Although it is already a month and a half old, this video of Lee Brain’s testimony to the Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Committee in Canada is circulating around social media sites. This proposed project would consist of two separate pipelines running east-to-west and west-to-east; one pipeline would transport natural gas and the other oil. At least 61 First Nations oppose the project, which would cross through much of their traditional lands and endanger salmon habitat.
In 2009, Brain had the opportunity to spend one month in an oil refinery, getting a “bird’s eye view” of the dirty intricacies of the oil industry. His father, who is an oil industry heavy weight, sent Brain to rural India so that he could better understand the power of oil. He returned home changed “fundamentally forever,” having witnessed the economic and environmental degradation that Big Oil brought to several small Indian villages that were once healthy agricultural and fishing centers. When an oil pipeline broke, it destroyed the local aquifer, devastating the villagers in the region. Now, those villagers are forced to work for the industry that destroyed their livelihoods in order to survive. And Brain cannot help but wonder if the Native peoples of Canada will suffer the same fate.
Brain’s testimony is pointed and insightful, drawing connections between the personalities of those drawn to the high stakes game of the fossil fuel industry and the insatiable and ever-expanding economy that feeds off of their psychopathology. Ultimately, though, Brain’s statement is a call to action, to harness humanity’s ingenuity and abandon the runaway freight train of fossil fuels.
Get inspired. Watch it in its entirety here: