May 29, 2016
by Jay Taber
A trial of the new automatic sheep shearing machine at the government’s agricultural experimenting station at Beltsville, Maryland, circa 1927. Getty Images.
When in Ireland, I witnessed a sheep farmer and his Border Collies herding sheep into an enclosure. Using whistle commands, the farmer instructed the Collies on which way to turn the sheep, when to bunch them, and when to move them into the pen.
I was reminded of this witnessing the Break Free ‘fossil-free’ campaign events, May 14-16. Assuming the role of the sheep farmer, 350 (led by Bill McKibben) blew the whistle commands, while Break Free organizers barked at environmental activists (the sheep)–herding them into protest encampments at oil refineries.
It was astonishing to witness such precision in action. Of course, this entertaining choreography would never have taken place without the enticement of a payoff for McKibben and his herders from the ‘wool merchants’, i.e. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and the Rockefeller Brothers.
1948 — a sheepherding demonstration at the Rockefeller Center
Now, all that remains is the sheep shearing by on-the-take politicians–the wool taking the form of U.S. Treasury funds for nuclear-powered electrical generating stations, along with large scale solar and wind turbine farms, using highly toxic chemicals from the oil industry in their manufacture.
Now that’s an efficient, vertically-integrated operation.
[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted Indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.]