**Note: The orated speech was under a three-minute time limitation, and so pieces of the speech below had to be edited out in order to fit. This was not the first time the commissoners used the time limitation to marginalize anticipated dissent in their pro-corporate, anti-life decisions.
September 14, 2017
I commend [the 4] of you who voted “No” to this pipeline. Your work is not done, the pipeline is not built, and you don’t know what you don’t know about your real power. I will return to this in a moment.
First, for [the 8] who voted to approve the SRL pipe: though it would be just to say this is a date that will live in infamy, you will not be remembered in infamy. Because the future generations will not exist to remember you. Yes, anyone concerned with life continuing on this Earth should know about the Sixth Mass Extinction Event, the Holocene or human created MASS Extinction. The extinction is caused and accelerated by a wide array of factors, certainly including the unnecessary and dangerous extraction and transportation of fossil fuels for thoughtless burning of that energy. We are in the middle of the sixth mass extinction event, and all you can do, charged with protecting the pinelands which sit atop a fresh water aquifer, is PASS a high pressure gas pipeline. This egregious act has earned you all a place in a special club. For being out so far ahead in actively accelerating the sixth mass extinction, you each get one of these a six of clubs [I hand out the six of clubs to “yes” voting commissoners).
You might say I ruined several decks of cards, but there are no escapes to card games as an extinction event progresses. Anyone and everyone needs to be reminded of what the future holds, lacking the six of clubs… I hope this spreads, and every deck of cards in the world has the 6 removed, as a small honor for what we are surely going to lose if we do not wake up and put the nightmare to sleep. Besides, it’s fitting that three sixes are left behind.
As harsh as extinction is, it is really still a euphemism. Because it is caused, and accelerated, by a species with choices, it really is a genocide. Are you proud of yourself for rubber stamping a piece in the grandest genocide humans have ever undertook? From the killing fields to the killing forests to the killing of oceans…
What I see here are mercenaries, paid through back doors. Mercenaries of the corporations, in the war against the environment, in the war against the world.
And as far as combining today’s pipeline vote with the affirmative vote to have trails marked to limit off-road vehicles, I have coined a saying for just such political maneuvers – “When one in power throws you a bone, you have to ask whose corpse it is coming from”.
Ironic that we are in Patriots Theater—I don’t know what kind of patriot forsakes their land for corporate colonialism. Your treatment of the land and of Mother Earth is perhaps best responded to by the words of the late and great Oberyn Martell: “You raped her, you murdered her, you killed her children.”
If this was a lot for you to absorb—a lot of cognitive dissonance—then maybe you should walk home to have time to think about it.
For those of you who voted “No”, and have shown that you are an ally of the Pinelands, and life on Earth, I say this: The pipeline is not built, you have more power than you think; nobody condemns Martin Luther King for challenging and breaking the precedents and legal boundaries—it is for doing such that he is a hero to people everywhere. He did the right thing irregardless of the laws. The laws of the land are destroying the land. Use your power to pass a motion to stay this vote, along with the SJG pipeline vote. Add ambiguity wherever you can. Make decrees, do the unprecedented. It might seem like magical thinking, imagining that  of you can take on  of you, but I think it is much more magical thinking to believe that humans can continue to survive on this planet if we continue to treat it this way—the higher calling is to keep the planet intact, to keep the pinelands intact, and let the natural world heal itself without humans interfering. Business as usual will result in extinction. We have only the planet to lose—please think outside of these confining, suffocating, boxes that erroneously have the name “representative democracy” printed on them.