Friday, October 19, 2012

Letter to @CAPP



To whom it may concern at @CAPP,

I do appreciate your reply. I am sure an element of what you say contains sincerity. I realise that a defence is needed for your 'side'. The media has been rough on you lately, what with all this Keystone XL and the Northern Gateway project. You seem to have many opponents these days, fairly or unfairly.
I realise that oil is needed for our society, for now. I am not an unreasonable man, only a man who loves his country and seeks to defend it from destruction by foreign oil companies. I know, I must seem idealistic and naive. Perhaps I am. What I can assure you is that I am not a radical environmentalist or someone with an 'agenda' other than a concern for the earth and it's future generations. I am just a regular guy who goes to work 5 days a week and tries to be a model citizen.

The sale of Canadian companies to China and the ongoing legal battles with First Nations, citizens' rights groups, environmental organisations and the funding of climate science denial are among the actions that oil and gas companies involve themselves in. And why would the government of Canada want to sell off the assets of this country with very little value added? What does Canada have to gain from this? What do CAPP members have to gain from this? Do you not love this country and want to see it succeed? You must.
We all need to involve ourselves in the community and dialogue is the way to do it. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has worked effectively in the past when it has come to nation building.
There is no 'us' and 'them'.

We all breathe the same air and drink the same water. Our blood runs the same.
How long can the sham go on? Nobody asks the big questions, as in, "When will we stop?"

The Earth is a finite resource and, as human beings, we must all realise the universal simplicity of this and to ignore it is at our own peril.  We raze our forests and our landscapes and our oceans in order to drive our cars and keep our houses warm and to power all the transportation systems that our entire society relies on to function. I ask you, how can we even begin to tackle the enormous task of reducing our level of growth. Even the economists call it negative growth, to avoid using the word 'loss'.
This is insane, don't you think? But who are we to get in the way of all this... progress?
I guess at this point you may brand me as a lunatic. Who writes a consortium of oil and gas people and lays it all out?

Why not limit our carbon footprint drastically and start charging what the actual cost of fossil fuels are worth? We have an unlimited supply of humans to burn that fuel for generations. And you could invest in alternative power sources with all the money you make from the fossil fuel fuel extraction and Government subsidies.  I think the helping hand is something to the tune of a billion dollars last year.
I am sure we all appreciate the jobs that oil and gas provide us. It is a life blood of this country and all the power to it, I guess...

But the idea of shipping bitumen across a thousand rivers and streams and out into the channels and tributaries of coastal British Columbia scares the hell out of me.
I have spent my life on the coast of British Columbia, my living was made as a fisherman in my youth, working the magic of the coast into my life.

I also spent years working in the forest and have a unique perspective and appreciation for the wilderness of this province and for this country. I am sure you do, too, I am not saying you don't, we are all part of the system that feeds us and clothes us. We all see the same stars at night.
What we need to do is to begin to take those steps toward our civilisation being less dependent on fossil fuels, transforming into a society that is healthy and clean. To deny that climate change is happening is ludicrous, whether or not it is caused by human interference with the Earth's atmosphere. I do not want to ridicule those that question the science because that can be dangerous. If there is a large contingent of people who believe the jury is still out, then I guess we will all have to go along for the ride because that is the nature of our way.

One of the most important points I have to make is that we must remain civil toward one another. When we see one another as the enemy is when we have all lost. If Canada is to become a petro-state, then we must all realise that is what it is and get on with it. But we must do it responsibly. We all know that the tar sands are an abomination. I know, you can't agree with me because that would be bad business sense but we both know there are certain things one cannot ignore as truth.
None of us is innocent and we know it, that is why we are all careful to rush to judgement.

I reckon the only thing a person can do is to challenge the machine somehow, no matter the effectiveness, at least I can feel as though I have reached somebody, somewhere. The future human race will thank us for it. Where do we begin?

As broad as they are, those are my concerns.

Tony.




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