So you’re a progressive and you’ve been sitting on the sidelines of the Keystone XL fight. Sure, you’ve heard about the pipeline but you haven’t yet drawn your sword and taken up the struggle. As the story has gotten increasingly complex, maybe you’ve lost the plot a little. Well! Here’s your chance to get up to speed and in the game with the Keystone XL to Game of Thrones converter, a sure fire way to understand who the players are in this all important battle for Westeros, er, the climate.
CEO Russ Girling sits on the iron throne at TransCanada, the Canadian company behind the $5.3 billion KXL project. Like King Joffrey, he likes to to be in charge but when the going gets tough he expects his minions to do the dirty work. (The King’s Guard in this case threatens landowners with eminent domain, lies about jobs, and disregards climate science.). You know how the actor who plays Joeffrey is so good that you’d kind of worry for his safety if he wandered into the wrong place, like a Boston bar after 10 on a night when the Sox lost? Someone might think he really is the fink known as Joeffrey and take a swing. Well, Girling must have similar fears, especially when people find out that he’s willing to put profit ahead of the health of the planet. If that’s not the type of dastardly deed that Joeffrey might try to pull off I don’t know what is.
Jack Gerard of the American Petroleum Institute and Tywin could be brothers separated at birth. Like Tywin, Jack’s not afraid to beg, borrow or steal to get his way. In fact Gerard and his crew over at API, according to The Nation, spent a whopping $68 million on lobbying in 2011. Tywin has that sort of scratch now that he controls the seven kingdoms, and I’m sure he’d feel right at home on K St. with the thugs in their three piece Brooks Brothers suits. Man I sure hope Gerard is nicer to his son than Tywin is to my main man Lord Tyrian.
This one’s easy. Alberta Premier Alison Redford is the clear choice. Like Cersei, she’s got a brother in arms that she’s a little too close to--in her case Stephen Harper--and she’s not afraid to splash the cash around to get her way. Redford just made her fourth lobbying trip to Washington to advocate for KXL, one of the most destructive projects on earth, all while she sings the praises of Alberta’s clean energy record. It reminds me of how Cersei defends Joffrey at all times, despite the fact that the dude’s favorite hobby is ordering beheadings like he’s ordering a Blooming Onion at the King’s Landing Outback Steakhouse. Get a grip, Cersei.
If Eddard Stark had a PhD and worked at NASA, he’d be Dr. James Hansen. It was Hansen who first sounded the alarm on Keystone, laying out the case that it would be “game over for the climate” if the pipeline was approved. Like Stark, who became the King’s Hand with much trepidation and fear, Hansen didn’t want to take on this fight but he was drawn into it out of a sense of duty. As you know, things didn’t end well for old Eddard, but there’s time left to win on Keystone. Winter may be coming, but it’s not here yet.
President Obama and John Snow have almost too much in common. Both are conflicted men with smoldering eyes, and their destiny is theirs to make. John Snow has found himself up North fighting off the White Walkers, a clear metaphor for Exxon if there ever was one. (The want to destroy Westeros. Duh.) John Snow wants to do what’s right and has a true sense of duty, but he’s got some bad temptations (Egret) that could drag him down into the muck. Obama is much the same. He wants to do what’s right on climate, but his Egrets are filling his head with bad thoughts. What if the Republicans come after me for not being pro oil? What if gas prices spike and I get blamed? Get real, sir, the White Walkers are coming for you no matter what. Might as well man up, grab your sword and fight the good fight. Mr. President, the climate is your Wall. Defend it.