Monday, September 26, 2011

What Star Trek Taught me about the Keystone Pipeline

Star Trek teaches me a lot, like today how Captain Picard's crew had to accept the fact that their continued use of warp travel was damaging the corridors of subspace. Decades of a way of life, and now space travel will have to change. Sound familiar? (Oh Star Trek, you are so clever).

Just like the Federation shares space with multiple civilizations and species, we have to share our planet with multiple countries. And, as subspace doesn't care whose federation each star system is touching, our water and air really couldn't be bothered to stop at country borders for a body scan.

The XL Keystone Pipeline has been a disheartening and disappointing piece of news for Canadians. I don't have a lot to comment regarding Obama's apparent amnesia with regard to his promise for 'green' policies, but I do feel that there are valuable and essential discussion points that should be addressed.

The discussion in the media has become an 'environmentalists against the economy' type rhetoric, which really misses an essential point- the economy is a human-created, not oil-dependant abstract concept. The environment is a true, delicate and concrete organism that is absolutely necessary for our survival as a species. We can't exactly live without water or air, but we can most certainly live with an economy sustained and nourished by something other than oil. As David Suzuki has said, the economy is a made up.

Instead of focusing our money and energy into unsustainable methods of fuel and energy consumption, we should be directing our energy to creating and fostering reusable, sustainable energy. Developing better (and cheaper) electric car batteries and infrastructure, wind and solar power. Arguing that it's either a pipeline or giant refineries misses the mark. What about neither? We have the capabilities, the science and the resources if we direct them responsibly.

The transcanada organization claims, as do our governments, that it's safe and measures are in place to protect our precious farm and water ways from oil contamination. Didn't they say that about the BP oil spill? According to David Suzuki, earlier this year Alberta has already had a huge oil spill that has contaminated kilometres of necessary water and earth.

On Q (cbc radio show) on Friday, a few notable journalists commented that the big issue for discussion should be whether we allow the US to dictate our energy and environmental policies. This journalist stated firmly that other countries had no right to tell us how to treat our planet.

I disagree. It's absolutely ridiculous to stand like an immovable tadasana with the misbelief that air and water we treat here in Canada stops at this magical invisible barrier at our borders. The air I breathe, you have breathed as well. The water I drink, you have drank as well. We don't have special Canadian air or water here. Water evaporates and cycles through the system, moving as rivers, oceans and clouds across continents. It makes complete sense that we should work together to protect our most primordial resource- our Planet.

As yogis, we have a responsibility to connection. With each other to work together as Nations and peoples to protect and respect the Natural World, as well as beginning to take those measures needed to stop our addiction to consumption and oil. The tough stuff, like bicycling more, taking public transit, eating locally and stop buying STUFF. The really tough stuff, like writing our government and exercising our right to civil disobedience. Like voting for your Health and the Planet first before your pocket.

Tonight is the New Moon, the perfect time for new beginnings and new commitment. What will you do?

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. amnesia is the perfect word. i'm sickened by his record on the environment. i hate that in 2012 i'll be voting for the lesser of the two evils. he has done good but he hasn't done great. and green? he's not even pale mint in hue.

    i love your last statement. tonight i wrote about being at a wall that i just need to push over. it's so close yet i let myself get wrapped up in old habits. if i don't care for myself, how can i care for the world? i am not a mother of children but i am a mother of earth. just as we all are.

  2. Great post. I completely agree that water and air are universal and it's going to take a universal solution to clean up the mess we have made. As wealthy countries we have a greater responsibility to set standards and live by means that encourage a healthier earth.

    Dani @ ONNO Hemp Clothing

  3. Love this post. Shared it on our FB page. It is stunning to see what we are willing to trade for a little oil and gas.


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