|St. Louis River, northern Minnesota|
Photo by J. Harrington
I think we may have already mentioned in My Minnesota, but it's worth emphasizing through repetition, that there have been more than 400 oil pipeline accidents and spills in the U.S. just this century. That list is incomplete and growing. I'm not sure how the safety record of the oil and gas industry compares to that of the mining sector, but from all I've read, neither has anything to be proud of, but then the record of the U.S. government in honoring commitments to Native Americans isn't something I'd want to try to get into heaven on either.
If we want to maintain a habitable earth for ourselves and our children, we need a 12 step program to help us off our addiction to fossil fuels and we need to work that program now, not "I'll quit tomorrow." Building more pipelines under those circumstances makes as much sense to me as Iron Rangers voting for Donald Trump. If Minnesota and the federal government issue the permits needed for copper sulfide mining to proceed before the entire industry has reformed its less than sterling behavior, I hope we'll be blessed by a visit from all those now at Standing Rock to support the Ojibwe who rely on northern Minnesota's waters. Maybe, just maybe, we're starting to learn as a society that letting extractive industries have their way in exchange for fundamentally worthless promises to clean up their messes later (and send the rest of us the bill) isn't a winning or wise strategy.
By Joy Harjo
To pray you open your whole selfTo sky, to earth, to sun, to moonTo one whole voice that is you.And know there is moreThat you can’t see, can’t hear;Can’t know except in momentsSteadily growing, and in languagesThat aren’t always sound but otherCircles of motion.Like eagle that Sunday morningOver Salt River. Circled in blue skyIn wind, swept our hearts cleanWith sacred wings.We see you, see ourselves and knowThat we must take the utmost careAnd kindness in all things.Breathe in, knowing we are made ofAll this, and breathe, knowingWe are truly blessed because weWere born, and die soon within aTrue circle of motion,Like eagle rounding out the morningInside us.We pray that it will be doneIn beauty.In beauty.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.