This week I drove down I-5, dodging Amazon Prime semi-trailers from Oregon City to Burbank. The 916-mile drive south offers a kind of triptych of what the West has being doing to itself all of these years, truth (to reformulate Godard) at 102 feet per second. I crossed depleted rivers, from the Santiam, Willamette and Umpqua to the Rogue, Klamath and Sacramento, mercilessly drained to irrigate alfalfa fields, pistachio orchards and rice paddies. And fresh clearcuts defaced the Siskiyou and Cascade Ranges.
This content originally appeared on CounterPunch.org and was authored by Jeffrey St. Clair.