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“I have a wish”: Labrador land defender Dennis Burden

in Featured/Letters by

I am not the perfect citizen and have never claimed to be. A fisherman by trade, I have watched massive amounts of carbon dioxide exit the stacks to bring the product home. Most of my toys have a petrochemical birth and take forever to biodegrade. I have driven my vehicle more than a thousand miles just to show up at a protest. It’s true that we all participate in an oil culture, but we don’t all perpetuate it. There is a difference between not having the option to choose clean energy – because the oil and gas companies are heavily subsidized and hold us all hostage – and driving a car, and being part of perpetuating our oil-dependent culture.

I do not hate those who feed their families by working at the Tar Sands or those who work those destructive corporate make-work projects such as the Muskrat Falls Monster. We are all stuck in this sick oppressive system of ‘kill the Mother to feed the rich’. When I talk of ‘them’ I don’t mean folks who slaved their whole lives to bank a million bucks, but to the few who control the money (the elite, the 1%, the private bankers, the Koch Brothers, Rothschild and Rockefeller families, the list goes on). But I’m talking about an elite class of super-rich that sees it’s in their best interest to keep those other forms of energy suppressed: the demonization of the hemp plant (go ahead, Google it), the death of the electric car, the $5.3 trillion a year in subsidies to the oil and gas industry worldwide. If any welfare is keeping us down, it’s this corporate welfare that maintains a destructive status quo.

No, I am not the model citizen and do not profess to be. But I do know we cannot continue down this path of destruction. It’s slow suicide for our species and the planet. I do know there is a better way; a sustainable world is possible and I refuse to be programmed by corrupt governments and their masters to believe there isn’t. Therefore, I continue to promote the better way and hope we, the 99%, can collectively move past our fossil fuel addiction and leave this little blue dot with the ability to sustain life for our offspring.

I have a wish, a wish that our corrupt governments would look to the future and stop the greed that has infected them, to find a better way. A world where our children can drink from the streams, play outside without wearing an oxygen mask, eat from the oceans and not have this continuous struggle against the sick powers that be! Maybe it’s just a wish, a hopeless dream. Maybe it’s too late already. But I will stand up! I owe it to my kids, and I want their kids’ kids to know I tried!

How desperate do we have to get? Can you not hear our collective cry – stop killing the planet!

There is no Planet B.

Dennis Burden (Port Hope Simpson, Labrador, Planet Earth)

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