In the past couple of weeks in World History, we have been discussing global issues around the world, from poverty to education. Mostly, we discussed the Keystone XL Pipeline and how there are advantages and disadvantages for the environment. The background of the Keystone XL Pipeline is to transfer oil from Canada all the way to Texas. Some people encourages TransCanada to build the pipeline for the advantages, while others disagree because it is bad for the environment. There were many strong opinions of the pipeline because there were many strong debates in the class. With this intention, I created several monologues expressing how many people feel about the pipeline, and how I feel personally as well. Hope you enjoy the videos from a few of the monologues!
Oh, oh! (Hand raised repeatedly.) Can I go next? Why thank you, Mrs. McGuire! (Stands up.) Today, I’ll be arguing against the production of the pipeline. It is quite an honor for TransCanada to provide an energy source for convenience and efficiency. But why are you doing this to the environment? Huh? (Yells.) Have we not had enough pollutants from various energy sources already? (Mr.Coleman, walks into the debate class from another classroom in session.) Oh, sorry to disrupt you, Mr. Coleman. I’ll try to keep it down. (Continues in a lower, but strong tone.) It is not a very good idea for this new developing project from TransCanada. Are we that desperate to build pipelines for more jobs opportunities? Because I certainly think so. (Stares away in another direction.) Let’s talk about the environment. Shall we? An environment is a surroundings or conditions in which a person lives, not an environment where people can destroy. Additionally, destruction of nature means more carbon floating around like a humble bumblebee that navigates without maps, and will definitely make a big change in climate, if that isn’t happening already. We do not need any more polluting objects on this earth! (Mr.Coleman walks in again.) I am so sorry, Mr.Coleman. I didn’t mean to disrupt you from teaching your biology class. (Continues in a normal tone.) Think about the fish swimming happily under the ocean, the ducks drinking water from a fresh, blue pond, all the wonderful creatures that God created, do we want them to go to waste? (Points downstage in a disappointed way.) Our future children will never get to experience the sanitary air, if this pipeline is completed. (Points downstage angrily.) Stop this pipeline, stop it now! TransCanada, you make me sick! (Pause, sigh, look away from the audience, and look back.) Thank you for listening everyone. Oh, stop the applause. Thanks everyone. (Sits back down.)
“Don’t Destroy our Land!”
(Walking through the polluted sidewalk.) Why is there so much junk here? (Kicking through the trashes to walk by.) Why can’t I walk on a clean street for once! (Pause.) And this pipeline is in development! The ground is polluted already, and the pipeline will pollute the air. There will be pollutants everywhere! To build the pipeline, oil must be extracted from the Canadian tar sands. In other words, fragile forest ecosystems must be destroyed to extract the oil. Ugh, kill me now! (Turns left to another sidewalk and sings.) Dirt, dirt, dirt, go away; don’t ever come back another day. This pipeline will contaminate the air, and the ground is already polluted with trashes, our planet will definitely be devastated! (Sees a citizen littering.) Ugh! Hey! Pick that up! Why are you littering, huh? Have you no respect to your land? I just wish I can say that to all those who litters. (Looking over an alleyway.) More dirt! People, clean up after yourself! (Mumbles angrily.) TransCanada, get rid of your filthy pipeline and don’t ever step into my land of Texas. With this in mind, we must think about our future. How will our future be like 20 years from now, a contaminated planet? If people and TransCanada don’t make an immediate change, we all will be contaminated. Who the hell came up with this idea of the filthy pipeline? It cost $8 billion dollar! We are losing rather than gaining! Efficiency are the only factor that I think will make sense of the production of the pipeline. (Sees dirt on shoes.) Dirt! Yuck, go away! Ugh, people these days! Oh, Obama, my dear ol’ Obama, if you accept the production to continue, I will just sit back and watch America protest all day long, cause I know you care about the environment, which is why you are the “pres-i-dent.” I will watch you cry in agony as the trees and lands are being in destruction, if it does happen. Do you want that to happen, Obama? Do you! (Bag of chips blows onto his shoes.) My shoe! Contaminated with dirt and gunk! (Kicks it away and continues walking.) Ugh! Stupid plastic bags, bottles, or whatever the hell you are! Don’t even look like objects anymore, more like crap from the street! Don’t even get me started on the atmosphere, once the pipeline is built. Birds, our precious animals, and us; how will we breathe clean air into our body? I wonder what we will be like in the future. (Sigh.) Finally home from that rough journey! (Yawns and walks into his house.)
