Bomb Trains


Do you  know that trains carrying hundreds of tank cars filled with volatile crude oil everyday criss-cross the US and Canada? The cars are highly explosive upon impact. Technically they are not explosions, but conflagrations capable of vaporizing anyone within a half mile of the blast. Do you know if there is a bomb train moving through the area where you or someone you know lives? Check this map by Forest Ethics to find out.

Why would this crude oil be allowed to continue shipping by rail— an infrastructure in dire disrepair—even after 47 people died in Lac Megantic, Canada and nine more explosions occurred in the last two years polluting water and air, destroying habitats, and disrupting communities that must respond to these uncontrollable fires and attempt to recover the damage done? Surely, laws protect the massive numbers of citizens who  in danger. The powerful oil industry  more valuable to our elected and appointed officials than the lives of millions of Americans.

Surprised? Why? While we were busy working our asses off to make ends meet; and decompressing with substances– including junk food, pharmaceuticals, media, gambling, shopping, and other addictive habits (all designed to render people spiritually impotent and helpless to affect positive change); policy changes were made and continue. The changes are influenced by large corporations that have no interest in the well-being of citizens. Changes that we were too busy to care about weighing in on or that were made under a veil of secrecy. Feel used and abused?!

People all over the continent and the world are standing up for a safe and healthy people and planet. Groups like People of Albany United for Safe Energy are calling for a ban of the trains carrying crude oil, for further environmental impact studies before permitting crude oil infrastructure, for a stop to all fossil fuel infrastructure, and for investment in clean & safe energy. 60 people in Oregon blocked the train tracks, 100 in Seattle, 3 people were arrested in Maine for the same, and more were arrested in Oakland, California when activists tried to drop a banner from a rail bridge calling to “Stop the Bomb Trains Now.” These are just a few examples of what happened around the country as part of a week of action in memory of those who died two years ago in Lac Megantic, and in protest of the ongoing transport of crude oil by rail.

I cannot begin to demonstrate the insanity and urgency of this issue so please take a look at the links above and below, and check out Rachel Maddow’s report on this situation.

I know not everyone wants to stand in crowds chanting with signs, and some people simply aren’t able to do so. There are many ways to advocate and take action. I enjoy the arts and prefer to use my passions in those areas to help in social and environmental justice causes. Letter writing, phone calls, petitions, attending city and town hall meetings, making signs for protests, and providing financial support are some of the ways people can help.


© J. Rae


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