Of the many frontline communities across the continent battling in the courts and the streets the myriad injustices of environmental and human health degradation and civil liberties violations wrought by dirty energy perpetrators, Moscow and the grassroots, direct action collective of Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) are well-primed for a tar sands forum. One of our core activists, a Washington State University (WSU) chemistry professor and member of the Washington-Idaho Border Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), informed us that a University of Idaho (UI) assistant chemistry professor and local ACS section chair, Jakob Magolan (firstname.lastname@example.org), has organized just such an upcoming ACS-sponsored guest speaker series.
On three April evenings between 6 and 7:30 pm in the UI Agricultural Sciences Auditorium, Room 106, ACS is hosting outreach events to address in a “fair and balanced manner” the complex, controversial, and politically-charged subject of Alberta tar sands mining. Dedicated to promoting scientific literacy and knowledge, regional ACS members have invited three Canadian experts, each Alberta residents with personal involvement and varying opinions, perspectives, and interests in this contentious issue, to visit the Palouse. We hope that you will avail yourself and our community of these opportunities to expand the awareness and activism of our growing dirty energy resistance movement. Participants in all three public and free discussions on the UI campus can park after 5 pm in the ‘yellow’ lots on Rayburn Street in Moscow.
Andrew Nikiforuk: Thursday, April 4 (UI) & Friday, April 5 (BookPeople, WSU, & Highway 12)
A Calgary-based, award-winning journalist and nationally best-selling author, Andrew Nikiforuk has earned numerous honors for his work, most notably the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award for his 2008 tome Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent. WIRT is deeply grateful for Andrew’s incisive investigative journalism and eagerly anticipates learning his insights on Canadian tar sands development and North American/Asian energy policy.
Several Palouse area conservation groups and Washington State University students have also enthusiastically and gratefully invited Mr. Nikiforuk to offer a talk about, promote, and sell plenty of his 2012 book The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude. To avoid diverting attendance from his much appreciated tar sands forum appearance on April 4, we are honored to co-sponsor Andrew in Pullman at the WSU Smith Center for Undergraduate Education, CUE Room 512, at 11 am on Friday, April 5. This is a great chance for the Pullman area community to ponder different aspects of the same dirty energy dilemma from a Canadian (ground zero) perspective addressing fossil fuel conservation/resistance and the emerging climate/energy justice movement.
We have also arranged the availability of Mr. Nikiforuk and his publications for a promotional open house at a small, independent bookstore in the region. On Friday morning, April 5, between 9:30 and 10:30 at BookPeople of Moscow (521 South Main Street), Andrew will sign his most recent work The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude, which provides a radical analysis of our master-and-slave relationship to energy and calls for a sweeping new emancipation movement.
WIRT and our anti-megaload allies also welcome Andrew and his wife to a tour of the rural and wild and scenic river and wildlands corridors in Idaho threatened by tar sands equipment transports to Alberta. Two to three regional experts in natural, cultural, and megaload history will accompany and guide the Calgary couple through the Port of Lewiston and Highway 12 route, on their way home on Friday afternoon, April 5, in anticipation of a Canadian article about Idaho megaload struggles. The Associated Students of WSU Environmental Task Force, WSU Environmental Science Club, Fighting Goliath, Friends of the Clearwater, Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide are co-sponsoring some or all of these Friday activities.
Jennifer Grant: Saturday, April 6 (UI)
Ms. Grant has studied the environmental impacts of Canadian oil sands development, passionately advancing Canada’s transition to a renewable energy future. Since 2006, she has served as the oil sands program director at the Alberta-based Pembina Institute, which advances clean energy solutions through research, education, consulting, and advocacy.
Don Thompson: Wednesday, April 17 (UI)
A 30-year veteran of the oil sands industry and past president of the Oil Sands Developers Group, Mr. Thompson is now an executive advisor for Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., a member organization of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Although Don is committed to a balanced conversation about what he considers ‘one of Canada’s greatest treasures, the oil sands,’ organizers of the speaker series anticipate difficult, oppositional, audience questions. WIRT is also planning a protest occurring around his presentation: please join us.