Who Are the Real Terrorists? The People Protecting the Land or the Fossil Fuel Corporations and Govt.?

Wet'suwet'en vow to keep all pipelines off their land

Toghestiy, a Wet'suwet'en blockader has been living at the Unist’ot’en Protest Camp beside the Morice River for over three years now. He spoke recently about the Harper and Clark governments criminalization of protest against the destruction of the scared land, water and air by attempting to label those who resist the fossil fuel corporations as terrorists. In his talk Unis’tot’en Camp member Dini Ze Toghestiy asks, "Who are the real terrorists? Certainly not the people working to protect the land."  Adding, "Indigenous land defenders are protecting their lands and communities from the terrorism of colonialism and industrial resource extraction."

The Unist’ot’en Camp is in Wet'suwet'en territory in northern BC on the route of the Pacific Trail Pipeline that threatens to bring fracked gas from the N.E. of B.C. to proposed LNG facilities around Kitimat. The Wet'suwet'en vow to keep all pipelines off their land.

Resistance to the un-natural gas industry runs coast to coast to coast in Canada, with many communities, of all types, united in solidarity on this crucial issue. "The pipeline would represent a quick dollar at the expense of destroying the land, water and people's livelihood," Unis’tot’en Camp member Dini Ze Toghestiy said. "And don't say 'natural gas.' There is nothing natural about fracking or the gas it produces."

In addition to the criminal abuse of non-renewable water that hydraulic fracturing [fracking] requires and the atmospheric destruction caused by the fugitive methane emissions that the Canadian governments refuse to study, the fracking/LNG/pipeline resistors are condemning the other health effects coming to light in recent studies as well as the legacy of toxic waste left behind by the out-of-control frackers.

Fracked Gas extraction produces a range of potentially health-endangering pollutants at nearly every stage of the process, according to a new paper by the California nonprofit Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy, in Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Institutes of Health. “It’s clear that the closer you are [to a fracking site], the more elevated your risk,” said lead author Seth Shonkoff, from the University of California-Berkeley. “We can conclude that this process has not been shown to be safe.”

Citing the recent research, the report continues: "Shale gas development uses organic and inorganic chemicals known to be health damaging in fracturing fluids (Aminto and Olson 2012; US HOR 2011). These fluids can move through the environment and come into contact with humans in a number of ways, including surface leaks, spills, releases from holding tanks, poor well construction, leaks and accidents during transportation of fluids, flowback and produced water to and from the well pad, and in the form of run-off during blowouts, storms, and flooding events (Rozell and Reaven 2012). Further, the mixing of these compounds under conditions of high pressure, and often, high heat, may synergistically create additional, potentially toxic compounds (Kortenkamp et al. 2007; Teuschler and Hertzberg 1995; Wilkinson 2000). Compounds found in these mixtures may pose risks to the environment and to public health through numerous environmental pathways, including water, air, and soil (Leenheer et al. 1982). [...]."

Another recent U.S. federal study found that natural gas mining pollution in rural areas can increase the incidence of congenital heart defects among babies born to mothers living near wellsites. Easy to understand considering that more than 75% of the chemicals identified are known to negatively impact the skin, eyes, and other sensory organs, the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal system, and the liver; 52% have the potential to negatively affect the nervous system; and 37% of the chemicals are candidate endocrine disrupting chemicals.

The fucking fracking boom began in earnest in 2007 in Pennsylvania. The uproar by residents about flaming water coming out of their taps and the massive increase in earthquakes began almost immediately [as did the denial by industry of their reality]. By 2009 a study by Alberta scientists Stephan Bachu and Theresa Watson found that so-called "deviated wells" (the same kind right angling used for fracturing shale gas and tight oil formations) typically experienced leakage rates as high as 60 per cent as they age. Moreover "high pressure fracturing" increased the potential to create pathways to other wells, the atmosphere and groundwater. The health implications are serious. The migration of methane or fracking fluid has repeatedly contaminated groundwater across North America.

Despite repeated industry denials, geologists have known for years that various forms of hydrocarbon production, from drilling and pumping to injecting and fracturing, can cause man-made earthquakes. Experts call the phenomenon 'induced seismicity'. In B.C. the industry, which uses three times more water and often at higher pressures than other shale gas formations, set off more than 200 quakes in the Horn River Basin between April 2009 and Dec. 2011.

The Wet'suwet'en blockaders know that as Karlis Muehlenbachs, a geochemist at the University of Alberta, says, "With hundreds of thousands of new fracking wells expected to be approved here in Canada and millions more globally, fracking contamination will get worse not better."

Destruction and pollution of the non-renewable resources essential to every life form, birth defects, fugitive methane emissions so bad that mining fracked gas is even worse than either coal or tar sands crud for our already overloaded atmosphere. Why? So an already gluttonously rich few can have more money, so that consumers can continue consuming needless crap, so that in the very near future our children and grandchildren face the prospect of obliteration. Who are the real terrorists?  The people protecting the land or the fossil fuel corporations and the corrupt governments that support them?