I have begun to believe my mind is full of tiny little topics that act like pimples.

No one can predict the order they start to fester in, or when they’ll get ripe and burst.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Observations on a Cesspool

Taking a Stroll Past the Tar Pit
A First Hand Witness Account

Kristie Elgersma
This happened for me recently. And I want people to know.
I posted it last week but FB won't let me get back there to reshare it.
I think more people need to know..... Especially considering the Keystone XL and the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project as a current topic of conversation....
"...I wanted to see what Desmond Tutu saw. And James Cameron. And Neil Young.
I needed to see too
I haven't been to the Alberta Tar Sands since I was a young girl....
I have lived around industry for most of my life. An asbestos mining community in the early 90's, another community hosting a coal mine and a lumber mill later on in the 90's, Edmonton's East End Industrial in the 2000's... And in the most recent years another coal mine and numerous oil & gas installations.....
25 years later.... I went to see....
And absolutely nothing in my lifetime prepared me for what I witnessed a few kilometres north of Fort McMurray.
I have zero frame of reference to compare it to.
They are truly struggling to keep up with the amount of infrastructure required to accommodate the sheer number of travellers to and from Ft. McMurray.... The highways are being twinned slowly. But, it doesn't make up for the white crosses that line the ditches every few kms.... Some have flowers at their feet, some have hard hats hanging on them.... In one spot there are seven crosses in a row...
People have been saying for more than a decade how dangerous Highway 63 is. And they weren't embellishing the truth at all.
Oil & gas sites start a ways out before the city... Nothing that I am unused to....
What I'm not sure of is the haze..... Is it the Earth sweating because it was so hot? Is it mist? Is it smoke? Is there a fire down where? Is it smog? I never did find out......
The city of Ft. Mac itself is a beautiful city, lots of hills, forests and greenery surrounding it, with a river running through it.
Many people pressed into a small area and it shows with the diversity of housing in place and going up.
Suncor, Syncrude and Shell have taken up a competition of sorts to see who can out best the other at ass kissing to the community they are destroying.... A new arena, rec center blah blah blah..... Patting themselves on the back because they think they've done something fucking decent.
If you continue on North Bound, off to your right you'll see it for a moment: Flashes of metal, flame, smoke, no life, no green... And then it's hidden by hills.... They have screened themselves in very well for the first bit of the road.
If you keep driving, you'll pass boarding residences and tiny matchbox apartments put up by the companies to house their employees.... They reminded me of the jail north of Edmonton. So insane what we condition ourselves to.
Once you pass those, the road gets curvy and winding... You'll see a large beautiful lake in your right, and suddenly you hear the gunshots.... And then you realize that you're not looking at a lake, you're looking at a tailings pond and you realize you are surrounded by them, this toxic killy shit and the gunshots are to scare the birds away so they don't land on it, 2 million birds dead already and the pond liners are leaking and that's what is fucking up the waters up there, and 40 years of waste water byproduct from cleaning the tar sands and they don't know how to clean the water! they don't know how to clean the water! They.Don't.Know.How.To.Clean.The.Water. , and it is the whitest sand you've ever seeeeeeeeeeen....
All over the place in piles....
Because of our need for oil. That's why.
Automated guns firing to frighten nature to protect it.
So I continue on....
The haze is heavier... You can't see the sun. And the keening sound coming from the engine is not the engine. It's me. And by the time I hit the smoke stack you see in the pics below, I am sobbing openly and helplessly and entirely overtaken with grief.
Even in that place there are residences built. Humans live at the foot of that fucking monster.
I stopped at a little learning center. There is bucket there placed in the middle of the concrete. You could park four of my sized cars in that bucket. In the field this thing is attached to a huge crane.... This crane is not on a track. It's on triangular wheels that 'walk', 8 meters per side. 24 meters per complete rotation. The bucket thunders itself into the earth..

 Digging digging digging...

Because of our need for oil. That's why.
Next to it on my left is another machine. This thing looks like a 2D wheel with jagged grooves all the way around it. The grooves protrude outwards slightly, each groove is like a shovel....
Imagine a chainsaw taller than the back fin of a 747 airplane that you turn on and lower into the earth that digs for you and you MIGHT have an idea of the monstrosity I stood before..... 

The Buzz Saw
The build west for the Northern Gateway has already begun up there. They think they have already won.
I came to understand that seeing healthy coyotes was unheard of. Mangy, scraggly, missing fur, sickly looking... Knowing that they are scavenger creatures, preying upon the most vulnerable, the weakest, the sick... Just what are they eating?
I had no idea what the fuck I was walking into.
The rest stops were disturbing.... Women's phone numbers.... 'Emergency turban repair' scribbled above the toilet paper dispenser with an arrow pointing downwards.... 'Abandon all hope ye who enter the Mac'... Swastikas...
I had left all my OpHumanAngels gear at home stupid me coming in for a crash landing unprepared. I don't even know if I would have thought in those moments to reface their energy. Fuck.
I did for a moment see a huge 1.5 ft tall Guy Fawkes mask stenciled to the outside wall of a rest stop. There are those up there that get it. They

It is how they have all said it is.
It is a monstrosity. A blight on the face of this living, breathing planet. Anyone who says it is making zero impact is lying to themselves...
I understand just how many people it is helping to survive, to live.... Every nation up there is surviving and living off of it. White, red, yellow, black. They are all there.
I needed to know what we are supposed to prepare for. I needed to know first hand what we speak out against. I plan to go back there once more. I hope to bring people with me. Emissaries. Reface that whole fucking place with chalk and notes.
As a side note, a friend that pays attention to MSM only, just let me know that Oklahoma has had 200 earthquakes so far this year.... They were stunned I already knew. Their first guess was fracking.
I had a hard time not flipping out.
I am losing my patience.
Maybe I just need to grieve for my mother. She is going to fuck us up right good the great equalizer that she is, I love her so..... </3
There is so much else on my mind but I've kept you long enough.
I love you. Thank you for listening and letting me share this with you...."

And that was a Song worth the Singing

Blaine Barrett