2014-06-20

I Support the Northern Gateway Pipeline

I consider myself a progressive. I've given thousands to the NDP and
even threw a few strategic progressive dollars to the Bloc Québécois.

I also consider myself an environmentalist. Perhaps not enough to give
up my travel addiction (poverty has temporarily taken care of that),
but enough of one that I live in a downtown apartment and walk to
work.

People in Bangladesh are going to die because of global warming.

I'm writing this on an iPhone that was assembled just north of Hong
Kong in China. Parts of it were made in Taiwan and Korea. The energy
used to manufacture the iPhone was most likely derived from coal.
Ditto my computers, TV, Playbook, Kobo and iPad (did I mention I'm
poor?).

So we send Asia oil that is slightly better for the environment than
coal, they give us cool gadgets that reduce needless trips to the store
for shopping, driving around while lost, enable shortcuts, and
dramatically reduce my consumption of paper. Win, win.

More importantly, BC takes a slight environmental risk instead of
Moncton suffering the guaranteed pollution that would come from Irving
refining Alberta oil in St. John.

Moncton is where I live. Not BC. The people of Bangladesh and China
matter as much to me as the people of BC (on a per capita basis). They
are guaranteed to have millions of people die because of global
warming and coal generated air pollution. If it replaces coal, Alberta
oil would reduce both. Northern BC (where very, very few people live)
incurs a slight risk of having localised water and soil pollution. But
I live in Moncton.

The federal government has spoken. Time to move on. And if you live
anywhere near the proposed pipeline, you might want to move to
Vancouver, because as a rural Canadian, your carbon footprint is
amongst the largest in the world, and that's not cool.

9 comments:

The Mound of Sound said...

Okay, I get it. You're from Moncton which means that your opinion on Northern Gateway is irrelevant. Do you realize they're not pumping oil but dilbit? You don't seem to have the faintest clue of the difference? Coming from Moncton you plainly have no grasp about the remote, mountainous and seismically active terrain this pipeline will cross. I'll bet you've never been on the Hecate Strait either or caught in one of its fierce, snap storms.

You display a profound ignorance. Then again, you're from Moncton.

Stanley Climbfall said...

You are not a progressive nor an environmentalist if you support this pipeline, sorry you're not. You say the Federal Government has made it's decision and we should just move on. Let's say Enbridge, First Nations and British Columbians are playing poker with all the chips up for grabs and the Federal Government is the dealer, would you think it's fair if the Feds stacked the deck for Enbridge? Cause that's what's happened.

The Conservatives have done everything in their power to stack the deck in Enbridges favor, everything from gutting the Fisheries Act, Navigable Waters Act, The Endanger Species Act to cutting the DFO to the point of blindness on the West Coast, to moving oil spill response off the West Coast to hand picking the members of the National Energy Board all of which have ties to the Albertan energy industry. Let's not forget ignoring the fact that a massive chunk of BC civil society is against this disaster. Mound said it though why would you care, you're from Moncton.

If this thing actually sees the light of day, it's going to kick off a national unity crisis. But unlike Quebec, BC could go at it alone. Our economy is orientated to the pacific and the US, not the rest of Canada, we don't need to be a part of this country and given the support from the Feds and Alberta for this disaster I got to be honest, I could give a shit about the rest of the country or Alberta's economy. It's not BC's place to take a risk because Alberta made shitty economic decisions. The reality is being from New Brunswick you should be opposing this pipeline, do you really what to piss British Columbia off? The original two payers into the Equalization Program in the 1950's weer BC and Ontario. British Columbia has paid New Brunswick billions of dollars and you know what? That's fine, that's how positive Federalism, this pipeline is negative Federalism at it's worse. This isn't the same sovereignty issue like in Quebec, people STILL live off the ocean up there.

Altavistagoogle said...

Stanley, British Columbia doesn't pay equalization payments. The equalization program is a federal program run by the federal government using federal tax dollars.

The Northern Gateway pipeline could save hundreds of thousands of lives by displacing the use of coal in high density areas of Asia.

There are environmental risks associated with an oil pipeline, there is no doubt about that. However, refining Alberta oil in Montreal or St. John guarantees extra air pollution in Moncton, where I live. Better to have that oil shipped off to China. Few BCers live along the pipeline route.

Stanley Climbfall said...

First off you're wrong about equalization payments, British Columbians have been net contributors to the program from the start, while some years we received as well, the money is collected then redistributed by the Federal Treasury. It's a Federal redistribution of wealth from the have's to the have nots. NB will recieve a billion dollars this year, BC none. But I digress.

Your point about oil and rising living standards is a well used tactic to limit to debate on alternatives, Ezra Levant and Sun News use it all the time. You wanna what's better then coal? Solar or Natural Gas.

You completely ignored my points about gutting environmental legislation to help facilitate these pipelines are you just not aware of what's going on or do you not care?

Lastly Prince George which is the gateway to Northern BC and would be effected by a pipeline leak and the surrounding area have about half the total population of New Brunswick. Price George is actually the same size as Moncton, actually it's a little big bigger, so no it's not sparely populated. Lastly the First Nations that make up most of the pipeline route have been living there for over 10,000 years and they still live off the land, this pipeline is going to destroy their livelihoods when it leaks.

