Siberian Oil Rush Threatens Vast & Globally Important Wilderness
Russia's forest expanses are the largest in the World, and are
threatened as never before by oil and timber booms. The
following article regards the current oil rush in particular.
Oil development is occurring in Russia with virtually no
governmental oversight and massive ecological impacts as
President Putin shut down the State Committee for Environment
some time ago.
The situation in Russia is emblematic of a global crisis; as oil
development threatens to fragment and in many cases decimate the
world's last large terrestrial ecosystems – areas that harbor
most of the world's species and provide for critical global as
well as local ecosystem services. Ecological systems we all
depend upon for survival are severely impacted not only at the
point of production, but also all along the transport, refining
and consumption pipeline of the global energy infrastructure.
From oil well to gas exhaust pipe, the oil industry is killing the
Planet and its occupants, including the human family.
Humankind's addiction to oil, gas and other fossil fuels may well
be the prelude to its demise, and is intimately entwined with
seemingly unrelated crises. I have noted the quest for oil
threatens virtually all remaining globally significant wildlands.
Increasing automobile traffic and resulting road construction
continues to fragment and diminish ecosystems. Burning of fossil
fuels is leading to widespread alteration of climatic systems and
weather patterns, with largely unknown but likely horrific
consequences upon food production, water availability, forest
health, etc. Oil spills repeatedly foul oceans and water. Air
pollution continues to worsen in much of the World, leading
amongst other maladies to surging rates of childhood asthma.
Addicts are known to pursue dangerous actions to get their drug –
and this is occurring as the over-developed nations embark upon
imperial adventures to secure oil and gas resources. Largely as
a result, the security of Northern well-to-do nations is
threatened by terrorism, while paradoxically our oil expenditures
help fund these atrocities. Each of these problems is intimately
related to society's over-reliance upon fossil fuels – oil in
It is imperative that urgent measures to segue from the age of
fossil fuels to renewable energy sources commence immediately –
before the Earth's terrestrial ecosystems and atmosphere have
been damaged to such an extent that prospects for global
ecological sustainability are drastically reduced. This shift
must occur before humanity's addiction ravages the last wildlands
in order to burn and put into the atmosphere every last bit of
carbon possible. By then it may well be too late to commence the
age of ecological restoration and renewal.
Get rid of or share your car – if you must have a personal car,
get a hybrid. Arrange your life to make it convenient to take
mass transit, bike or walk to work and most of your other daily
activities. Have no time for self-defeating guilt – current
systems of transport, food production and urban design are
structurally stacked against individuals that wish to lead
reduced carbon lifestyles. Do the best you can individually
while advocating for economic, political, environmental and
social structural changes that make such lifestyles accessible to
more than the rich or saintly.
Oil kills. Not doing oil is cool. Just say no.