“A Presentation to Remember”
(Preparing to speak.) It’s nice to be welcomed to this school. On behalf of TransCanada, I would like to introduce the values and importance of the Keystone XL pipeline. Our pipeline will produce 800,000 barrels of oil per day helping to solve our energy problem. Canada is an ally therefore the oil transported to us will be in good hands with no worry of enemies gaining control of it. In conclusion, if any of your parents are looking for jobs, ask them to promote the pipeline because the pipeline is going to need a lot of help. (Walking away after presentation and talking to himself.) I have to pretend that I don’t see the students giving me disgusted looks as I walked pass. I know what I’m doing is wrong. At first I thought this job was simple. Promote a pipeline for some corporation. The pipeline wouldn't effect me or my kids. Unfortunately when I found out the long term effects of the pipe, I was wrong. This pipe is going to cause some of the worst pollution possible. This pollution will cause my kids to get health problems like asthma or worse kill them. The worse part is I’m promoting this. I’m helping and killing my kids at the same time. How could I do this. This time when the students stare at me I’m going to stare back to show that I too know that I am guilty.
“The Protest”(Getting ready to leave the house.) Alright kids come say goodbye to your dad. I know you kids don’t want me to go, but the tar sands can’t protect themselves. (Talking to self.) It’s a shame when I have to protect my kids future, but lose my relationship with them at the same time.
I know that some protesters have almost gotten hit by trees or horribly injured, but I promise you I’ll be back with no scratches on me. (Talking to self.) I have it in my head that I’m just going to say go away TransCanada and they’ll leave, but in my heart I know it will never be that simple.
I know the machines are right where I’m protesting, but they wouldn’t hurt us it would make them look too bad. (Talking to self.) I’m lying right there too. The only people that know that protesters have been injured are the people on our website. I guess the media doesn’t find our sacrifices good enough to report. I know that I’m doing this for my kids, but if I always leave then they won’t know that.My children start to cry as I am filled with dread. There is nothing that is more sadder than seeing your children cry and know that you're responsible for it. I’m sorry kids, but goodbye. (Thinking.) I leave knowing that when I get home from the protest, if I get home from the protest. My voice will mean the world to my kids when I get home.
“Boy,it Sure is Fun to Have a Life of a Pipe!”(Speaks with full enthusiasm.) Boy, it sure is fun being a pipe! (Make a good sign hand gesture.) I get to travel underground from Canada, crossing the border to Texas for $8 billion and using 800,000 barrels a day! I am just a pipe, made up of metal material, nothing special. Why do I have to do this anyways? Gosh! People are just too greedy. They just want me to provide resource from Canada to Texas. It’s going to be a very long journey and I’m not sure if I will handle that. However, job employment will boost right up, but do you think that will be permanent? (Body shrugged.) Because I don’t last long, I hope you all know that! Under those consequences, you will all regret the production of (Points at self with 2 hands.) me! I’m getting built right near the (Raise both arms and move towards the outside of your body.) largest aquifer in the United States and I can guarantee that I will have a leak infecting your water. (Points at audience.) You all are going to hear the complaints as people are being forced from their homes so I can be built, plus if I leak near a town people are going to have to evacuate. After I transport (Points out.) your oil you will think that you are safe, but the tar sands is going to cause (Show 3 fingers.) three times more carbon dioxide than the average natural resource produces. It doesn’t matter (Body shrugged.) if I’m transporting water or helping to destroy the world. (Speaks with full enthusiasm.) Boy, it sure is fun being a pipe!
1) To extract oil from tar sands, companies must destroy fragile forest ecosystems and then use a very energy-intensive upgrading and refining process to turn that oil into transportation fuel. -(Friends of the Earth: Tar Sands)2) Activists fear the route may still cross the Ogallala Aquifer, a major source of drinking and irrigation water for Nebraska and seven other states. -(The Undead Pipeline Returns)
3) Tar sands oil extraction and production emits three times more carbon dioxide than average from production of conventional oil consumed in the United States. -(Friends of the Earth: Tar Sands)
4) No matter how safe a pipeline is built, they still leak. Also, the pipe could cut across sensitive environmental areas in the U.S. that are key to local water supply. -(Canadian Broadcast Corporation: Keystone Pipeline)
5) Climate changes and global warming. -(PBS Newshour)
6) “We believe that [Keystone XL] is going to put the Ogallala aquifer in jeopardy,” says Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “The pipeline route will go over it for much of its journey, and it will be carrying the dirtiest oil on the planet — bitumen. [Pipelines] do spill. Even the industry admits there is no guarantee.” -(Canadian Broadcast Corporation: Keystone Pipeline)
- "Tar Sands." www.foe.org. Friends of the Earth, 16 2012. Web. 16 Oct 2012. <http://www.foe.org/projects/climate-and-energy/tar-sands>.
- Davison, Janet. "The Keystone debate: Forget the pipeline, this is about the oilsands." www.cbc.ca. CBC News/Canada, 16 2012. Web. 16 Oct 2012. <http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/09/23/f-keystone-xl-pipeline-oilsands.html>.
- Ostrander, Madeline. "The Undead Pipeline Returns ."www.yesmagazine.org. Yes!, 16 2012. Web. 16 Oct 2012. <http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/madeline-ostrander/the-undead-pipeline>.
- "About Us." www.transcanada.com. TransCanada, n.d. Web. 16 Oct 2012. <http://www.transcanada.com/about-us.html>.