decline (until it eventually ceases entirely).1 Ecocide is defined as total destruction of an area of the natural environment, especially by human agency. Among the too numerous ecocidal coups de grace are oil spills by oil pipeline ruptures. Of particular concern are ruptures of pipelines carrying bitumen (or Oilsands) crude. These types of oil spills are more difficult to clean up than conventional ones.2 The severity and frequency of bitumen pipeline spills—such the one in Mayflower, Arkansas, US—are tragic environmental disasters that are now unfortunately a matter of record.3 In Mayflower, Arkansas, a massive bitumen crude pipeline spill occurred on 29 March 2013. It rendered water sources it contaminated non-potable. Due to the additives in—and composition of—the crude, the spill—as in all such cases—proved impossible to clean up. Such spills occur at a rate 3.6 times higher than the national average. In Canada, the Enbridge Plan 9 bitumen pipeline would cross the heavily populated Great Lakes areas and its surrounding watersheds. At the present technological standards of construction, spills would be unavoidable with dire consequences. Medical ailments contracted as a result of contact with oil spills include skin lesions and shortness of breath.4 Wildlife that has ingested oil has resultant maladies such as brain lesions, internal bleeding, damage to kidneys and other organs, stress, and pneumonia.5 Since man is part of the food chain, perhaps it’s possible that similar, or the same, sicknesses could be passed on to or be contracted by humans. A recent report—“Legacy of a half century of Athabasca Oil Sands development recorded by lake ecosystems”—makes associations between Oilsands developments in Alberta and carcinogenic afflictions. Written for the Aquatic Contaminants Research Division of Environment Canada by multiple scientists/authors on 19 November 2012, it conclusively shows bitumen pollution at the Oilsands is not natural, as was argued by some who claimed there was no evidence proving pollution existed.6 The Alberta Oilsands developments produce bitumen crude oil.7 It is corrosive and in order to transport it by pipeline, it must be heated to higher temperatures than conventional crude oil.8 Pipelines coming out of the Alberta Oilsands have ruptured 16 times more often than conventional crude oil pipelines.9 Because bitumen crude is heavy, a spill of it penetrates the ground right to the water table.10 Given the aforementioned reported correlation between occurrences of cancers and

contamination by bitumen-crude chemicals in the Oilsands, might it not be possible that longterm exposure to the pollution by bitumen crude pipeline ruptures would also produce such illnesses? The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, if built, would be a bitumen crude pipeline.11 A scientist working from known data estimated that about 19 ruptures per decade would occur in it.12 Enbridge’s proposed Line 9, already the subject of protests, would transport bitumen crude and traverse Canada from Alberta to Quebec.13 The Enbridge Northern Gateway line in BC also would be a bitumen crude pipeline.14 Comparing oil resource development policy between the countries of Norway and Canada tell two very different stories.15 The Norwegian government carefully husbands its oil profits for investment in the country in the future, for the benefit of its peoples. In Canada, the Harper government—because it is oil-revenue dependent—caters to the oil companies and permits their exploitation of oil resources to proceed as fast as possible with little to no regard for the safety of either the people or the environment affected. Because oil companies deem environmental regulations as being detrimental to their profit margins, the Harper government quickly moved to relax or completely eliminate these.16 Where more than a million lakes and rivers were once protected, now a mere handful are, clearing the way for pipelines and pipeline building. Agencies once acting as environmental law enforcers no longer exist. First Nations peoples adversely affected by Oilsands developments are ignominiously ignored. Obviously, oil extraction must become sustainable. Oil pollution at the Oilsands must be stopped and cleaned up. There should be medical treatment and monetary compensation for people adversely affected. Oil pipeline technology must be made robust. Investments of government revenues in green technology should be done as quickly as possible.

1

http://www.economist.com/news/21566414-alternative-energy-will-no-longer-be-alternative-sunny-uplands, 26 November 2012 2 http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/aswift/top_5_things_you_should_know_a.html, 3 April 2013 3 http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/aswift/tar_sands_spill_in_arkansas_is.html 4 http://www.newswithviews.com/Howenstine/james185.htm, 11 October 2010 5 In Deep Water, Peter Lehner, 2010, p.125 6 http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/01/07/Report-Says-Bitumen-Mining-Pollutes/, 7 January 2013 7 http://www.nrdc.org/energy/files/tarsandssafetyrisks.pdf, February 2011, p.5 8 ibid, p.6 9 ibid, p.8 10 ibid, p.7 11 ibid, p.5 12 http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/eshope/keystone_xl_spill_risk_a_reana.html, 24 April 2013 13 http://business.financialpost.com/2013/04/21/nicks-enbridge-article/?__lsa=1084-f541, 21 April 2013 14 http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/01/12/HughesReport/, 12 January 2012 15 http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/april-2008-editorial-alberta-and-norway, April 2008 16 fn. 6

