Friday, July 14, 2017

The Black Snake, the Midgard Serpent--and Us

Where I live in the Hudson Valley, NY State area, my local community is facing a terrible environmental threat. This is the construction of a huge natural gas-fired power plant, the CPV Power Plant in Wawayanda NY, that will belch out massive pollution into the air and water, threatening health and well-being throughout our area, poisoning our water supply and  running the risk of massive explosions.

See to learn more. If you live in the Orange County area, the web site will tell you action that you can take. Time is of the essence! The final permit needed for the project will be decided by early August, so the more people call and write to Governor Cuomo, who will make the final decision, the better our chances to stop this nightmare. Tell Andrew Cuomo to not approve the permit, because we need to stop the Power Plant. Call the governor at 1-518-474-8390. Call every day if you can. You can also leave comments at Cuomo gives every indication of wanting to run for president in 2020. Let him know that if he stops this project, you will consider supporting him in any future presidential campaign, and that if he does not, you will take your business elsewhere!

I have decided to reflect on the situation through the lens of Norse Mythology.  Is the threat like the Frost Giants looking to snuff out the sun, or is it the Fire Demon Surt looking to burn up the earth? Well, both of those could be said to symbolize the current state of danger, but there is another mythological image that works even better: Thor fighting the Midgard Serpent. What made me think of this is something I heard today  at a protest today in front of The Threat. A Native American man, a descendant of the local Lenape Native Americans who ancient burial ground is threatened by the CPV plant, spoke about the Indian myth of a "black snake" that poses a danger to the earth. He argued that the massive push by oil and gas companies to build pipelines and drill for gas and oil everywhere as much and as fast as possible was the modern version of the Black Snake. A second speaker noted that just as the snake can burrow into the ground and grow multiple heads that reach into all directions, so does the Millennium Pipeline, the local structure providing distribution of fracked gas in this area, represent a hydra-headed menace growing day by day as construction of this and related pipelines proceeds. Pondering the snake image, I thought of the Midgard Serpent, Thor's ancient enemy, who he must fight again and again, never quite vanquishing but hopefully keeping in check.

This pipeline and this power plant, and all the other power plants and pipelines that similarly threaten other communities, are our Midgard Serpent. We must, like Thor, raise our hammers to fight it back. Victory will not come all at once, or it may only be partial, or it may never come, but we must fight.

Protect the Earth. Protect Midgard, the only world we humans have. Remember Thor.  Fight back the Serpent. This is our duty.

1 comment:

Ananta Androscoggin said...

I'm kinda of the opinion that shooting those working on ANY fracking site is an act of community self-defense.

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