Monday, January 9, 2012

Shoes, ships and sealing-wax, cabbages and kings

Global TV Noon News aired a report on the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline Sunday. It lasted 40-seconds while they allocated 11 minutes to a segment on cooking fish and five for a pet dog. Strange 'news' priorities but I guess they could have run a repeat of ET Canada or TMZ. Regardless, the quickie reference to an issue that may ignite cultural and economic warfare included this:
"Enbridge says the project has the potential to add $270 billion to the Canadian economy but environmental groups are concerned about the danger of oil spills."
To the casual viewer, Global's brief report might have seemed fairly innocuous, even balanced. It was not.

First, environmental groups are concerned about far more than oil spills. My piece on the effects of First Nations people in Northern Alberta Fort Chip people don't believe in 'ethical oil' makes that clear.

Additionally, tar sands output is known by industrial nations as the world's dirtiest energy. Its immoderate exploitation demonstrates the Harper Government's contempt for international responsibility.

Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University classifies Canada among the worst of all nations in taking action and meeting commitments on climate change. Our country ranks far worse than India and Brazil, even worse than Russia.

In the last 15 years, Canada's federal government has spent more than $7-billion on programs such as:
Countless words, publications and consultations, all at taxpayer expense, and the primary result is endless hypocrisy and catastrophic mismanagement. The political classes, both Liberal and Conservative, consumed cash without restraint, pretending to be taking direct and mindful action while they were being, as Grandma used to say, "Only busy for the sake of being busy." Grandma didn't imagine people doing that while spending billions in public funds.

Hypocrite-in-Chief Stephen Harper said this in the House of Commons,
"In terms of climate change, we are pursuing policies domestically, nationally and internationally. We are working for the creation of an international protocol that will include all major emitters. What this government does not favour [is] a protocol that only controls a little bit of global emissions, not enough to actually make any difference.”
Returning to the Global newscast, consider the statement they read from an Enbridge press release,
"The project has the potential to add $270 billion to the Canadian economy."
Oh, really? Compared to what?

Canada's most beneficial course cannot be to allow transport of little processed bitumen to Asia where it will be refined and consumed by Asian industries, employing Asian workers manufacturing finished Asian goods for global markets. Northern Gateway would not only export bitumen, it would export the possibility of jobs doing refining and petrochemical manufacturing, jobs that could be a cornerstone of Canadian industrial expansion.

Enbridge's claim of abundant financial benefits for Canadians should be a hard sell in British Columbia, where industry and consumers have long benefited from relatively inexpensive energy, thanks to W.A.C. Bennett's enthusiasm for big hydro projects half a century ago. Bennett wanted industry to bring jobs to where the energy is, not export the resource so people could be employed elsewhere. The old hardware dealer had a canny sense for the future but his was a world before globalization.

In Bennett's day, the American military and a small group of industrialists wanted to export water, rather than bitumen. The idea was to reroute Canada's major rivers:
"The centrepiece of the western water corridor flowing from Canada to the U.S. is the North American Water and Power Alliance. NAWAPA was originally designed to bring bulk water from Alaska and northern British Columbia for delivery to 35 U.S. States. By building a series of large dams, the northward flow of the Yukon, Peace, Liard and a host of other rivers [Tanana, Copper, Skeena, Bella Coola, Dean, Chilcotin, and Fraser ] would be reversed to move southward and pumped into the Rocky Mountain Trench where the water would be trapped in a giant reservoir approximately 800 kilometres long. A canal would then be built to take the water southward into Washington state where it would be channeled through existing canals and pipelines to supply freshwater for customers in 35 states. The annual volume of water to be diverted through the NAWAPA project is estimated to be roughly equivalent to the average total yearly discharge of the entire St. Lawrence River system in Canada."
Had Stephen Harper been Canada's Prime Minister in the mid 20th century, he would have said NAWAPA is a 'Great Project' to maximize revenues from an ample Canadian resource while meeting an urgent need for an important trading partner. Opponents, he would have called short sighted radical environmentalists.

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  1. Global TV? What's that?

    The "Eye" stopped watching Canadian television, because there was no news, and have just become government infomercials.

    All Canadian newscasts should begin with this disclaimer: The preceding program is based on politically correct information, based on the needs of politicians in Victoria and Ottawa. This program may not contain any factual content at all!

  2. I was really angry, when the spokesman from Enbridge said, the BC people will welcome their pipeline, that we are coming around to the idea. To say BC is 48% in favor of their pipeline is an out and out blatant lie.

    When the pipeline is done, so are the jobs. Besides which, Enbridge has their own pipe laying crew. There are no thousands of job for BC.

    Don't forget, America won the contract for the tear down for smelter in Kitimat, they brought their own crew.

    The Chinease are sending their people to school, to learn English, they will work the coal mines. Those jobs were to be for the F.N. people.

    Perhaps the 8 mines going into northern BC, will be foreign owned. No doubt they will bring their own miners too.

    Harper and Campbell worked very hard to dismantle BC, before Campbell got the boot. Campbell thieved and sold our BCR, our rivers and the filthy diseased fish farms are killing our wild salmon. Our rivers are being dammed, destroying salmon runs and the flora and fauna, a disaster of a mess. Now, the Kokish River is under siege, that will destroy the salmon and the Steelhead fish.

    There is no end to Harper and the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals greed. All we have left of BC, is our wonderful marine life. People come from all over the world, to see our beautiful Orca and Humpback Whales. They also come to bear watch, especially to see the Spirit Bear, and the unique small wolves.

    Harper and Enbridge can stop their lying. Harper is in a lot of trouble with other country's for his, bullying, arrogance, being stubborn, impossible to work with, and Harper co-operates with no-one. They are fed up with Harper's hissy fits, when he doesn't get his own way.

    The BC citizens have been cheated enough by Harper and Campbell.

  3. I have a niggling thought, over and over...Is Obama delaying the Keystone pipeline, to see if the Enbridge pipe line is forced through by Harper. Wouldn't tankers be easier for the U.S? They wouldn't have all the hundreds of problems with the pipeline.

    Depending what country's Harper can con into taking the dirty tar, we could end up with hoards of dirty oil tankers, in the Douglas channel.

    Harper is the master of dirty tactics. His wild schemes, can cause an eco disaster for BC. BC has earthquakes all over the place. It would be total insanity, to string a pipeline into BC.

  4. With all the talk of numbers that would benifit Canadians,job creation and taxes paid to governments one has to ask the obvious question.

    If the Tar sands and their destruction and pollution are in fact to be of any benifit to Canadians and if that was the intent, why are we not seeing savings at the pump? If there are 'really' benifits to Canadians shouldn't this in fact be the first one?

    There has been and will be no benifit to those risking everything, the benifit goes overseas with the oil. We are in fact being played like a cheap violin.

  5. Another great post Norm.
    Ottawa and BC are in bed toether on this project - always have been.
    I do think Harper and Canada will become greatly disliked ofr their arrogant, ignorant and contemptuous dismaiisal of world opinion.
    There is no doubt that the Canservatives are driven by Corporate Greed and Dictates - not much thought to the well being of Canadians and Canada as a whole - just the very rich 1%.

    This too, will turn around and bite them - just like Campbell's own dishonesty was the cause of his resigning in disgrace.

    Thank you

  6. The gigantic oil corporations, Harper and Alberta, are who prospers from the dirty tar sands. BC prospers the least, and gets all the risk.

    What jobs? Enbridge has their own crew. Enbridge has had, 804 pipeline spills within 10 years. When the pipeline is done, so are the jobs.

    Now Enbridge is investigating, gas leaks off the shores of Louisiana.



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