Delivering the Message

No KXL! The Mad-Lib, number 1


Over the course of the Climate Letter Project, I wrote on KXL many times. Here’s a paragraph extracted from one of those letters. Then watch what I do with it…for your benefit:

• If another nation dropped a bomb on Canadian forest land, exterminating everything within a 42-hectare space, it would rightly be condemned as egregious aggression; an act of war. If a sectarian group did the same thing it would justifiably be called terrorism. Why is it that when the same damage is committed by a multinational corporation, it’s simply part of the cost of doing business? Who’s the terrorist in this picture?

Here’s a “mad-lib” version. I’ve simply given three variations for each of the phrases in the original. Pick and choose, copy and paste, and you’ll formulate your own marginally unique “talking point” for a public comment against the KXL.

Ready? Have fun.


a – (another nation)
b – (a foreign power)
c – (a hostile country)

a – (dropped a bomb on a)
b – (blew up a huge swathe of)
c – (poisoned all life in a)

Canadian forest,

a – (exterminating everything within a 42-hectare space,)
b – (killing everything for miles around,)
c – (leaving a still and barren landscape,)

it would rightly be

a – (condemned as egregious aggression.)
b – (considered an act of war.)
c – (recognized as a crime against humanity.)


a – (a sectarian group)
b – (religious zealots)
c – (a group of madmen)

did the same thing it would

a – (justifiably be called terrorism.)
b – (be considered an act of terror.)
c – (condemned by civilized people everywhere.)

a – (When the same acts are committed by a multinational corporation,)
b – (When TransCanada and its partners do the same thing,)
c – (But if it’s Big Oil doing it,)


a -(simply part of the cost of doing business.)
b -(it’s not even newsworthy.)
c – (there are no cries of outrage from our citizens or our leaders.)

a -(What’s wrong with this picture?)
b -(It looks like the difference between terrorism and capitalism boils down to “profits.”)
c -(This is a potentially disastrous state of affairs.)

There are a lot of possible combinations.

Now, go to:

Notice of 30 Day Public Comment Period Regarding the National Interest Determination for TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P.’s Presidential Permit Application

Click on “Comment Now” and off you go. Cut and paste whatever you like from the compilation of letters and bullet-points above. Comment more than once. Get your friends to comment. Get your mother to comment. Get your kids to comment. If you’re a teacher, get your students to comment. If you play in a band, get your bandmates to comment. If you have a website, get your readers to comment.

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