Aren't we the lucky ones; living in the most beautiful places on the planet. A genuine Utopia; miraculously intact with pristine water, clean air and a quality of life unparalleled anywhere else in the world. We are by far the luckiest people in the world to be living here.
There is a distinct lack of something in our corner of Utopia. If you were to take a close look around us you will notice that our lifestyles are not wrapped around or dictated to by these HUGE multinational conglomerate companies that have managed to permeated every corner of the planet where profit could be realized.
We own most of our own water resources, (notice I say most) our farmland is not managed by big agri-business poisoning the land with genetically altered crops; but the land is still managed by the farmers that plow the fields themselves. Although we have extraction mines we are not inundated by hundreds of square miles of missing blackened mountain tops and monsterly damaged landscapes.
We truly are living in what has become known as an intentional community, one where the citizenry includes the surrounding nature in their daily lives, one where the future possibilities are considered in terms sustainability and long term regeneration, always with an eye to the legacy we are leaving to our children.
Don't get to comfortable. Mordor is at your doorstep. And the black smoke of the deep firing chimneys and slave labour can now be seen on the horizon.
The entire population of the world recently watched the story unfold of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The world watched in shock as countless people expressed abhorrence over the manner in which the spill was allowed to happen and the ensuing limited responsibility BP has taken, especially in light of the billions of dollars of profit they have mined from the resource. We shake our heads and exclaim "What a shame that such a monster company such as BP could be so irresponsible as to allow something like that to happen, in the name of corporate profits."
Well this category of spill was a little over the top because of its very nature but I have found that when you start digging you realize that devastating localized spills happen all the time. Not all as big and as well covered by the news, but add them up and the numbers are graphically much more devastating and abhorrent.
The massive proposed Keystone XL pipeline and the Northern Gateway pipeline projects underscore how colossally important it is to evaluate the environmental history of this form of industrial activity before allowing pipeline construction to go forward and almost worse; but could it be worse, allowing supertanker access to our coastline.
Examine the facts; the possibility of an oil spill in or near B.C.'s fragile rainforest is an inevitability if the pipeline is built, let alone the disturbing reality of an oil spill affecting our unspoiled coastline. I can't even imagine the devastation such an act would cause, the livelihoods that would be destroyed for years, if not forever, the endangerment of the wildlife, the health hazards for local populations. The potential for disaster is clearly real and so big it boggles the mind. This one act would change the face of; not only our lives but the lives of future generations as well along the entire BC Coast.
If compared by the impact of the Exxon Valdes oil spill, realistically a spill in the Kitimat area could devastate the coastline as far away as Victoria, it could literally eradicate the tourism industry completely on the coast, if not by direct devastation, by world perception. And that would just be the tip of the proverbial iceberg, the salmon farming industry would be gone, fishing would be ended perhaps for all time, and marine harvesting would be over, scuba diving would be compromised, any recreational opportunities would disappear and most importantly our marine mammals would be compromised to a level that is inconceivable and on and on.
By standing by and doing nothing we are allowing exposing ourselves to being systematically set up for a inconceivable disaster. The risk factors far out way any potential gain for our citizenry or our wildlife, our residents or our brothers the First Nations who hold the biggest stake of all.
Enbridge, a brobdignangian, Canadian oil company is quietly, aggressively and swiftly working in collaboration with a select few politicians in Ottawa whose agendas go no further than economic gain for a small minority, their position of power can and will sacrifice the many for the few. The shortsightedness (or call it what it really is Greed), this financial gain of the few at the risk of so much is nothing short of criminal, and once all is said and done it will be too late to reverse or protect ourselves the biggest stakeholders against any damage done.
We must stop the process before it begins. The time to act is now and the time to act BIG is now. The magnitude of this project has tagged this pipeline as the defining Canadian Environmental battle of all time.
The Polaris Institute states "The Enbridge pipeline record is a disaster that we cannot permit to happen in BC." It was documented in 2008, that "Enbridge's own data revealed 610 spills from Enbridge pipelines from 1999 to 2008" And since that time the number has grown to over 700, that is 90 more oil spills in less than 4 years.
THERE IS NO ACCEPTABLE MINIMUM LIMIT OF EXPOSURE TO THIS AMOUNT OF RISK.
So What can We do....Educate yourself and get involved.
Share this page on your Facebook or twitter account or any other social media you may be engaged in, by clicking on the icons on the side bar.
Sign the petition: You do not have to be local nor do you need to be Canadian to do your part in this global cause.
Then Get involved in any way you can. Attend any and all public meetings, show the strength of numbers.
World Community Development Education Society August 3rd, 2012 is hosting a featured speaker at a public meeting by Dr. Riki Ott, a marine biologist who has spend the past 23 years dealing first hand with oil spills and their effect on the environment. At 7:00 pm at the Lower Native Sons Hall in Courtenay.
Join the World Community and watch for their local initiatives.
The world Community Development talk by Dr. Ott is in advance of the two days of hearings regarding the pipeline and the supertankers scheduled at the Comox Recreation Centre at 1885 Noel Avenue in Comox, August 10 and 11, starting at 9:00 a.m. each day.
Additional ResourcesYou Tube
Oil in Eden: The Battle to Protect Canada's Coast: This is a must look video that presents a start to finish extrapolation of the impact of the pipeline.
Risking it all - Oil on our Coast: This video was produced by a local company, with a personal view. She also presents excellent additional videos on the Coastal Rainforest and the Spirit Bear.
The true cost of Oil: TedxVictoria. What does a environmental devastation actually look like?
Enbridge Oil Spill Cover-Up in Michigan:
Enbridge oil spill Michigan people sick and dying:
Kalamazoo River Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Spill:
Oil Executive Son's testimony at Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline joint review panel: A particularly telling story.
Dr. Riki Ott Biography:
Pipe up about Enbridge: The grass roots First Nations website.
Wikipedia: History of Enbridge Spills and Violations: You gotta know Enbridge must seriously not like Wikipedia.
National Transportation Safety Board of the United States: Crude Oil Pipeline Rupture and Spill; This is a particularly interesting document stating the reaction of Enbridge to a huge disaster, as documented by the Transportation Safety Board itself.
3.7 million dollar fine against Enbridge: The fine hardly touches the surface for the impact this spill has had on the local economy. This is typical of big business, it is financially worth the risk to break the law and pay the fine later:
Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez
Long-term Ecosystem Response to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill PDF:
Enbridge the Dirty Dozen:
The Financial Post:
The list of proponents against this monolithic company's plans to expand their holdings is a long one. There are dozens and dozens of resources that we have not listed here.
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