McKibbenism 2021

Bill McKibben, in today’s New York Times, says the suspension of the Keystone XL Pipeline project is a victory.

One might ask how so and why.

Take heart! McKibben explains:

The apparent cancellation was, he says, a harbinger suggesting that “much of the rest of the elaborate architecture of fossil fuel expansion begins to topple.”

That, friends, is quite a string of weasel-words. “Much of.” “Architecture of.” “Expansion.” “Begins.”

Meanwhile, here are the actual tar sands production data through 2019:

Despite Covid, 2020 production set yet another record, by the way.

So, the straight dope is that the whole Keystone XL protest gesture did not keep a tablespoon of tar sands in the ground. And the expansion of fossil fuel use continues very much apace.

[By the way, a point-of-information for the kiddies: This fuel gets put onto railroad cars when gesturers block pipelines.]

The only two ways to change fossil fuel use are 1) business-as-usual/eco-social collapse or 2) radical alteration of the structure of everyday life — not just the mode of fuel deliveries — in our modern, corporate capitalist order.

The hour for McKibbenite posing is getting very, very late.