This poem is from The Woodgold Papers Vol 1 Set 12 (52) Frackheads Rolf Auer, 9 May 2013 Black thunder lizard blood is oil its tentacles around Earth coil olfactories plug while it burns and need for it destroys the soil. So we are of a bygone age and trapped we are inside a cage no odes for us on Grecian urns existence but a living wage. We missed it if we have been polled and ecocide has left us cold this black cat crosses us by turns we prematurely are old. The climate subject to attacks the atmosphere criss-crossed by cracks embraced decrepitude knows spurns still Homo Sape’s slow progress lacks. A Bible Verse John 15:12 Jesus: “This is my Commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

The Graveyard Laugh Rolf Auer, 7 May 2013 One might feel a chill when one walks past a graveyard and realizes that one’s life on Earth is finite. Timor mortis conturbat me: fear of death disturbs me. Then one mentally shrugs off the chill and gives a nervous laugh: the graveyard laugh. Ecocide—defined as total destruction of an area of the natural environment, especially by human agency—“by a thousand cuts” also elicits the graveyard laugh. Among the ecocidal cuts are oil spills by pipeline ruptures. Of particular concern are ruptures of pipelines carrying bitumen crude. These types of oil spills are more difficult to clean up than conventional ones.1 Medical ailments contracted as a result of contact with oil spills include skin lesions and shortness of breath.2 Wildlife that has ingested oil has resultant maladies such as brain lesions, internal bleeding, damage to kidneys and other organs, stress, and pneumonia.3 One could be easily forgiven for wondering if similar, or the same, sicknesses would either be passed on to or be contracted by humans. A recent report—“Legacy of a half century of Athabasca oil sands development recorded by lake ecosystems”—makes associations between Oil Sands developments in Alberta and carcinogenic afflictions.4 The Alberta Oil Sands developments produce bitumen crude oil.5 It is corrosive and in order to transport it by pipeline, it must be heated to higher temperatures than conventional crude oil.6 Pipelines coming out of the Alberta Oil Sands have ruptured 16 times more often than conventional crude oil pipelines.7 Because bitumen crude is heavy, a spill of it penetrates the ground right to the water table.8 Again, given the correlation between occurrences of cancers and contamination by bitumencrude chemicals in the Oil Sands, one could be easily forgiven for wondering if bitumen crude pipeline ruptures also produce such sicknesses. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, if built, would be a bitumen crude pipeline.9 A scientist working from known data estimated that about 19 ruptures per decade would occur in it.10 Enbridge’s proposed Line 9, already the subject of protests, would transport bitumen crude and traverse Canada from Alberta to Quebec.11 The Enbridge Northern Gateway line in BC also would be a bitumen crude pipeline.12 Comparing oil resource development policy between the countries of Norway and Canada tell two very different stories.13 The Norwegian government carefully husbands its oil profits for investment in the country in the future, for the benefit of its peoples. In Canada, the Harper government—because it is oil-revenue dependent—caters to the oil-company greed and permits exploitation of oil resources to proceed as fast as possible, while the needs of the people are overlooked, glossed over with empty platitudes such as “jobs, jobs, jobs” and so on.

Because oil companies deem environmental regulations as being detrimental to their gluttonous, bloated profit margins, Harper et al quickly moved to relax or completely eliminate these.14 Where more than a million lakes and rivers were once protected, now a mere handful are, clearing the way for pipelines and pipeline building. Agencies once acting as environmental law enforcers no longer exist. First Nations peoples adversely affected by Oil Sands developments are ignominiously ignored. Harper’s environmental betrayal of Canada is complete. Harper’s laugh might be a graveyard laugh. However, Canadians will have the last laugh, at the polls. And, as the saying goes, “He who laughs last, laughs best.”
1 2

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/aswift/top_5_things_you_should_know_a.html, 3 April 2013 http://www.newswithviews.com/Howenstine/james185.htm, 11 October 2010 3 In Deep Water, Peter Lehner, 2010, p.125 4 http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/01/07/Report-Says-Bitumen-Mining-Pollutes/, 7 January 2013 5 http://www.nrdc.org/energy/files/tarsandssafetyrisks.pdf, February 2011, p.5 6 ibid, p.6 7 ibid, p.8 8 ibid, p.7 9 ibid, p.5 10 http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/eshope/keystone_xl_spill_risk_a_reana.html, 24 April 2013 11 http://business.financialpost.com/2013/04/21/nicks-enbridge-article/?__lsa=1084-f541, 21 April 2013 12 http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/01/12/HughesReport/, 12 January 2012 13 http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/april-2008-editorial-alberta-and-norway, April 2008 14 fn. 4

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