Ben West is a campaigner, author, runner, juggler, Twitter addict, #StreetArt fan and wannabe comedian. He is constantly looking for creative ways to organize opposition to bad projects that destabilize the climate. Recently his focus has been working with First Nations and others on the front lines trying to stop pipelines across B.C. and tankers in the Salish Sea. He wants your help bringing appropriate alternative projects to your community that create better jobs we can all be proud of.
I have spent most of my adult life organizing campaigns, trying to make change for the better in regards to climate change. I am now getting pretty excited about a new technology that has the potentia...
To really understand what is going on on Burnaby Mountain over the past weeks and months it should be seen in the context of years of frustration for those of us on Canada's West Coast sick of the attempts by Enbridge and Kinder Morgan trying to push their dangerous pipelines across the mountain and rivers communities we live in.
11/28/2014 02:08 EST
Frankly I think it's at least partially our fault as an environmental movement that this framing has stuck. We haven't focused enough on specific solutions over the years. We have opposed bad ideas like pipelines with vague notions of carbon taxes or non-specific alternative energy projects. We have rarely proposed or even broadly supported specific alternative projects.
09/19/2014 01:54 EDT
Folks feel like hypocrites driving to work in the morning and opposing a pipeline at the end of the day. An important part of this dialogue is building an understanding that not only is it essential that we phase out our dependence on fossil fuels to stop the destabilization of the climate and the extreme weather events that come with it, but that doing so actually creates more jobs than the status quo.
08/06/2014 03:21 EDT
First Nations will undoubtedly take the project to court and if need be, tens of thousands of British Columbians have pledged to stand with them and take direct action to stop this pipeline. Hopefully it won't have to come to that. Ultimately, if after everything, Enbridge still tries to ram their pipeline through B.C., it may make Clayoquot Sound look like a walk in the park. Assuming he doesn't surprise us by rejecting Enbridge outright, Harper will end up regretting that he didn't oppose this pipeline, as it will likely cost him some critical seats in a close election.
06/16/2014 05:00 EDT
Everyone in the Vancouver area was thrilled to see or hear about the pods of dolphins and orcas showing up in English Bay and False Creek this past weekend. Probably the only people not happy about it were the folks at the massive Texas-based energy corporation Kinder Morgan.
03/19/2014 05:48 EDT
This pipeline project will not survive public scrutiny. Enbridge and Kinder Morgan do not have, and will not have, our permission. We will stop these pipelines and the Harper regime would be smart to listen or at least get out of the way. A government can only hide the fact that they do not represent the values of the people of their country for so long before people wake up to it and show them the door.
02/03/2014 01:19 EST
This week will be filled with really big moments for both Enbridge and Kinder Morgan in BC. Today, Kinder Morgan announced that they have finally filed their application to build a new tar sands oil pipeline along the route of the Trans Mountain pipeline. On Thursday or Friday this week, it is suspected that we may finally have a decision from the National Energy Board (NEB) on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. Both Kinder Morgan and Enbridge really have become Harper's pipelines. But Enbridge and Kinder Morgan do not have the permission of the people of B.C. The Harper government and these companies still have the opportunity to do the right thing and listen to the people. Please pledge your opposition and end the year by reminding Stephen Harper who really is in charge.
12/16/2013 07:53 EST
Cross border organizing is becoming a bigger part of tar sands campaigns for native and non-native people alike. Mariner culture dictates that if there's is a distress call anyone in the vicinity has a responsibility to act. That is the spirit of shared responsibility and stewardship that is behind our TarSandsSOS.org site. ForestEthics, with offices in Bellingham and San Francisco, partnered with Vancouver-based ForestEthics Advocacy to create it. The site is home to a unique tar sands oil tanker tracking system, which displays those tanker's locations in real time. The site also generates real time tweets when tankers carrying tar sands enter sensitive habitats on the West Coast, like whale habitat in Washington State's San Juan Islands.
10/25/2013 07:10 EDT
The Wall Street analyst who labelled Kinder Morgan a "House of Cards" might have had the TV show in mind, but I'm guessing he's also referencing the corporate history involved. You see, Kinder Morgan emerged out of none other than Enron, the infamous energy giant that was tagged as a House of Cards in a book exposing its systemic shenanigans, which among other things tricked its own employees out of their pension funds. Kinder Morgan CEO Richard Kinder is in fact a former Enron executive and almost became its CEO. The Wall Street Journal once called him "the luckiest ex Enron employee" because Jeffrey Skilling, who became the CEO instead of Kinder, is now in the midst of a 24-year prison sentence.
09/13/2013 01:57 EDT
I think both the NDP and the Greens owe it to the public to make a peace treaty and find a way to show everyone that we can work together for solutions that are good for people and the planet. This is an important lesson for us to learn before the upcoming federal election, while we still have time to find ways to work together. Big Oil won a battle this week but they haven't won the war.
05/16/2013 01:49 EDT
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.
03/18/2013 03:55 EDT
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.
03/06/2013 12:50 EST
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.
01/28/2013 03:15 EST
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.
12/05/2012 12:24 EST
As Canadians, we are well aware that we are sleeping next to an elephant, and that the choices made by the American president have broad implications not only for Canada but for rest of the world. Much to the chagrin of many conscientious Canadians, the implications of a changing climate were off the radar in the American election before Hurricane Sandy swept in. The topic was not raised even once during the 2012 U.S. presidential debates. You would think it would be a no brainer to talk about this issue, given that the United Nations has called climate change "the single biggest threat facing humanity today."
11/05/2012 02:24 EST
As our government proposes that we become a "super highway" for oil tankers they are simultaneously reducing both the prevention and the response capacity to deal with an accident in what is already Canada's busiest port. This represents a perfect storm of the conditions that could lead to an oil spill.
10/13/2012 02:59 EDT
When was the last time you can remember global warming being the top story on the evening news? Yeah, I don't remember either. Have you ever wished that a weather person on the news would "go rogue" and express his or her fears about all the extreme weather? Well, I guess the cool kids at Deep Rogue Ram felt that way too, because they have made a comedy sketch in which a "weathergirl goes rogue" and actually lays out the full scale and severity of what is currently underway.
10/03/2012 04:34 EDT
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more