David Suzuki and the executive director of Coastal First Nations, Art Sterritt, write in today's Globe and Mail that the upswelling of opposition among British Columbians to Harper's Northern Gateway initiative is about far more than just pipelines.
However hopeful it is to see everyone looking closely at pipelines
and tankers, it’s time we took a distant look – from 10,000 metres up
and 200 years in the future.
That’s because this is about far more
than the proposed Enbridge pipeline and the tankers they plan to fill.
Back in Alberta’s tar sands, oil companies are tearing up hundreds of
square kilometres of earth, polluting millions of litres of water and
pumping millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere just to extract
oil from the tar sands.
And once the oil is in China, it will be
burned to make us more cheap products, sending ever more carbon into our
shared atmosphere, and edging us closer to catastrophic climate chaos.
the widespread opposition to tankers on the coast is a much broader
discontent with the way our social and political systems are working.
People are angry about the decisions that degrade and destroy the
foundation of life on Earth. When government should have stepped forward
to protect Canadians and the environment, ours gutted Canada’s
People are rushing to stop the pipeline,
because it is such a drastic attack on nature. But we are reacting to a
single soldier from a single battle in a much bigger war, and ignoring
the bloodbath. That bloodbath is the war on nature, a war on the very
foundation of life – on the air we breathe, the water we drink and the
soils that provide us with the food we eat. We are simply failing to
address the fundamental issue; it’s about our long-term survival and
quality of life, not whether B.C. gets enough money from the pipeline.