Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pipeline thoughts

A version of the part following "The discussion" was first written some time ago. 

Today, November 5 2013, the premiers of B.C. and Alberta came to an agreement that gladdened the heart of Enbridge. There is no surprise here. Anyone who took Christy Clark's pre-election green twaddle seriously deserves what they got. Unfortunately the rest of us get it too. By the way, so much for the old feminist dream that the world would be greener with more female politicians.

I am sick at heart contemplating the insanity. How can anyone discuss compensation for the possible, nay, probable destruction of some of the most glorious places on this planet in terms of money? Don't they know money is a man-made concept and not truly real?

An edited version of an older blog below.

The discussion about the pipeline from the Tar Sands across Northern B.C. is starting. 

A friend has asked me to join the fray and write letters against the project. I find myself in some conflict, so here is some thinking out loud.

As a lover of earth, one's initial gut reaction is NO! DON'T! Leave Northern B.C. alone!

But for better or worse, we are living in the Anthropocene, the new epoch where people are a geological force. Scary, isn't it, but then so is Ma Nature. Volcanoes, earthquakes, ice ages.......She can dish it out with the best, or rather the worst of us. 

With 7 billion of us, setting aside huge tracts of lands to just be pristine may well be a luxury we can no longer afford. 
A proponent of the project said B.C. opponents are behaving like spoiled kids who want their cake of a pristine wilderness as well as a full slate of social services. He has a point. Like it or not, and believe me, I don't! the economy of this sweet country is floating on a sea of oil sands, for now.
Sooner or later, humanity will run out of fossil fuels.  Let us think of the oil sands as a gift that can smooth the transition to an economy not dependent on fossil fuels. 

I have spent most of my adult life in  forestry dependent towns. What happens to a community when the jobs disappear is not pretty. I would like to just protest the entire project, but I know too many people who work there.

The powers that be are telling us how safe a pipeline can be. With the right regulations and extremely tight controls it just might be. The reality is we have  corporations whose first loyalty is to shareholders, and a government that is entirely in their service. They cannot be trusted with the commons. 

But let's buy the propaganda and dream for a moment. 
Let's imagine the best pipe line possible. Let's imagine that safety trumps cost saving at every step of the way. Let's imagine that all First Nations are on board and benefit from many well-paid jobs monitoring and servicing the line. Let's imagine the crude makes it to the coast without spilling a single drop, leaving economic prosperity in its wake. And here is where the most rosy-coloured view hits the surf.

The pipeline is only the beginning. Northern Gateway is a pipeline/oil tanker project. 

Proponents might be able to talk me into supporting a well-monitored pipeline. A girl can dream.

But oil tanker traffic through some of the most beautiful, productive AND dangerous waters on earth? 
Sooner or later, something will go wrong. It is not a question of If, it is a question of When.
Thinking otherwise is hubris, the pride that always goes before a fall. I don't have to think about this one. NO. Not on my watch. NO.

No comments: