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Birchbark Blog

Why The Tar Sands?

Louise Erdrich - Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dear Bookish Ones,

Why would our inoffensive little bookstore, loving as we do to please our friends and customers, suddenly decide to show a move that will break your heart?   

H2Oil, the movie that we will be screening on October 27 and 28, at next door Kenwood Cafe, is honestly so upsetting that it is hard not to cry when you watch the trailer.  Why would we ask you to see such a film? Why would we become so compelled by this particular issue, when all we've ever done before is recommend books?

Why so crucial, why this urgency? Simple. There is nothing more important -- right now, right here.

The Tar Sands operation in Canada produces three to four times more carbon that regular oil extraction. Bill McKibben has called it a carbon bomb. Climatologists have termed the operation "game over" for our climate. The boreal forest is basically scraped away in this method of strip-oil-mining -- removing the lungs of the earth. As you watch the movie, you will understand the tragic impact of this project on Native people and communities. Billions of gallons of fresh water are used to steam the tar out of the sand, and the Keystone XL pipeline, a huge plan enlarging drastically on pipelines already built, could spill into our largest fossil water aquifer, which lies beneath South Dakota. Even now, living where we do, we are using 80% Tar Sands oil.

Wildly profitable oil companies don't want you to know this: the future belongs to those countries who conserve their fresh water and develop clean energies.    

At this moment, President Obama could just say no. He could stand up for our future -- stand up to big oil. He could keep his promise to heal the planet and reduce our dependence on oil in favor of clean energy. Obama could stop the Keystone XL pipeline, and send a powerful message to the world. He is expected to make his decision in mere weeks.

That is why it is so important to show H2Oil, to see this film, to tell your friends, and to pull up Bill McKibben's website and find out what is happening, and why, on November 6 -- it will be a historical day for the climate.

I don't have any books to talk about tonight. Friends, our existence is a narrow miracle. Can it really be that we'll make earth, this green joy, into a place where we cannot survive?


H2Oil Trailer


Bill McKibben and
Encircle the White House and Stop the Tar Sands on November 6!

Connect with people working on this issue:

Indigenous Environmental Network

Tar Sands Action (National)

Tar Sands Action (Minnesota)
Facebook: (National)

MN350 (Minnesota)

Canoe Family

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