I was planning to return to London for a week or so, that given travel back to the states makes no sense —but I opted for Whatley Manor instead. It’s not that I don’t want to see my parents, it’ s just that daddy is at sixes and sevens over an issue with the Dakota Access Pipeline. Says he, it’s one of the busiest pipelines in North America and the last important project he worked on; and something for so many reasons he was particularly proud of.
Of course I remember—I had just moved to Los Angeles and I quite recall the delays for seemingly endless environmental impact studies and protests by native Indians and their supporters, but more than that—it had been so long since I’d turn on the television and see something he was working on, let alone hear a comment by him or one of his colleagues. It was like when I was a kid again except this one seemed to go from yes to no to yes again—inexplicably. Until finally it was a decided yes, and even I breathed a sigh of relief.
As a huge supporter of the environment, I just knew I was going to find myself at odds with my father over this and dug in with my own research. I was happy to find and report that pipelines, in general, are far and away the safest mode of transport… light years safer than ship, or rail, or trucking; and exponentially better for the environment when you consider the impact of other modes of transport. As always, I side with the environment and this case was no different, but on this particular subject, I had to side against the supposed environmentalists as they were just flat wrong.
Frankly—they were making no sense; like a three-year-old that is too tired to know when to sleep and too stubborn to give up. And their arguments were equally illogical. You kept hoping they’d hear themselves but it just was’t happening. And common sense wasn’t anywhere in sight either; I mean anyone over the age of ten would have remembered the heartbreaking images of ducks covered in oil from the Exxon Valdez.
It had upset me so much, I wanted to go help, and I made my mother switch to Dawn that very day when I learned they had donated 100 percent of their product to help out. I never forgot that. Or father saying it was the first case of a charity choosing a company instead of the other way around. But whatever effect it had on anyone, it was clearly not a pipeline to blame. Yet three years into a perfect safety record, they were back at it, trying to shut down daddy’s very safe pipeline solution-and demanding more studies, this time for a rant of "but what-if?"
Meanwhile back at home, daddy was still in a quandary over this news and asked me to help prepare the pro-environment argument for an upcoming conference call. I was only too happy to vindicate the responsible preservationists (like me) and I gave it my best shot before looking to see what the so-called environmentalists were putting out. I’ll take my work over theirs any day. Mine was at least based on science so it’s no surprise we came to different conclusions.
I had a tough time even watching those people droning on and on. I mean they miss the point entirely! The oil is going to be moved, so do you want it moved safely or not?? I was mortified by the stupidity 'cause it just hurts the image for those of us who really are passionate about the planet. And speaking of image—honestly, why do people think looking like they live on a commune lends credibility? You never see anyone of influence looking like the worst ad for Birkenstocks.
The only thing they had to say for themselves was 'we are making history and we are going to continue to make history'. Seriously? That’s your argument? And another insisted this was the ongoing fight for 'sovereign nation' status when it should be as clear to them as it is to everyone else that they do not and cannot manage entirely on their own. I mean, don’t make the argument when it exposes your weaknesses, right? All of this jockeying really chapped my backside. Their tantrums and chicanery erasing years of credibility for the rest of us—never stopping to think that big slick firms would obviously conduct their own very extensive, and very expensive, studies before investing billions of dollars in the first place.
I sent my research off and booked a massage here in the spa. Waiting to head down, I just couldn’t understand my beloved American cousins. 'We are making history…' Wow. Also I don’t understand why they are on the reverse of what makes sense. Here in England. it is the Conservatives who are the environmentalists, as we were the original landowners—thus the conservators of the land. And we sure know that wasn’t the case for the first Americans but -- yes now I know I sound like my father but if I might just add -- the whole sordid slavery argument going on there makes even less sense to me. I don’t see why they are starting another civil war over the very thing that was decided in the first civil war.
Which brings me to where I am exactly now… Whatley Manor. Ah, yes. Here they have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery in line with the Modern Slavery Act of 2015 which ensures that 'modern slavery and human trafficking are not taking place anywhere within the business or in any of their supply chains'. Makes so much sense to focus on what one can DO… going forward! And with that I wish you all a lovely afternoon. It’s socially-distanced tea time for me.