It’s been one year since I started this blog and made the impromptu decision to write it from the point of view of an alien.
This has had its advantages. I tend to write from a spiritual point of view, for example, and it never benefits a written piece to sound ‘preachy’. Writing about ‘humans’ can make it sound less so.
Another advantage is that an alien’s perspective may be taken less seriously. When you can’t even write about The Amazing Randy, for example, without finding out that he’s funded by General Dynamics, and when every written interest seems to butt up against a financially and/or genocidally obsessed super villain, maybe it doesn’t hurt to be taken lightly.
Writing from an alien’s perspective, however, has disadvantages as well. Personal experiences, for example, often can’t be written about without dropping character. At this time I’m dropping my alien persona even if the unsought theme of taking an oppositional stance to a financially/antisocially obsessed super villain remains prominent. This is about Kinder Morgan’s (KM’s) proposed oil pipeline devastation from Alberta’s tar sands to Vancouver’s parks and shores.
My personal story started out with a summer Saturday morning jog up around Burnaby Mountain starting at Squint Lake Park. I arrived at the parking lot to find a KM pipeline protest taking place. The primary objective of the protest event appeared to be to singing. Every attempt to find, or talk to, an organizer resulted in shhhhushing by the mature female singers (not the Raging Grannies). These women were reminiscent, to me, of the Russian broom-wielding babushkas who protect their streets from loitering and kissing. No dialogue could be tolerated. Notwithstanding I was eventually handed a brochure of lyrics and told that an organization to contact could be found written on a protest sign in a photo within the brochure. That organization was BROKE Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion.
Brochure-in-pocket I set out on my usual jog which runs up Shellmont Street right beside the Kinder Morgan property along the aptly named “Trans Mountain Trail” which the company maintains historically poorly. Evidently the protest group had just walked down this trail in a procession from the Forest Grove area as part of their day’s organized activity.
Slogging my way up this steep path I was musing about a broken water pipe that I had seen on the shoulder of the road a short while prior, when I came across a fantastic sight at a point where a creek crosses the trail; An attractive young woman was kneeling by the creek poised in steadily holding up a little frog. She looked like a character right out of a Disney story. I have no doubt that she was a performer placed there by Kinder Morgan for the benefit of the protestors. As a one-time boy who used to play with once-prolific Burnaby frogs I know that they’ve been gone for quite a long time and they can’t even be seen around Deer Lake anymore. I recognized immediately that she was planted there and regret that I didn’t encourage her to reenact the pivotal scene from her apparent Disney story; The Princess and the Frog.
Why The Frogs Took Off
There was a survey team on the side street; Meadowood Park. Under the circumstances I can only assume that this was somehow intended to be another KM side show to the spectacular performance. I didn’t get it.
I completed my jog around the mountainside and, on the way back down, took note of many large craters along the tree-lined path, which I had seen so many times before. I realized that they looked like they had been caused by subterranean pipe leaks, like the water pipe leak I had seen on the shoulder of the road a short time previous. They were subduction craters, sink holes, numbering more than twenty, some encircling trees, some smaller, and some more than twenty feet in diameter. This is how well Kinder Morgan had maintained their own Trans Mountain Trail, adjacent to their tank farm, over the years from pipe leaks – no less.
This is just one more historic demonstration presaging that Kinder Morgan pipes will, unmistakeably, incur more ruptures in the future. It also indicates how they will maintain pipeline safety after they have gotten their way and their respect for public park land.
When I returned home I emailed BROKE and told them the story. No response. No news. But Kinder Morgan was apparently notified and immediately set to work remedying the problem, surveying the location of underground pipes and filling all of the large subduction craters. The soil that they brought in was of an uncommon light brown sandy consistency. This ground had been seeded with grass. Here are some photos of the newly filled sink holes before the grass took root:
It’s for this reason that I suspect that BROKE is, at least, infiltrated by someone from Kinder Morgan. They apparently informed no one about the pipe breaks other than Kinder Morgan. Corporations have a long history of starting up phoney ‘grass roots’, aka. ‘astroturf’, community organizations and infiltrators of community organizations are instructed to make their way into management. BROKE no doubt includes many sincere members/organizers and many fine organizations have affiliated with them. I just personally wouldn’t disclose any protest action plans to them.
Above is the proposed new pipeline corridor to be drilled through the Burnaby Mountain conservation area. Why would KM maintain the safety of this leg of the “Trans Mountain Pipeline” any better than they have the pipes along their own “Trans Mountain Trail”? Answer: They won’t care.
History: The Kinder Morgan pipeline project is of primary interest to Canada’s eastern Prime Minister Steven Harper. The Right Honorable Mr. Harper has more oil in his veins than seen in the eyes of the malevolent entities in the old X-files TV show. President George W. Bush was once his soul-mate counterpart in this regard but the Americans have, for some time now, enjoyed good riddance of Mr. Bush.
