Monday, March 5, 2018

Edited somewhat, but here's my rant

Now, keep this in mind: I don't often use my blog as a position from which to protest, and I seldom if ever repeat things over and over in a blog post. I'm usually determined to avoid the over-use of boldface, red ink, underlining italic, just as I try to avoid grammatical errors, and a mixture of different typefaces...but you might now guess I feel very strongly about this subject.
Most of the time I want my blog to be entertaining but every now and then I want it to make you think.
So, for this week, it's a make-you-think blog post. You might think as I do, and of course you might not, but for what it's worth, these are the news:

Ottawa recently announced major changes to the way pipelines and tar sands projects are approved...

Now... NEW projects

will have to follow NEW rules!

This is wonderful for Canada!

But here’s the problem, and it bears repeating, so I'll probably say it again:

The largest open-pit tar-sands mine ever proposed
in the history of Canada is 
still slated to be approved
using archaic fossil-fuel friendly rules!

Yes... "still slated to be approved using
archaic fossil-fuel friendly rules!"

The government of Canada should have the sense, and I hope it does, to retroactively change the conditions under which a new mine can operate, ensuring that such a massive new project will have to avoid the use of methods that would continue to endanger land, lakes, rivers, oceans, and wildlife. New technologies do exist. Just look to Europe for confirmation. Itty-bitty forward-thinking countries with great big ideas: solar power, of course; windpower, for instance—heating entire cities with hot-water underground heating, some of those countries!

I now live in the Canadian province of Alberta, which has thrived on its oil reserves ever since its big oil boom in the 1960s. I spent most of my life in my home province of British Columbia, and I definitely remember the 60s when jobs were scarce in Alberta, when Albertans flocked to BC to find work. Some became lifelong friends.

But then came the Alberta oil boom and all hell broke loose...

I'm guessing environmental issues were not high on the list of considerations during the rush to make Alberta rich. It's likely no one even thought of the environmental impact of a massive oil boom.
Workers from across Canada, especially from eastern provinces, flocked to Alberta, where they made enough money to be able to fly back and forth to Newfoundland or other eastern provinces whenever they wanted to see their families.
(My husband's favourite joke, which he often uses when he's visiting Fort McMurray in northeastern Alberta: How do you recognize a Newfie in Alberta? He's the one who wants to go home!)

So, yes, all hell broke loose and, since then, life was exciting in this province... excitement about the oil boom which was good for Alberta's politicians and rule-makers, most of whom overlooked environmental dangers, because the boom was good for the economy.

The oil industry wasn't so good for the northern landscape, however, and it seems environmental considerations would have been bad for the oil boom and thus for the province's newly booming economy, so any environmentalists who happened to live in Alberta were largely ignored.

Now, just look at this photo, and imagine this is your back yard:


This Tolkeinesque landscape is not my dream for the Canadian province of Alberta, but it could happen.
Birds and animals of all kinds are endangered.


I am taking the position that the government of Canada should reconsider the matter of the huge new open pit tar sands mine being developed under the old rules.

Instead, Canada should take a look at the countries in Europe that are thriving on new technologies such as wind turbines and other sources of power. Then Canada should follow their example. Many new kinds of jobs can be had in the manufacturing and building of new kinds of power sources.

The largest open-pit tar sands mine ever proposed in the history of Canada should not be allowed if it doesn't follow the new regulations!
Due to the huge environmental impact under the old rules...the drastic danger to wildlife will, with the trickle-down effect, eventually impact on the health of the people of Alberta.

More food for thought now, new news from the National Energy Board: to read is to weep.

Posting for Lady Fi's memorable meme, because "our world" is so wonderful:

Our World Tuesday


Jo said...

Well said Kay! You should stand for Parliament and light a fire under them!Do you remember how Grant and I almost came to Canada in 2008/2009? To work on the oil sands! Blessings Jo xx

Fun60 said...

I was very surprised reading your post as I had always assumed that Canada was more forward thinking with regard to the environment.

Mara said...

When I tried for a job in Canada (and ultimately to live there) the only province that would have me was in fact Alberta because of the oil sands. In the end the only job that would be available to me (working as a hotel receptionist in Fort McMurray) wasn't what I wanted and I shifted my view to a European country instead.

Lady Fi said...

OMG - that is awful! This shouldn't be allowed anywhere!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I agree with you, Kay... however, sadly, it will need to be the end-users of oil who change their power sources before the producers get the message, I fear. Coals mines began to close down because folk changed their requirements for it. Hydro and wind power are definitely the way to go, but there is not the same money in it for those who build these services, so the incentives are insufficient... at the moment. YAM xx

Joyful said...

Well said.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I had hoped that Canada leadership was better than what we have here when it comes to environmental issues (and everything else for that matter, we are in a world of hurt here). I am so sorry to read that it is the same for you.

Gattina said...

I think we are all sitting in the same boat ! Something has to be done unfortunately the so said "President" Trump doesn't help.
If you want to see me on Belgian TV it's on my blog ! Internet connection through cat flap ! So you have something to laugh !

Eclecticity said...

Unfortunately in Alberta, whenever economics vs the environment, the latter always, (with perhaps the few and far between exceptions) loses.

JP A Quiet Corner said...

Kay, I have to admit that I always thought that Canada was totally into the environment and it' well being. this post really shocks and depresses me to say the least!...:)JP

Powell River Books said...

And then what about the transport of all that oil to the BC coast. So many issues. - Margy

Kay said...

I thought Canada was doing better than the U.S. too. Trump's administration is really pushing back on all the environmental safeguards of the previous administration.

Jenn Jilks said...

We've really got to get off oil!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I agree with you, Kay, governments ought to do better to protect all people and the environment. U.S. has a similar history of treating Native Americans poorly. As for the environment, just when I thought we were nearly home free, we get this current administration that's going crazy turning back all laws and regs to make money for their backers. Grrrr.