As I was on Youtube last night cruising a few videos by The Amazing Atheist (I have grown to be quite a fan), I encountered an advertisement from Trans Canada for the Keystone XL pipeline. Though it had the option of being skipped, I decided to watch it, just out of curiosity (what bullshit are they trying to sell us).
It was filmed in a calm setting, as if a farmer (more accurately, “Rancher”) had a company representative in his home, and he was explaining the whole concept to the Farmer/Rancher. The farmer asks more or less, what the benefits will be to people like him (I am paraphrasing, so I may have this wrong).
To which the rep explained how the building of the pipeline will create 9000 jobs, and thus it is good for all involved. Then the ad moves on by partially expanding on the previous statement, then ends.
The pipeline will provide the economy with a temporary boost. But that is just it, a TEMPORARY boost.
9000 people are required to assemble the pieces between the Canadian boarder and the completed Oklahoma/Texas portion. Once that is finished and functional, the majority of these jobs will be gone, down to a total of between 20 and 35.
A pipeline designed to send bitumen from the Canadian oil sands to port, primarily for export to other international markets, will have a total AMERICAN economic footprint of 20 to 35 positions. When compared to the profits that will be reaped by the sale of the petrol, that number is negligible. For all intents and purposes, fuck all.
And this is not even taking into consideration the Carbon time bomb that this pipeline represents. Its development, will drive further development of shale and oil sand development in Alberta and elsewhere, which will mean more pipelines. Which will mean more of the problems that often come with pipelines owned by profit hungry corporations.
The short term benefits of the pipeline, are not REALLY economic benefits, because its in the SHORT TERM.
In the middle, we have the possibility of spills and leaks, permanently marking contaminated land uninhabitable (not to mention water ways, and the communities that may rely on them).
And in the long term, this pipeline may serve as the epitaph on the tombstone of humanity. The proverbial straw that broke the Camels back.
As of this moment, the State Department has pretty much paved the way for the completion of the pipeline, by judging it as not a pertinent threat (what a joke, frankly). As such, the ball is now in President Obama’s court to make, or break, the deal. And all the vested interests like Trans Canada know this, which is why they are starting to push these friendly little spots.
So the next time you see an advertisement from Trans Canada about Keystone XL, an advertisement from Exxon Mobil about the benefits and “safe” technology behind hydraulic fracturing (fracking), or any other ad campaign touting any sort of “benefits” in the further development of antiquated fossil fuels, I ask you to think critically.
The arguments presented are skin deep, but they are persuasive. So be the voice of reason.