Thanks A Lot, Nebraska

5. Oktober 2013
By | Source: Earth First! Newswire

from Tucson Root Force

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This wind- and solar-powered protest barn was built in the direct path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline (Photo: Bold Nebraska)

OK, it’s time for a lesson in Solidarity 101: when you plan a media event, you need to make sure that the message of your action isn’t that someone else’s lives and landbase should be destroyed so that you can protect your own.

That’s called NIMBYism (“Not In My Back Yard”…but screw your back yard!), and it’s long past time that we accepted wind- and solar-power advocacy as just another form of this disgusting philosophy.

Recently, a coalition including Nebraska ranchers and farmers, the Nebraska Farmer’s Union, Bold Nebraska, 350.org, Sierra Club, Credo, and billionaire Tom Steyer constructed a wind- and solar-powered barn directly in the planned path of the Keystone XL pipeline, issuing a sort of dare to Obama and Transcanada: “Go ahead. Tear out wind and solar power for tar sands.” The implication, of course, is that we should have more wind and solar power, rather than fossil fuels.

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This side canyon to Gaan Canyon in Arizona could collapse if Resolution Copper digs its planned mine in Oak Flat

It seems like we’ve been having this conversation a lot, and we don’t feel like rehashing all the reasons why such a position is short-sighted and ultimately futile. So let’s focus on just one part of it, this time: What kind of horrible arrogance gives people the right to declare that while it’s obviously wrong to sacrifice Appalachian communities and indigenous Albertan communities for coal and tar sands, it’s fine to sacrifice other communities and their lands for the copper and rare earth metals needed for solar and wind power?

Listen, from where we sit in southern Arizona, fighting against a glut of new copper mines promoted as essential for the expansion of the solar power industry, we don’t appreciate being thrown under the bus. And it’s not just Arizona. Take a look at some other anti-copper and anti-rare earth struggles that have been covered recently by Root Force.

We can certainly have a conversation about what role small-scale wind and solar power might play in a sustainable future (or even small-scale fossil fuel burning, as practiced by many of this continent’s indigenous peoples for hundreds of years). But large-scale wind and solar means big mining, and it would be nice if “alternative energy” advocates were honest about that.

And here’s our main point: it would be really be nice if people who are supposed to be on our side stopped advocating that our home be destroyed, as long as theirs is left alone.

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