Friday, March 8, 2013


To any who dwell in the San Fransisco Bay Area of California, be advised to pick up issue #112 of Slingshot!  The famed and free radical newspaper can be found at the Long Haul in Berkeley, or in various cafes and street corners across the bay area. This latest edition contains an illustration by yours truly--and one by my friend the artist and nature interpreter extraordinaire Lesley McClintock. 

The editors of Slingshot gladly accepted my drawing of a battle between a cougar and a wolverine.... and embedded it within an essay by Steph Turner about "Narrative Sharing" as a means of rethinking communication and transcending political differences.  Evidently, my battling beasts have not mastered this skill.  Or perhaps they have, with narratives of "This caribou carcass is mine!" "No, it's mine!"  Or perhaps the meanings of the wolverine's snarl and cougar's hiss are lost in translation.

Lesley, meanwhile, took it upon herself to illustrate a drama of epic proportions.... As oil pipelines slash through the United States and Canada, they wreck forests, farmlands, and the traditional homes and territories of indigenous peoples.  In British Columbia, 66 kilometers south of the colonial town of Houston, a brave team of Native Canadians--the Wet'suwet'en--have chosen to resist.  Their territories are due to be ravaged by the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway and Pacific Trails Pipelines (PTP).  In response, they have built a permanent encampment, directly in the pathway of said pipelines. The Unist'ot'en Camp includes a cabin, smokehouse, root cellar, outhouse and sauna; and is permanently occupied by members of the Unist'ot'en and Likhts'amisyu (both clans of the Wet'su'wet'en.)  They grow berries and crops in traditional farming practices (effectively permaculture.)  They also practice traditional governance and claim sovereignty, noting that their lands were never ceded to the Canadian government.  The Wet'suwet'en anticipate a total victory in their fight against the "carbon corridor."  I hope that they succeed

Generally, I have been feeling the burn and the freeze of the climate crisis and fossil fuels, as my recent string of blog posts might indicate.  I agree with the words of wisdom by the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson: “Aliens might be surprised to learn that in a cosmos with limitless starlight, humans kill for energy sources buried in the sand”.

Pipeline illustration by © Lesley McClintock, accompanying an article in Slingshot by © the Unist'ot'en Camp Collective. Said article was the source of information for my paragraph on the Unist'ot'en Camp.

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