There’s a good piece in the L.A. Times today about how Texas landowners are joining other activists to fight the tar sands (Keystone XL) oil pipeline. They don’t like the idea of being forced into having something potentially catastrophic being built on their properties. One of the landowners who’s been hauled to jail is a great-grandmother.
Please read about it here because it’s important.
It’s important because the “Earth may be near tipping point.” However, we now know why the GOP insists that there’s no climate change. Nevertheless, the GOP insists on pushing a dangerous project like Keystone despite the fact that very few jobs would be created. It would create very few long term jobs, gas prices would increase, dependence on foreign oil would not lessen, and Bill McKibben and NASA’s Jim Hansen both warn that it would be “essentially game over for the climate” if this crackpot project gets the go ahead.
And now property owners are being jailed for protesting the intrusion on to their land.
But something stood out to me in the article that is representative of a broader issue, something I’ve written about previously (Proof of how uninformed Americans are. No wonder they’re so gullible and Ignorant Americans).
This is a huge problem. Check out this excerpt from the L.A. Times tar sands piece:
“Country people, a lot of them don’t use the computer,” she said, “They just believe what TransCanada’s* telling them.”
As I wrote in the “No wonder” post:
Americans are uninformed. And uninformed Americans vote in an uninformed way (if they vote at all), because what little information they do absorb is not sufficient. How can anyone make an intelligent or wise decision without information? How can anyone vote without knowing what or whom they’re voting for?
How can voters be for or against something they haven’t even heard about? And why don’t they care enough to get the facts? Is it laziness? Apathy? Fear? Avoidance? Too busy? Too depressed? Oblivious? All of the above?
Ignorance (No, not stupidity, ignorance. Google them.) is not bliss. Ignorance works against democracy and all those “personal freedoms” the right loves to wail about. …
Without knowledge, without taking the time and effort to learn about the world around them, without some familiarity with both sides of any given issue, Americans are susceptible to the very distortions they say they resent.
But unfortunately, that’s what happens to people who have no idea of what’s really going on. And that’s scary.
TransCanada is involved in up to 56 separate eminent domain actions against landowners in Texas and South Dakota who have refused to give permission to the company to build the Keystone pipeline on their land. On August 23, 2012, Texas Judge Bill Harris ruled that TransCanada could seize land from owners who refused to sign an agreement with the company. The landowners had claimed that because the pipeline was not open to other companies, it did not meet the criteria for eminent domain.
On September 27, 2012, protesters began tree sitting in the path of the Keystone pipeline near Winnsboro, Texas. Eight people stood on tree platforms just ahead of where crews were cutting down trees to make way for the pipeline.
On October 4, 2012, actress and activist Daryl Hannah and 78-year-old Texas landowner Eleanor Fairchild were arrested for criminal trespassing and other charges after they were accused of standing in front of TransCanada pipeline construction equipment on Fairchild’s farm in Winnsboro, a town about 100 miles east of Dallas. Ms. Fairchild has owned the land since 1983 and refused to sign any agreements with TransCanada. Her land was seized by eminent domain.