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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Reflections Of The Soul: LNG In Warrenton Oregon

The natural gas industry has its eyes on the small community of Warrenton Oregon. If you click on the first sentence you can read a pdf file produced by the Columbia Riverkeeper. Click here to browse through their Website.

Informing yourself will aid your decision making. Take a look at the project as it will be and imagine how suitable it is with the real estate on which it is to be built. The site chosen is basically a sandy, grassy swampland just inside the mouth of the Columbia River.

This geological roll of the dice known as the Columbia River draws trade like a magnet. It has, from the moment it was discovered; changed the environment, population base and society as a whole. This is a direct influence of the trade which commenced and which men have deemed the River gave them to pursue. This is what we do as men.

If this project is chosen some change to features of the Warrenton society are to be expected. Change is a given, all things change. Change is not necessarily bad. It pays to be judicious in areas as important as this.

We all know the dangers that accompany the weather in this area. 100 mph winds are nothing new here. It is also nothing new for refineries to be damaged to the extent their poison is released into the domain of the general public by powerful storms. Take a look at some of the photos on Tony Long's website by clicking this sentence. The storms of 2007 brought not only winds in excess of 120 mph, but also flooding and rapid soil erosion. Imagine how quickly a factory built on sand and grass would erode. Maybe you can be convinced that it can be built safely. I have my doubts that I can be convinced.

Take a look at the list in the first image below and make note of the spills related to storms. I dare you take a look and then believe them when they say if it does happen they will keep the damage to a minimum. Is that good enough for you when there's no use going fishing anymore?

I come from NYS the land where the fish are unfit to eat in more than one lake. You may have heard of Love Canal. All done by well meaning industrialists going about business as usual. Most people find such a risky prospect as the proposed LNG terminal should be undertaken only when much greater need is apparent. Helping someone make a buck is not the proper criteria for making foolish decisions about the land people are going to have to live on. There's people on the coast of the Gulf Of Mexico that can testify to that. Whether or not the likelihood of weather or earthquake can cause a problem which decimates the ecological sanctity of this area is anyone's guess.

I wouldn't be surprised if many agree that to add a natural gas catastrophe to the overall extent of damage done by a natural calamity would only make things worse. From first responders to victims all would be placed in peril by a conflagration that had to be dealt with before rescue could begin. I doubt the community of Warrenton wants to pay for all the safety measures necessary to keep the citizens fears quenched. If they are like the politicians in Birmingham Alabama, of course they will.

We'll just have to wait and see.

I love this old river. Seeing how the tides enter it and exchange with it inspires me to no end. The video below is the finale of the Grateful Dead. It was the last time Jerry played. It seems appropriate to include it. For several reasons.

I went out along the river in Warrenton a while ago and took some pictures. This is the area near Carruthers Park. It is nearby the area proposed to host the LNG facility. Take a look at it and imagine how it will change as a result of this industries interest in the Columbia River.

I've thought about the changes that might occur. As an artist and photographer I like to conjecture about what changes to the landscape might take place. Take a look at my perception of the Riverwalk in Astoria at night after the facility is in place and running.

This is how it looks now.

Text and photographs (C) 2012 David H. Roche

a Clear Running Water state of mind

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.