Prime Minister Stephen Harper can make all the safety announcements he wants but it doesn't change the fact that the people of B.C. are moving in the opposite direction he is. We are saying less tar sands oil not more, thank you very much.
The U.S. State Department released its long-awaited report on the Keystone XL project last week. Most media focused on the executive summary, but several scenarios in British Columbia are outlined in the full report, even though the province is thousands of kilometres removed from the proposed pipeline.
Like Idle No More, the Keystone pipeline battle is a gut-level expression of Aboriginal determination. Unlike Idle No More, it is tightly organized and well defined, with proven staying power and a simple focus: to prevent construction of the $6.5-billion project.
U.S. President Barack Obama and B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix can choose to plot a course. A course towards more dependence on dirty tar sands oil -- a business-as-usual approach -- or, towards a shift in focus with a reduced dependence.
The four founders of Idle No More didn't start out famous. Until flash-mob round dances, prayer circles, and blockades spread across Canada, few people knew Jessica Gordon, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean, and Nina Wilson. But today, Idle No More is emerging as a powerful movement for the rights of native peoples to protect the lands and waters.
Between 1999 and 2010, Enbridge has had over 800 oil spills. Enbridge has spent almost $5 million on its greenwash campaigns trying to convince us they are following an "unwritten code of conduct" and have learned about "integrity and respect." Regardless, the movement against the Enbridge pipeline as well as the Kinder Morgan Pipeline is growing.
I feel strongly that as non-indigenous people living here in what we now call North America that we all have a lot to learn from those that were here long before we were. Working together, we need to find ways to heal from the history of colonialism and find new ways to work together to make healthy alternatives to dangerous tar sands oil, a reality. There are very real energy, housing and transportation solutions already readily available.
I am from Germany and moved to British Columbia with my wife and daughter in 2006. Our original plan was to stay for two years but we fell in love with the spectacular natural beauty of this province. No wild places like the B.C. coast remain in Germany. The idea of losing the wholeness of this landscape, First Nations cultures, the salmon, bears and whales to a catastrophic tanker or pipeline accident is heartbreaking.
The proposed Northern Gateway pipeline carrying raw bitumen to the B.C. coast is a bad idea, but it's ultimately the wrong fight. Let's assume the momentum of bringing Enbridge to its knees leads to a mass protest across Canada and all the proposed pipelines are stopped. Oil companies still have other options.
It's not Ottawa or Ontario that stands in the way of Alberta's success, nor will the rants of Thomas Mulcair or Justin Trudeau have any noticeable impact on the well-being of Albertans. An independent Alberta would face the same problems as now, and even worse, because British Columbia next door would be even less inclined to open its territory to a pipeline from the "Republic of Alberta".
Extract: The Pipeline Wars is an explosive, shocking warning that if the Northern Gateway pipeline goes ahead, it's checkmate for climate change as Earth's icecaps melt, oceans rise, and ultimately people and animals die as billions of tons of greenhouse gases are pumped into the sky.
The Haisla First Nation live in one of the most beautiful spots on Earth, on the west coast near the aluminum town of Kitimat. The town's massive smelter has long been a sore spot among the Haisla, dropped into their traditional territory in the pro-development 1950 without consultation or substantial compensation. Now, the Haisla find themselves on the front lines of one of the most important Canadian environmental and development debates of the 21st century, but they are no longer the powerless victims of a half century ago. If Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline proceeds, it will terminate on Haisla territory.
The same U.S. foundations that fund conservation in Canada also fund American groups working towards energy security, including a foundation called Securing America's Future Energy. The name says it all. American foundations aim to reduce fossil fuel dependence to stop global warming and strengthen U.S. national, energy and economic security. That's clear. What's unclear is whether they fund conservation initiatives in Canada, in part, to foster U.S. energy security.
Kinder Morgan would like us to believe that their Trans Mountain pipeline project in British Columbia is a better proposal than the one Enbridge has put forward, and that they're a more responsible company. Of course, as a climate activist I don't see any oil company proposing to expand oil consumption as playing a positive role in today's day and age. But given all of Enbridge's bungling as of late, some folks may be swayed by this argument.
"Art for an Oil Free Coast" will open for just a few days on Granville Island featuring a film, book and art exhibit featuring dozens of British Columbia's most talented and acclaimed visual artists. The exhibit -- designed to stimulate discussion about the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline in Kitimat, B.C. -- will then travel to Victoria, Saltspring Island and beyond.
A group of Canadian businessmen has obtained the blessing of Alaskan tribes and Canadian First Nations to build a railroad through their lands that could carry up to five million barrels per day from the oil sands to the super tanker port in Valdez, Alaska. This is truly a nation-building project that must be seriously evaluated by all governments and the oil industry.