Friday, August 22, 2014

Environmental Concerns - Protect the Waters

Industry or the Environment?

Since oil companies can't promise they can contain and clean up a spill (in a volatile moving source like rivers, inlets and oceans), why was the approval given to Northern Gateway pipeline in June? That set the stage for a contest of wills.

Our lands, waterways and coastal areas in British Columbia will suffer the aftermath of any problem resulting from 'accidents', not the companies or provinces wanting a corridor to the shipping facilities. Spills and leaks happen. Cleanup and dealing with the aftermath can take a long, long time. Finding someone to take responsibility for the problem involves much finger pointing and shifting of blame.


Harbour Waters, Vancouver, BC, by DG Hudson


Whose water is it?

There are some who care what an oil spill might do to a community of people who depend on the waters and its cleanliness. The Nak'azdli First Nation is one of the groups that would be at risk. A battle will ensue between the industry and those who believe we should protect the resources from government and development intervention.

The climate is already changing. Do we want to hasten it by giving industry the chance to further pollute the waters we and other species depend upon? Shipping containers and tankers have developed leaks for various reasons. Does anyone inspect them other than their owners?  'Oops, mea culpa' is not good enough.

Note: The inspiration for this post came from the Vancouver Sun newspaper reference shown below.

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The Stuart River

Located in central British Columbia west of Prince George, the Stuart River flows over 110 km from Stuart Lake to its junction with the Nechako River. The river drains off a portion of the Nechako Plateau.

This area is a wildlife habitat with deer, moose, elk, and trumpeter swans. In the river are sturgeon and high-quality sockeye salmon. This is also an area rich in history and archaeological sites of First Nations Carrier people. An ancient village exists near the joining of the Nechako and Stuart rivers.

Historically, the Stuart River was the route used by explorer Simon Fraser and the New Caledonia fur traders. Paddlewheelers plied the rivers in the early 1900s to supply the nearby Fort St. James and other fur trading outposts. It is also the home of the Nak'azdli First Nation.

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Freighter in the Harbour, taken from Ferry, by DG Hudson



What do you think about it? Is the prevailing attitude to let the following generations worry about it?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by!
 
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References:

The Stuart River
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/heritage_rivers_program/bc_rivers/stuart_river.html

Newspaper article
The Vancouver Sun, front page news, Saturday, August 16, 2014.  Centre of Gateway resistance, The Nak'azdli First Nation is part of the Alliance opposed to Enbridge's Northern Gateway oil pipeline. Also: There will be no pipeline, section A10, by Gord Hoekstra, also in The Vancouver Sun.

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/heritage_rivers_program/ British Columbia Heritage Rivers Program

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15 comments:

  1. Sadly, the world over I think we take the short-sighted profit driven view, and almost always choose industry over environment. Accidents continue to happen. Some of them causing irreparable damage.
    A quick profit is NOT in my eyes anyway worth further jeopardising the planet, and all those who live on it.

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    Replies
    1. It's definitely the short-sighted view. Some of the First Nations peoples have not been included in negotiations, and have rejected proposals. Some say they will block the pipeline. They would have other supporters as well. The industry promises jobs, but BC gets few jobs out of this, it's been proven in the past. Our government doesn't like to listen to its scientists, these politicians think they can judge better 'economically'. . .

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    2. Here too. Our government (relatively new) has promised to cut the 'green tape' so industry can move forward. Which makes me hiss and spit. And our indigenous population is rarely included in any negotiations. More hissing and spitting.

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    3. We do what we can, then. Spread the word and vote out the perpetrators. Makes one wonder about back-room deals.

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  2. I'm 100% against this. I keep hoping BC will block the attempts to move the oil across the province to the coast but alas, cash starved governments sell out their people and the environment to make a buck.

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    1. You know the Northwest Coast, JoJo, and I too am hoping the pipeline gets blocked and our oil province next door can look elsewhere for a corridor.

      There is already worldwide interest in some of the questionable techniques used to obtain the oil. Industry, for too long, has had carte blanche. Blocking the pipeline will give all the 'tree-huggers' and 'latte drinkers' something to do. . .

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  3. Hi DG - it's an ongoing theme ... with you and with Australia/Oceania, and South America ... but essential that we keep plugging away doing what we can to stop some developments, ensure environments are protected ... everyone gets polarised ... and we can't seem to talk ... but we need to get across that if we protect our peoples and our environment .. we are doing more good for those generations ahead.

    There's too many trade-offs ... taxes, bribery, swaps - it's not good at all ...

    I always think of the idea that we shouldn't do anything, unless it will help the 7th generation in its time ... I'm sure I've written about it - but can't seem to find what I expected to ... but I'm sure you'll know what I'm talking about.

    You're so right to highlight this environmental news - it's not good ... with thoughts and hope that in our generation we can get some things right ... Hilary

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Hilary.

      There has been a lot of support for stopping the pipeline by journalists, scientists, environmentalists, aboriginals, and others who see past the almighty dollar. This pipeline is for shipping oil to China and other locations. A trade deal. Canada is seeking trade alliances as are other countries. They turn a blind eye to our weather changes, and other indications that industry is causing many of these problems.

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    2. Hi DG - I do hope your husband is responding and improving, albeit slowly perhaps .. my thoughts to you both - I can't see your email - hence doing it here .. mine is on my blog - H

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    3. I'll email you, Hilary and explain. Thanks for asking.

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  4. I hate the thought of oil being spilled into our waters, I'm not very clued up on this sort of thing, but I'm keen to find out more about it.

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    1. The province next to ours is wanting to ship oil across our lands in BC to reach a port where they can ship the oil to international shores, and in particular, China. These decisions are being made by those in eastern Canada and Alberta. When government and business hold hands, watch out. It's a volatile issue.

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  5. Good post, DG. If we don't look out for our natural resources, who will? Not big business, that's for sure.

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  6. I'm happy to see so many young people involved in fighting this, but at the same time, it sucks that so many gigantic corporations just truly don't care. If they can't do it here, they do it in other countries where environmental laws don't exist. I feel like it's something we've really got to buckle down on before it's too late. Me recycling and watching power consumption is but a literal drop in the sea compared to some gigantic factory carelessly dumping tons of waste into the ocean.

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    Replies
    1. Or dumping pollution in the air without a thought of how that pollution drifts back down to the Earth. I agree with you, ABFTS. Many think all resources are renewable. They are blind to disappearing species, warming waters, melting icecaps, oil soaked coastlines and habitats. We need a change.

      Some areas are more proactive than others. The west coast in Canada is generally more aware than other provinces in Canada, they don't see the ocean and the wildlife we see here. My family in the States doesn't recycle anywhere near as much as we do in BC.

      Government policies generally favor business and development, and ignore First Nations and scientists' advisories. This is one reason I highlight the news articles on eco-policies and always have sided with the tree-huggers. Trees, land, water, air and other species, all are at the mercy of man's policies.

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