You can’t eat money

Or breathe it.

Yesterday we had lunch with a woman from Beijing who mentioned how ironic it is that since the incoming American administration will be led by a climate-change denier and loaded with rich people who think environmental concerns are a left-wing conspiracy,  China will now have to take a world leadership role in this area.

Yes, we said. Why don’t the Kochs and their minions understand the threat here? Don’t rich people have to breathe the same air as poor people after all?

Turns out the answer is, no, they don’t. In China, you see, people who can afford it live in homes and work in offices where advanced technology has been deployed to keep the air cleaner than clean. Special filters and pressurization systems make sure that the upper crust never have to breathe the poison that most people there now see as normal.

In the U.S., the Dakota Access Pipeline is a project meant to reduce the cost of transporting crude oil. It’s an 1172 mile long pipe crossing four states and costing billions, and has been resisted by several small groups of activists supporting the interests of the Standing Rock Sioux, who fear it will ruin their drinking water and desecrate sacred burial sites. It’s supposed to go underneath a lake that serves as their reservoir.

pipeline-map

Yesterday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit that would allow construction through the Standing Rock area. This is a huge victory for the opposition, but it’s never over until it’s over. And the oil companies usually find a way to get what they want.

Two firms involved, Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics, attacked the move as a “purely political action”. They accused the White House of abandoning the rule of law “in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency”.

On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will become president. Hope you like the taste of money.

cant-eat-money

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