With all of the made-up media-based hysteria over the planned multi-commodity development called the Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal, we need the late comedian George Carlin to put everything in the right perspective.
The latest effort to gin up fear against the OBOT comes from Richmond politicos, who attempt to compare it to their new effort to ban coal storage and transport. The problem with using OBOT (or bring up the name of its developer Phil Tagami) as the image of a similar development is that it’s wrong: the Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal is not at all like the Levin Richmond Terminal and calls for the use of covered hoppers to transport iron ore and coal minerals to container ships.
In other words, OBOT reflects state of the art technology designed to protect the environment. In direct contrast to the old-style, less environmentally friendly coal handling at the Levin Richmond Terminal, OBOT was designed from the start to be, as then-Oakland Economic Development Director Fred Blackwell said to Zennie62Media in 2012, “a gift to the environmental community.”
Now, it’s not that this blogger is saying there’s no Global Warming. There is, and because of the steadily increasing-at-a-decreasing rate population of the World, as much as anything else. Moreover, Worldwide demand for coal is not dramatically decreasing or increasing – and that’s due as much to the making of steel as it is anything else (something no one talks about).
And all of that has zero to do with the immediate existence of the market to transport iron ore and coal from the West Coast to other parts of the Pacific Rim. You would think that in the technologically-advanced San Francisco Bay Area, an effort to use tech, as OBOT represents, would be embraced. What would George say?
Here’s George Carlin:
“We’re so self-important. So self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another, we’re gonna save the fucking planet? I’m getting tired of that shit. Tired of that shit. I’m tired of fucking Earth Day, I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world save for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. They don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me. Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We’ve been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we’re a threat? That somehow we’re gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun? The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles…hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages…And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet…the planet…the plan…
If George Carlin were alive, he’d wonder what all the fuss against OBOT is, and also point to the fact that there are an estimated 3,000 homeless people that have formed a kind of shanty town in West Oakland – and wonder why we weren’t helping them get jobs and housing.
Then he would speculate that it was because many of them were black.