Like it or not, it's time for Squamish to grow a pair and get political. Stop, even for a few hours, the trail bike riding. The hiking. The mountain climbing. The kite boarding. If the mudders really want to "live the life," then it's time to really get dirty. But by putting a little time aside for arguing and debating for the environment you so immensely enjoy.
Politicians are free to ignore the science, safety and history of hydraulic fracturing. But if the incoming New Brunswick government sticks with its election promise, it will outlaw (temporarily, at least) one of the more innovative ways to extract oil and gas in the 21st century. The science and risk-reward ratio are both on the side of hydraulic fracturing. The potential for a more dynamic economy is staring New Brunswick politicians in the face.
This is a wake up call for Canadians to realize that our water supply is not infinite, that there are people right here in Canada who lack access to it, and that what little we do have is going towards digging holes in the ground or exporting meat to France. It's a wake up call for Canadians to ask ourselves are we willing to give up one of the basic necessities of life to make a quick buck?
No reasonable person would dismiss the risks of hydraulic fracturing for gas and oil out of hand. The processes certainly have the potential to cause a variety of environmental ills if done improperly. However, no rational person would fail to understand that Canada's economic wellbeing is tied to the production of fossil fuels, particularly clean-burning natural gas.
"The situations we've encountered in every case has been an independent contractor to a company who signs on to a company [saying] they will dispose of the waste in an appropriate manner...and then behave badly, try to save themselves some money by coming to our dump instead of going to the proper spot."
We all have busy lives. And that's exactly how the more mischievous of politicians like it. A busy, distracted, and somewhat plump populace who, even if they find out about a government program they don't like, won't quite be able to find the time, energy, or solidarity to do battle. In the case of B.C. Premier Christy Clark and her grandiose LNG dream, that's the modus operandi.
Fear of a re-occurrence of a similar incident could make a population more amenable to police state security, including the loss of freedoms, in exchange for perceived protections. Police state measures would likely include increased surveillance, normalization of lock-downs, plus more and better police armaments: a ramping up of the police-industrial complex.
You can still go on road trips. But instead of visiting China, why not visit those countries that are heavily investing in sustainable, renewable resources? You wouldn't have to go far. Just a quick trip to California. With "the world's eighth-largest economy in 2013," accepting that climate change is a reality -- it is quickly moving away from its dependency on fossil fuel. Certainly B.C. could follow suit.
Climate change is an environmental crisis like nothing we've ever faced because it transcends environmentalism -- it is not a fight against pollution, but a fight against polluters. It is a struggle to change the economic and political systems that uphold business as usual. The climate movement needs more out of each us -- we can't simply click, sign or wish this problem away.
By continuing to promote the extraction and export of coal, tar sands, and fracked gas instead of sustainable sectors in B.C., our government is making a political choice to prioritize short-term profits over renewable industries. Let's work together to develop a smart and creative strategy to transition away from fossil fuels and toward a low carbon economy