Saturday, October 29, 2011

One person's voice echoes widely


Alexandra Morton has been nominated at The Tyee for The People's Order of BC and you are eligible to vote. These words — familiar ones to readers of Northern Insights — explain the nomination:
"Alexandra Morton has for many years sustained a selfless but articulate struggle against governments, industry and other financial beneficiaries of questionable ocean science. Her recent focus has been on fish farming techniques but she began living in isolation on the B.C. coast more than 30 years ago to study the marine environment of Orca whales. Her views have consistently called for preservation of natural ecology and application of the precautionary principle favouring preservation of natural order.

"She is a scientist, an author, an activist and, perhaps most importantly, a symbol of an individual's ability to peacefully confront larger and more powerful forces over issues of conscience. For most people, the combined strength of opponents would have been overwhelming but Morton has atypical perseverance and courage. She has added to the base of ocean science knowledge but she has mobilized countless ordinary citizens, including those not involved in scientific exploration, to take notice of threats to the Pacific environment. Citizen involvement may have moderated human sourced jeopardy but the marine environment remains at risk. Morton's actions are needed more than ever today."
Friday, the New York Times echoed what Morton has been saying, Virus in Pacific Salmon Raises Worries About Industry
"...Such a virus could have a deep impact on the survival of salmon in the Pacific Northwest. Some scientists have suggested that the virus had spread from British Columbia’s aquaculture industry, which has imported millions of Atlantic salmon eggs over the last 25 years..."
Alexandra Morton has been sounding warnings for years, trying to be heard over the fish farmers' well funded PR reps and furtive trolls (some are both, are they not, Vivian Krause.) Worst of all, government officials — ones charged with protecting the oceans — ignore science and obvious resource degradation to further the patterns of destruction caused by a foreign industry with no loyalty to Canada or concern for the next generation of Canadians.

On one side, applying both science and common sense, stands Alexandra Morton and a groups of unfunded citizen environmentalists. On the other side are the legions of lawyers, flacks, astroturfers and trolls funded with millions from fish farms, aided by unethical journalists, ministry officials and politicians who sell their souls to the highest bidder. Morton says much the same thing, with more politeness and probably greater clarity:
"Salmon farms break the natural laws and viruses, bacteria and parasites are the beneficiaries of this behaviour. If you move diseases across the world and brew them among local pathogens, in an environment where predators are not allowed to remove the sick - you get pestilence. There is no other outcome.

"The reason I can see this, and where we are headed is not because I am particularly bright, it is because I have taken great care not to allow myself to become dependent on anyone's money. I am not climbing any social ladder. I don't want to be a politician, academic, or CEO of a "save the environment" company. I just want to be able to live between Kingcome and Knight Inlet and not watch it die."
Take the time to visit The Tyee at the link shown above. Our government would rather award the official Order of BC to a slum lord, a quadruple dipping lobbyist who thumbed his nose at BC laws or a Premier who lost respect for truth and took on deceit as a constant companion. This can be the authentic recognition of someone who did right because it was the right thing to do, not because it paid well.
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2 comments:

  1. Ole, my time at the Cohen Commission, admittedly not too long, left the impression that getting to the truth is the last objective of most participants there. It was disheartening to see the phalanx of lawyers there to guard against the slightest statement of harm to someone's interest.

    Instead of giving many millions to Cohen to examine one species in one river, they could have given $150K to a researcher/writer like Andrew Nikiforuk to produce a broad statement explaining where the westcoast industry sits and where it is going.

    That would have produced an outstanding, readable report. But then, who here with influence cares about truth and common sense.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well said, Norman. I applaud your perspicacity and erudition.

    Of course I am a huge fan of Alexandra Morton and I can't wait for the final report of the Cohen Commission. At the same time I am concerned that other forces may be at work to create the impression that all's well with our sockeye fishery.

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