A green economy is within reach

It’s time to demand a decent economy that won’t destroy the planet

TransCanada’s decision against building its planned workers’ camp at Tchesinkut Lake comes as a welcome surprise, and demonstrates the value of grassroots action to address environmental issues locally.

In the age of climate change, we should bring that same spirit to the global stage, and insist that powerful entities including governments and energy companies pay heed to the ordinary people affected by their actions.

The work camp — which would host perhaps 600 workers during the peak period of construction on the Coastal GasLink (CGL) natural gas pipeline — elicited a number of concerns among residents during an open house that took place in Burns Lake on May 1, notably the effects that it may have on the area’s watershed.

As reported in these pages, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako’s (RDBN) review of public feedback about the work camp revealed an overwhelmingly negative response from locals. TransCanada, which also gathered public feedback, said the RDBN’s report “matches Coastal GasLink’s internal review.”

In other words, the company got the message. Residents who cared enough to get organized and show up during the public consultation process didn’t want this work camp in their backyard.

Of course, the locations of the work camp is just one piece in a much larger story: the construction of a pipeline that would span roughly 670 km of northern B.C.

According to the RDBN, the “the majority of responses indicated that they are in favour of the pipeline, but not in favour of the location of the work camp.”

Many people support the pipeline due to economic benefits that would accrue to northern B.C., an area where the decline of forestry caused by the mountain pine beetle — an infestation triggered in part by climate change — has contributed to a sense of economic anxiety.

It’s true that people need jobs to survive and to thrive. But we may also need to leave fossil fuels in the ground in order to have a world good enough to survive in.

The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change has asserted that net CO2 emissions must be reduced to zero by 2055-70 to have a likely chance of keeping global average temperatures from rising by 2 C.

That kind of temperature increase could cause sea levels to rise by as much as three metres within 50 years, according to one 2015 study, never mind the various other forms of ecological instability that would result.

That, in turn, would cause massive displacement of people living in coastal areas, potentially creating a refugee crisis that would make events from the past few years look like a dress rehearsal.

When people get organized and make their voices heard, powerful entities like TransCanada have to listen. Let’s demand a green shift towards a decent economy that won’t quicken our path to crisis.

Just Posted

Climate change, economy and reconciliation take centre stage at Oct. 15 All-Candidates Forum

Six of the eight candidates were in attendance at the Smithers event

New meat truck in town

Priestly Meats shows off its new meat truck, set up beside Tech… Continue reading

Celebrating fall in Burns Lake

Dozens of residents came out for the Fall Festival at Wild Roots… Continue reading

No timeline for ultrasound in Burns Lake, NH says

Northern Health (NH) is considering introducing ultrasound technology to the Lakes District… Continue reading

Burns Lake biathlete wins grant again

Biathlete Emily Dickson, formerly of Burns Lake was selected on Oct. 7… Continue reading

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations court battle against RioTinto Alcan to start next week

Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations are taking Rio Tinto Alcan to court over their functioning of the Kenney Dam that affects the Nechako River

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

Most Read