The Ottawa protest was well attended by 500-600 people according to RCMP officials I spoke with. Although the focus was on the construction of the Keystone pipeline, many who attended were also protesting the Harper government’s laughable performance on combating climate change. Canada has become the object of ridicule around the globe having abandoned its commitment to the Kyoto accord and continuing to support the old economy which is a model for killing the planet. Canada has no national Energy Strategy and no Transition Strategy away from fossil fuels. In fact, the Canadian government is actively lobbying other countries like the UK to back off on their tar sands criticism and to oppose the move to a green economy. It’s shameful.
One speaker at the protest said that the 21st century economy will be a green economy or will not be at all. The link between economic growth, jobs, politics and the environment is undeniable. Continuing to ignore this interconnectivity is an illusion and we do so at our own peril.
The large crowd was a cross-section of Canadian society but baby boomers were proportionally under-represented. Boomers in Canada constitute over 25% of the population. I estimate that only 1 in 10 people were Baby Boomers. This reinforces my resolve to use BoomerWarrior as a vehicle to mobilize boomers into a strong socio-political movement exercising its responsibility and obligation to correct the wrongs that have occurred on their watch.
The argument, made by the Canadian government, that Canadian oil is more “ethical” than Saudi Arabian oil, a country known for its oppressive and immoral treatment of women, has now been debunked. It seems that some of the Tar Sands bitumen will be processed in Port Arthur Texas in a refinery owned by Saudi Arabia. So much for “ethical oil” Ezra Levant, the man who coined the term in his book on the Tar Sands.
The protests against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline will continue throughout the U.S as public hearings are held around the country. More than 1000 people attended hearings on September 27 in Nebraska. There is fear that a leak from the 2,700-kilometre pipeline would threaten Nebraska’s eco-sensitive Sand Hills and pollute the vast Ogallala Aquifer that provides drinking water for millions of Americans living in the mid-west. According to Michael Moore (during a recent interview on CNN), civil disobedience in the United States is just starting.
Recent protests in Washington against Keystone XL, followed by ongoing protests on Wall Street are the precursors of what is to come. People are fed up with their government, bankers who have raped homeowners out of their homes through sub-prime mortgages, a 10-year war which threatens to bankrupt America and unemployment levels unseen in decades.