Altavistagoogle said...

Stanley, payments to the equalization program are made by federal income and sales tax. So an individual in New Brunswick that makes $100,000 a year contributes just as much as one in Wood Buffalo or Vancouver.

In our system of democracy, votes matter, not income. So the fact that there are more rich people in BC than in New Brunswick is completely irrelevant.

As for income, sure, New Brunswick receives a significant chunk of change from the federal government (money that is used for progressive things like healthcare and education), but the federal government also spends significant amounts of money on civil servants in Ottawa and aboriginals in Manitoba. The federal tourism commission is in Vancouver. The federal government spends money all over the country, independently of the geographical source to the revenue.

Asia can't use solar or natural gas (not enough gas or land). North America can. Sending Canadian oil to Asia is a good way to increase demand for natural gas and solar here in North America.

Yah, there are people in Prince George, but not as many as in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City!

A leak would suck. But it would be localised. Air pollution from refining oil in St. John and Montreal or coal in populated China isn't a risk, it is a certainty.

Aboriginals in BC have been there for their lifetime, not 10,000 years. A leak would cause local environmental damage, it wouldn't destroy the entire region.

Obviously, the risk/reward isn't fair to the people who live along the pipeline route, especially if they live off the land, so to speak. However, looking at it globally, this is an environmental win.

Stanley Climbfall said...

You don't get it a leak would destroy the nursery of one of the last populations of wild steelhead in the world. A fishery that brings in tens of millions of dollars a year. A spill in the winter in that region of the world would be catastrophic, there is quite literally nothing they could about it. We're not talking about Alberta here, what the rest of Canada considers a mountain is a hill I played on at the end of my street as a kid. If you really want to know the region and the culture that surrounds it, here's a good Documentary.

http://vimeo.com/78876102

As for your comments about the First Nations that are embedded in that landscape, the only way to characterize them is extreme ignorance. You just don't get it, of course they've been there for the last 10,000 years their whole culture is based off living in the LANDSCAPES THEY INHABIT. Those rituals, religion and practices connect them with the land and ancestors that have come before. Maybe you should do some research on First Nations spirituality and culture.

And once again you say nothing about the of gutting environmental legislation to help facilitate these pipelines. Nothing at all.

Let me ask you why are they not doubling up the pipeline at river crosses and installing ballast pipelines to catch bitumen if there was a leak? I'll tell you why they don't give shit, they're going for the cheapest possible route and construction design. Why are more than 150 conditions that have been set for Enbridge to meet written by Enbridge themselves? Why is there no clean up plan for the Douglas Channel in the wake of an oil spill? Maybe educate yourself on the issue at hand before you comment.

As for your comments about Solar, tell that to the Chinese who are embarking on an ambitious renewable energy scheme, with solar set to hit grid parity with coal in 2016. As for your comment about natural gas, they just signed a massive deal with Russia so I have no clue what you're talking about.

As for equalization payments British Columbians have more people and more wealth hence why we pay more into the equalization program a program by the way BC and Ontario get screwed on.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2012/01/25/ontario_shortchanged_in_wealthsharing_system_censored_federal_report_suggests.html

The Mound of Sound said...

What a load of bollocks. Exporting high cost/high carbon fossil fuel laced with heavy metals, acids and abrasives, a variety of toxins and, of course, pet-coke, is going to save lives? Maybe on Planet Moncton but not on Earth.

Stan is dead right - you're neither progressive nor environmentalist. Progressives are given to informing their opinions on facts, not fantasy.

Altavistagoogle said...

Oil, even tar sand oil, is significantly less polluting than coal (local air and global carbon emissions).

Also, by allowing Asians to use Canadian oil, Canadian oil prices will go up, and therefore fewer North Americans will be able to waste it on suburban transportation.

I live down wind from North American air pollution. I've lived in smog laced Toronto. I've read the asthma stats for Hamilton.

I realise there isn't much win for BC (apart from the slight global warming reduction), but this is a federal issue and BCers are going to have to come up with some pretty compelling arguments to convince the rest of Canada that the pipeline is a bad idea.

The environment of Asia, Eastern Canada and indeed the world win from the pipeline. Northern BC absorbs a very low risk of local water and soil pollution, isolated in time and geography.

Stanley Climbfall said...

This is how uninformed you are, you say it's a Federal issue, you do realize that there are over 60 provincial permits that need to be issued for this disaster to go ahead? You do know that right? Where do you think the pumping stations are going to get the power to push this crap through the pipeline from? It won't be BC. By the way how much more convincing do you need? 67% of BCers are against this project, the BC Union of Municipalities is against this project, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs is against this project, Kitimat BC which by far has the most to gain from this project is against this project, the Government of British Columbia and the official opposition is against this project, The Federal Liberals and NDP are against this project. Its not up to British Columbia to try and come up with some compelling argument against this pipeline, we have it in droves, we live here, you don't, it's the rest of the country that needs actually listen to what we're saying. This blog being the perfect example. Still you dodge the question, you say you're a progressive and an environmentalist and yet you still say nothing about the gutting of Environmental legislation? It's telling really.

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