I was raised behind the Redwood Curtain on California’s Mendocino Coast. It is a beautiful bit of creation, tucked there on the edge of the continent, an extraordinary meeting of land and sea, a place of tall cliffs, rocky beaches, wind, and fog.
It’s a hard place to reach by car, and car is the only way to get there. The nearest freeways are more than an hour inland by curvy, two-lane mountain roads that wend their way through vineyards, orchards, and redwood forest. Growing up I had friends who never left the coast without suffering violent bouts of carsickness.
It is difficult to imagine that a place as remote has my childhood home would have any connection to the recent violence in the Middle East, but the Mendocino Coast is a place where huge oil reserves lie beneath the ocean floor. Oil companies have long coveted the offshore oil reserves, and given the ongoing violence in the Middle East as the United States continues its quest to secure its foreign oil supply, many folks are looking at the oil buried off the Mendocino Coast with renewed interest driven by the hope that Americans might one day have an oil supply that needn’t be defended with violence.