Mr. Kinder and Mr. Morgan have historically distinguished themselves as the former executives at the helm of the notoriously amoral ENRON Pipeline Corporation. As Kinder Morgan they’ve already been convicted for willfully dumping toxic chemicals into the Pacific Ocean by ship. The silhouette image of a tanker willfully spewing an oil plume into the ocean should now be their compulsory logo as a definition of their corporate ethos.
“Kinder Morgen” in German, ironically, means “Children’s Morning” There’s nothing kind about this organization.
The Occupy Vancouver movement, unlike their Wall Street counterpart, never had a cohesive mandate except in opposing grossly selfish broadly destructive “One Percenters” in general. These qualities are quite clearly embodied in Mr. Kinder and Mr. Morgan. The “Stop Kinder Morgan” movement provides greater focus and specificity to Occupy Vancouver protestors.
The following is the first item on a list of Nasty Kinder Morgan Surprises that was distributed at the protest site:
“Nasty Surprise #1: Few Jobs – Kinder Morgan markets the pipeline as ‘jobs’. Yet some context is needed for claims of 4500 jobs at peak construction. If independent studies suggest that this figure is exaggerated, there are bigger issues. Most jobs would be temporary – weeks, months, or, at best, a year – and for semi-skilled equipment operators and unskilled labourers. On the evidence of similar projects in Canada, a large proportion of these jobs are likely to go to temporary foreign workers. The few engineering and managerial jobs can be expected to go to out-of-province/non-national workers too. After construction, from the bitumen source to ships in Burnaby, only 50 (yes, 50) full-time jobs are estimated to remain. BC workers will hardly benefit at all.”
Other Nasty Surprises expounded upon in the handout are: Economic Pipe Dream, No Profits Reinvested, Economic ‘Spillovers’, Higher Taxes, Property Rights & Values Disrespected, No Insurance/Higher Premiums, No Lower Gas Prices & Energy Security, Higher Commodity Prices, A Democratic Deficit, Public Health and Safety Risks, and Abuses of Civil, Criminal & Contract Law.
The Provincial Environment Minister Mary Polak could stop the project but she won’t. This notwithstanding the fact that Kinder Morgan has repeatedly withheld requested information from the minister and have misrepresented their projected costs. They’ve been particularly circumspect about their worst case cleanup costs citing proprietary state of the art cleanup procedures. Could this include the deployment of procedures similar to Halliburton’s ‘Boots and Coots’ subsidiary which “follow-the-money” journalists have speculated was the reason that the Gulf Oil Spill was engineered? Evidently BP too made multimillions via their partnership interest in the manufacture of the primarily used dispersant Corexit 9500A. It was used exclusively to hide the problem from view by dropping the oil to the sea floor. Otherwise it had no redeeming value inasmuch as it creates a significantly more toxic mixture than either the oil or dispersant would be on their own. It attacks the cell walls of any life. This so-called ‘dispersant’ is effectively, and more truly, an ‘aggregator’ and toxicity multiplier. It could destroy life better if it was designed for that purpose. At the risk of sounding like an eclectic alien – Is it possible that a Burrard Inlet oil spill is actually planned for the future? Will taxpayers have to pay (est. $2-$5 Billion) oil industry perpetrators for it?
April 14 2015 Addendum: Kinder Morgan will profit most along with oil giants.
“We’ve always believed in one project, one process.” Says the minister.
The question is “Why?”. With relatively little fleeting economic benefit to the province, and a severe prospective environmental downside, who exactly is she working for?
Every aspect of the Kinder Morgan pipeline is dark and vile . Historically, of course, many, if not most, recent wars are being fought for oil – even now. See my previous post re. 911’s most credible. The “Problem/Reaction/Solution” premise found in this post renders speculation about an intentional Burrard Inlet oil spill more credible.
At the inlet of the pipeline, Alberta tar sand fracking poisons the Cree Nation [eugenic genocide] and devastates the vast arboreal forest. It’s the dirtiest oil in the world and the chemicals used in processing turn it into a far more toxic product than ordinary crude. The construction of the pipe itself would destroy pristine Native and public park lands and, on the ejaculate end, are potential, disastrously expensive, toxic, black, ooze spills. On both ends global warming is accelerated tremendously – particularly in the tar sand area so long before the fuel gets consumed. The primary beneficiaries of this are two of the world’s proven nastier antisocial ‘One-Percenters’ and their selfish associates.
With a biased Prime Minister, Provincial Environment Minister, and National Energy Board prejudicially on the side of this giant sociopathic corporation I don’t know if this protest is winnable but it’s certainly a good and just and honorable cause that’s well worth fighting.