I just watched an episode of Al Jazeera’s Witness and realized something about Canada that most of the world, including Canadians, will never know and care about: the tar sands. The show titled “To the Last Drop?” presents us with Canada’s Athabasca oil sands – the biggest construction project, energy project, and capital investment project in the world. A project big enough to supply the United States with enough oil for the next 100 years.
I am also in the middle of reading Michel Foucualt’s History of Madness, and couldn’t resist putting these two things together, as I often do with old books and new situations.
Even if we seem to be progressing rationally, where there is need to extract and maintain a steady flow of global energy supplies and where economic and legal laws are followed, the actual history of Canada’s oil sands project -as a future observation on the grandest scale- will inevitably be perceived as a kind of madness. It has already been called hell on earth. Foucault tells us that a history of madness is also a madness of history – a madness where its impossible to immediately perceive and acknowledge the consequences of events as they are unfolding.