M is for Mordor

I almost wish this was Wordless Wednesday because this topic is too difficult to write about. I’m not the first person to make the connection because it is all too obvious: The Alberta Tar Sands = Mordor

Even the Canadian Federal Government has finally admitted the Alberta tar sands might pose a pollution problem.

Um. Really. You think?

image found at http://theendisalwaysnear.blogspot.com/2011_08_01_archive.html

The Beaver Lake Cree are the people most directly affected by this atrocity. Nearly 30% of the current tar sands operations occur within their tribal lands. They have documented the problem. Here is a link to the Beaver Lake Cree website, an associated website and their Facebook page

This is kinda sorta what the Boreal forest used to look like:



canada warbler
Canada warbler http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_Warbler









I opened this blog with the words of Billy Yellow because I hoped they would guide my thinking here. I think of them as a kind of road map but even without them it is clear Mordor is the wrong way to go.

The Washington Post has an article explaining the real life equivalents of Saruman and Sauron. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/does-koch-industries-hold-most-canadian-oil-sands-leases-its-complicated/2014/04/07/2470e5e4-be70-11e3-b574-f8748871856a_story.html

Billy Yellow’s words:

Unless you think, there is no word.

Unless you speak, there is no world.

Unless you move, there is no life.

Walk in beauty outside and you walk in beauty inside.

Earth’s feet have become my feet.

By means of these I shall live on.

Earth’s legs have become my legs,

by means of these I shall live on.

EDIT: Amusing travel guide to lighten potential despair: Wikitravel: Destination Mordor


24 thoughts on “M is for Mordor

  1. I don’t quite know what to say I have never seen anything quite so desperate and despairing before. Billy Yellows words are new to me and very inspiring. I really do fear for our world because after all these years people still think its fine to devastate huge areas like this without realising, or blatantly ignoring, the consequences. This is one small planet that can only take so much and at the end of the day when the whole thing goes pop ‘ sorry’ isn’t really going to cut the mustard is it!


    1. It is easy to despair, harder to keep up the fight. I am just hoping we can hit that magical point where public opinion goes ‘pop.’ There have been other times where suddenly people just shift and know right from wrong: wearing seatbelts, quitting smoking … a couple of small examples but they tell me it is possible.


  2. We’re fighting to prevent such devastation in Australia at the moment and our governments are trying desperately to ignore not only public opinion but scientific research and case studies of areas that have been affected such as the one you’ve written about.


    1. I like how you say “trying desperately to ignore” because that is exactly what they are doing. They know the truth …


      1. Oh indeed and I think it is that I find the most disgusting – they know the truth and are still prepared to moved forward with damaging policy.


  3. It’s hard not to feel that people are gripped by a kind of madness on issues related to climate change. I suppose the 1% feel that they’ll be comfortable no matter what happens. Here in Illinois we have a similar dynamic with coal, which is big in the southern part of the state. Last week I heard a debate in the state legislature on abolishing a fund that provides “coal education” to K-12 students. The bill lost.


    1. Wow.
      You know, it is so easy to demonize these guys — and we actually do know who they are. I really am curious about how they think. I get the impression they think they are really helping … preventing the collapse of the economy or something. I never thought much of Freud’s theories but really it just looks like classic denial. And it gets absurd when I hear politicians say one thing — the rhetoric we want to hear — and then turn around and do precisely the opposite after enjoying a round of golf and drinks with the boys.


  4. The words of Billy Yellow are spot on! Great article albeit tragic! The positive is there are people like you that care enough to write about it!!!


    1. Thanks for saying that but I just don’t feel positive about this today. There has been a new surge and push in the Canadian media lately to support the oil sands.
      And a similar push on the American side for the pipeline. Adding the keystone pipeline to this mess will turn a local tragedy into a global catastrophe. We really need to wean the world off its oil addiction.


  5. This is something I, as a Canadian, find especially difficult. The rape of the earth is so obvious … but yet we all use the results. This is just a lot closer to home than most of the costs of our society and way of living. I hope it means we’ll be able to do something about it.

    You might be interested in this post by Canadian comic/historian Kate Beaton, who spent a couple of years in Fort McMurray and wrote about the complexities of the situation and her feelings there. http://beatonna.tumblr.com/post/81993262830/here-is-a-sketch-comic-i-made-called-ducks-in


    1. I will definitely read it. I grew up in Northern Alberta. I remember when the first oil boom happened and what it meant to us so this topic is one I feel strongly about.


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