Delivering the Message

Verbose Mad-Lib, NO KXL!!! — No. 11


It’s easy to make a public comment against the Keystone XL pipeline. Here’s a “mad-lib” to help with the composition process. Select one from each group, copy and paste…and click “submit.” Then do it again. And again.

a — The assertion that a transcontinental pipeline will reduce the cost of Alberta’s Tar Sands oil ignores several troublesome facts.

b — Those who glibly claim that the Keystone XL will make Alberta’s Tar Sands oil less expensive are ignoring a number of important facts.

c — The claim that a pipeline across the continental US will reduce the cost of oil flies in the face of the facts.

a — Pipelines leak, and the crude intended for transport in the Keystone XL is a particularly toxic variety.

b — The dilbit oil which the Keystone XL is expected to carry is extremely “dirty” and highly poisonous.

c — There has never been a leak-free pipeline, and the Tar Sands oil is a very toxic product.

a — Let it contaminate an aquifer en route, and the price goes up to include countless thousands of human lives.

b — If it gets into the ground water anywhere along its route, and it won’t just disrupt ecosystems and agriculture, but thousands — perhaps millions — of human lives.

c — Aquifers are vulnerable, and once they’re contaminated, the damage is permanent — and costly both in dollars and lives.

a — More importantly, the CO2 emissions from the project would trigger runaway climate change an order of magnitude more severe than anything we’ve yet experienced.

b — On a longer timescale, burning the tar sands oil will create massive greenhouse emissions — putting us on the pathway to irreversible and catastrophic climate change.

c — The project’s carbon dioxide releases are enough to trigger catastrophic climate change far worse than anything we’ve seen so far.

a — Such a planetary disaster would carry costs of Brobdingnagian proportions — damages which our trivia-obsessed political establishment seems incapable of imagining.

b — Global climate chaos would be expensive beyond the imagination of any deficit-fixated politician — and could well be the end of our complex civilization.

c — Such a disastrous outcome would be costly not just in financial terms, but in the harder currency of lives destroyed, ecosystems ruined, and global stability compromised for thousands of years.

a — Let the exploitation of the Tar Sands proceed, and all of these consequences are inevitable — natural consequences of a business plan that profits from environmental destruction.

b — Keep exploiting the Tar Sands, and these outcomes are inevitable; it’s what you get when your business model hinges on the destruction of the environment.

c — Follow a destructive business plan to extract and burn the Tar Sands’ oil, and these consequences aren’t just probable; they’re inevitable.

a — We’d be better off minimizing and eventually eliminating fossil fuels from our energy economy, and leaving all that dirty crude in the ground.

b — The country, the economy, and the planet will all be better off if we can shift our energy economy to renewable sources, and leave fossil fuels where they belong: in the ground.

b — We need more fossil fuels in our energy economy like a stage four cancer patient needs a steady supply of cigarettes.

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