Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Toxic things

These are bottlenose dolphins swimming through globules of crude from the Deepwater Horizon. More here.

I'm again reminded of the way an Aboriginal elder I met described oil as a substance toxic to life that was meant to remain buried deep, describing it as part of the Earth's processes, but never to be withdrawn and used by people. Now look at us, carving up northern Alberta, poisoning farmland, impoverishing millions in places like Nigeria, war, killing seas and coastlines, and wrecking the stability of our climate in our attempt to keep industrial civilisation and our fetish for widgets careening along their ever-widening superhighway.

A hundred years ago we barely knew what to do with the stuff. Another hundred, and we'll either grow religions around the memory of it or be thankful that we have no more of it to use.

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