Aug 15, 2016
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People Carrying Signs (2016)

People carrying signs

Two images
of people carrying signs
supporting
a refinery
Wanting
a pipeline

Then it was Seadade
A chemical plant and an oil processing temple
along the shores of Biscayne Bay

Now it’s Energy East
A continental pipeline
to be laid across the land
over rivers and rivers and rivers
until it reaches the edge of the Bay of Fundy

Two images
of people carrying signs
of old folks and kids alike

The man with the cigarette in his mouth
and the woman with the pointy glasses
never saw their dream come true

But what about the YES PIPELINE kid
Will she be part of the sacrifice?

I don’t think
they understood then
or understand now
what is at stake
the gamble at play

The sheen of oil is making us mad
when we are willing to risk everything
to ease our pains

The sheen of oil is making us mad
when we believe that this endless tube of tar is not the Moloch
to which we will have to feed our own

Daniel H Dugas
August 12, 2016


Tales of two bays

The Bay of Fundy in Canada and Biscayne Bay in Florida are separated by more than 3,000 kilometers. At first glance, they seem to be worlds apart, but looking back into archival material, we realize that these two ecosystems have a shared history with industrialization. In this drama of progress we find two key players: K. C. Irving, one of Canada’s foremost 20th century entrepreneurs and Daniel K. Ludwig, shipping magnate and businessman with numerous companies, sometimes referred to as the American Onassis.

In 1959, Ludwig began buying acreages in South Dade, Florida to build a deepwater port and a refinery on a bayfront site east of Homestead Air Force Base. The project called Seadade was approved in 1962 and was supported by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, but soon faced growing opposition from the Safe Progress Association (SPA). The SPA argued that Biscayne Bay, a warm and shallow, salt lagoon could be easily and irreversibly harmed by industrial pollution. Support for the project faded and in 1968 the American Congress passed the Biscayne National Monument Act, establishing a 96,000 acre preserve.

The industrial developments threatening Biscayne Bay are not isolated circumstances, they are happening everywhere in the world. The geological makeup of the Bay of Fundy in Canada seems to be diametrically opposite to the one of Biscayne Bay. Fundy is known to have the highest tides in the world whereas Biscayne Bay is a shallow semi-enclosed lagoon. But similarities emerge when we look at the relationship between humans and these ecosystems. The first parallel is between the historical players behind the refineries of Seadade and the Energy East project. Energy East would send its tar sands oil across a vast section of North America to Irving’s refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick. The narratives arcs of the two tycoons followed similar trajectories: Ludwig was born in 1887 and Irving the founder of Irving’s empire, was also born just about the same time, in 1899. Both magnates died the same year, in 1992. The two of them were involved in a wide range of holdings, shipbuilding, pulp paper and oil refinery among other things. Their fortunes were equally formidable. In 1982, Ludwig was #1 on the first Forbes 400 “Richest Americans” list, while Fortune Magazine in 1989 listed K. C. Irving as the 11th wealthiest man on earth.

There is a second connection between Biscayne Bay and the Bay of Fundy. Both locations have nuclear plants built on their shores. The Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station was built just next to Biscayne National Park in 1973 while the construction of Point Lepreau in New Brunswick was started in1975. Both stations have had their share of safety problems in the past and are still plagued with ongoing problems today

The two bodies of water, on the Atlantic coast of North America, are magnificent. They are true natural wonders of the world. The question is why pristine areas are such magnets for big polluters? Why do they have to choose the most biologically diverse ecosystems to set up shop? If Biscayne Bay managed to avoid Seadade, can the Bay of Fundy do the same with Energy East? The two already have their own nuclear stations, their own safety, and cost management conundrums, it seems that this should be enough danger to deal with.

Daniel H Dugas
August 14, 2016


Notes

The Florida Experience: Land and Water Policy in a Growth State, Mix-up on South Bay, Luther J. Carter, RFF Press, New York, 1975p 157-192.

Daniel Ludwig, Billionaire Businessman, Dies at 95, The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/08/29/us/daniel-ludwig-billionaire-businessman-dies-at-95.html?pagewanted=all

K. C. Irving, 93, Industrial Tycoon Dominant in Canadian Province, The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/14/world/k-c-irving-93-industrial-tycoon-dominant-in-canadian-province.html

Study shows severe nuclear accident at Point Lepreau 40 times more likely than initially thought:
https://www.conservationcouncil.ca/study-shows-severe-nuclear-accident-at-point-lepreau-40-times-more-likely-than-initially-thought/

Evidence of salt plume under Turkey Point nuclear plant goes back years:
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article73233802.html

Nuclear energy, David Suzuki:
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/science/energy/nuclear-energy/
‘Nuclear power creates radioactive waste for which there is no accepted method of safely managing or storing. It is also prohibitively expensive.’

SAFE PROGRESS ASSOCIATION, INC. is a business entity formed in Florida and is a Domestic Non-Profit under local business registration regulations. Having the registration number 703668, according to the official registry, it is now Inactive. http://www.associationdatabase.org/safe-progress-association-inc


IMAGE CREDIT
Left: Pro Seadade demonstrators, January 23, 1963. South Florida History Magazine, Vol. 23, no 1, Winter 1995. / Middle: 18th-century depiction of the Moloch idol from Johann Lund’s Die Alten Jüdischen Heiligthümer (1711, 1738). / Right: Video still from CTV Atlantic ‘Pipeline arguments at NEB hearings’ by Ashley Blackford, August 8, 2016.

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Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Son neuvième recueil de poésie L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time vient de paraître aux Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas is a poet, musician and videographer. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as festivals and literary events in North America, Europe, Mexico and Australia. His ninth book of poetry: L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time has just been published by Les Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas es poeta, músico y videocreador. Ha participado en exposiciones individuales y colectivas, festivals y eventos literarios en Norteamérica, Europa, México y Australia. Acaba de publicar su noveno poemario, L’esprit du temps / The spirit of time (Les Editions Prise de parole).

L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time est un projet de transmutation du paysage publicitaire en paysage poétique. Ce livre est à la fois un livre de photographie, un recueil de poésie et un essai lucide mais ludique sur notre société matérialiste. Il a été produit en numérique et imprimé en quantité limitée.

Date : Décembre 2015
Genre : Poésie
Collection : Poésie
ISBN : 9782894239629

Éditions Prise de parole

http://www.prisedeparole.ca/auteurs/?id=148

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