New Keystone XL Comedy Video Challenges Industry Claims
Today, on the first day of the State Department’s public comment period for the recently released environmental impact report on the Keystone XL pipeline, acclaimed comedians and climate justice advocates team up to release a provocative new video blasting the pipeline's impact on jobs and the environment.
Combining environmental justice politics with hilarious satire straight out of the Daily Show, the comedy video, Keystone XL Has a Job for You!, is the brainchild of Movement Generation. Written by and starring Josh Healey and Donte Clark, the video is a comedic twist on one of today's most serious environmental issues: the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL and tar sands production threatens people's health, water and air across North America, especially in indigenous and working class communities and communities of color.
"This video is our public comment on Keystone XL," said Mateo Nube, co-director of Movement Generation. "If President Obama's State Department is going to repeat the fictitious lies of the extreme energy industry, then we are going to use fictitious humor to tell the truth."
In particular, the video dismantles the false division between a strong economy and a clean environment. The oil industry claims that the Keystone XL pipeline would create thousands of jobs. But in a project fueling so many environmental and health risks, what types of jobs would it really create? Keystone XL has a Job for You! answers that question through outrageous satire.
"Some people might be offended by the video," said Healey. "But all the crazy things we say—making money off cancer victims, shredding Native American treaties—are what corporate projects like Keystone XL are really doing. We just took it to its logistical, ridiculous conclusion."
The video doesn't just confront the problem—it also offers solutions. In real life, four of the actors represent unions and community organizations that are creating green jobs and building alternatives to the extreme energy industry. These groups are building resistance and resilience in Richmond, CA, (the refinery-impacted city where the video is set) and beyond.
In addition, Movement Generation is using the video to amplify the Our Power Campaign, a national grassroots effort to create millions of climate jobs—jobs that meet people’s needs while caring for natural resources and ecosystems.
"Around the country, communities are rising up for a just transition away from the extreme energy industry," said Nube. "Keystone XL represents the failed corporate policies of the past. Hopefully this video can point us towards the clean, fair economy of the future."
Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL page for more related news on this topic.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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