The Logic Of Addiction

This was Monday night in Harvard Square in the Peoples’s Republic of Cambridge. I’m in there, wearing a crimson hat, a few people above the “3” in the right-hand “350” sign. We’re protesting the vile collaborationist document masquerading as the State Department’s “impartial” environmental impact assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline project.

The report contains an entirely predictable slew of rationalizations, as the LA Times (more in sorrow than in sympathy) acknowledges.

The State Department is probably right to conclude, as it did Friday, that the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline project would have a negligible effect on climate change. Even though the extraction of the oil would certainly cause significant pollution, Keystone XL would be only one of many dirty oil operations around the world. What’s more, stopping the pipeline, which is expected to carry 83,000 barrels of oil each day 1,700 miles from the tar sands of Canada to the Gulf Coast, wouldn’t stop the extraction. The only thing that would change is how the oil is transported.

The thing is, this notion that since the toxic heavy crude of the Tar Sands is going to come out of the ground one way or another the pipeline will have no climate impact is like a heavy smoker rationalizing that since somebody’s going to buy all the cigarettes, it might was well be them. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

As a former smoker who has experienced addiction first-hand, President Obama should be in a position to recognize this — one wonders if the voices of TransCanada and their countless lobbyists are louder than those of us who are speaking and singing for the future’s sake.

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