Yesterday, I attended the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) for environment night. The films focused on the proposed development of natural gas and various pipelines in British Columbia’s north. There are so many breathtaking landscapes, beautiful creatures and precious waterways that would be affected by these projects, it’s astonishing.
The picture shown above is of the Sacred Headwaters leading into the Skeena watershed in BC. Near this location, Shell had started coal-bed methane drilling thereby threatening the various ecosystems in the vicinity. There was great opposition in this project by the surrounding communities and there were many protests and movements. Ultimately, these communities won and gas development was banned from this pristine areas.
But now, British Columbia faces a bigger problem - the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline by Enbridge, the movement of crude oil through narrow channels and rough waters along BC’s coast, the Trans Mountain pipeline by Kinder-Morgan, numerous natural gas pipelines in northeast BC to move LNG to the coast. All of these passing through natural areas, rainforests, habitats, waterways, what is the rationale behind this?
After attending an event hosted by the Vancouver Board of Trade called the Oil Sands Story, the rationale is the money. The rationale is that there is demand for these hydrocarbon products, that we need to reach new markets (Asia), otherwise they’ll get the hydrocarbons from somewhere else. But, that’s exactly it, they’ll get it from somewhere else. So, why do we need to destroy our own environment and our people’s own livelihoods to sustain the world’s dependency on fossil fuels.
I’m disappointed by the proposed agenda of the Harper Government, we should not be increasing dependency on hydro carbons, and what we need to work on right now is NOT economic growth. What we need to work on is achieving an self-efficient country. Additionally, instead of encouraging other countries to sustain their dependency on fossil fuels, Canada should become a leader in the alternative energies field instead of a prisoner to oil companies and hydrocarbons.
Keep Vancouver out of the hydrocarbons mess, keep BC out of oil and natural gas production, we’re on the track to Greenest City 2020 and this shouldn’t concern just our city, but our province as well. There’s no way it can be validated with the likelihood of intensive environmental destruction happening.