Citizen Action Monitor

Suzuki calls on Canadians to oppose Kinder Morgan pipeline and all fossil fuel expansion

Trudeau government is trading short-term economic interests for long-term wellbeing of all life on planet Earth.

No 2205 Posted by fw, April 24, 2018

David Suzuki

“… we have Canadian provincial and federal governments bizarrely claiming that expanding oilsands production and pipelines is not only in keeping with our national and international climate commitments, but is actually necessary to them! The government of my home province, B.C., while standing firm in protecting the province’s interests against Kinder Morgan’s obsolete Trans Mountain pipeline project, thinks increasing fracking for the energy-intensive, methane-spewing liquefied natural gas industry is the way to go. If short-term economic gain, a relatively small number of jobs and the priorities of shareholders in mostly foreign-owned companies are more important to the national interest than ensuring that people and ecosystems here and around the world remain healthy and alive, something is wrong.”David Suzuki, The Canadian Progressive

David Suzuki is a Canadian scientist, broadcaster, author, and cofounder of the David Suzuki Foundation. This article was written with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Editor Ian Hanington.

Following up on a scathing March 6, 2018 article, Trudeau’s claim that he can build Kinder Morgan and hit Paris targets is “a lot of bullshit” – David Suzuki, David Suzuki returns with another attack on the shortsightedness of the Trudeau government.

In this piece, reposted below, Suzuki argues that recent oil spills in North America and elsewhere should raise  red flag over Trudeau’s aggressive pipeline plans. Apparently, he suggests, the dire reality and consequences of climate crisis are not yet devastating enough to get Trudeau’s attention. Could it be real or wilful ignorance that drives provincial and federal governments to expand oilsands production and add pipeline capacity in the cause of so-called “national interests?”  Moreover, Canada’s powerful elites have adopted business-as-usual economic growth over imaginative, responsibly informed decision making. And sadly, too many Canadians are blind to the reality of the climate crisis and declining importance of fossil fuels.

Suzuki concludes:

“Our natural landscapes, wildlife, coastlines, waters, air and climate are too important to risk for short-term gain. We must stand together against the Kinder Morgan pipeline project and all fossil fuel expansion. We have better ways to create jobs and economic opportunity.”

To read David Suzuki’s piece on The Canadian Progressive website, click on the following linked title.

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David Suzuki: Kinder Morgan pipeline controversy proves need to shift course by David Suzuki, The Canadian Progressive,  April 23, 2018

Recent oil pipeline spills should raise red flag over Trudeau’s aggressive pipeline plans

On March 31, an underwater pipeline carrying oil to a refinery in Balikpapan, Indonesia, broke, spreading crude over 20,000 hectares of Balikpapan Bay. Some of it ignited, killing five fishermen. Area residents experienced health problems including nausea, vomiting and respiratory difficulties, and marine life and mangroves were also devastated.

In mid-January, an Iranian tanker carrying more than 111,300 tonnes of natural gas condensate hit a cargo ship, caught fire and sank in the East China Sea in one of China’s richest fishing grounds. The accident killed all 32 of the tanker’s crew and left an oil slick bigger than Paris — more than 100 square kilometres. Researchers say the spill and fire killed phytoplankton, marine mammals, fish and birds and will have long-lasting consequences.

Meanwhile, in North America and elsewhere, pipeline accidents continue to spew gas and oil into the environment, polluting air, water and land, and affecting wildlife and habitat, as well as human communities. Tanker, pipeline and drilling rig accidents have devastated ecosystems and endangered human health and lives worldwide, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Alaska coast to the Niger Delta.

Apparently, dire reality and consequences of climate crisis are not yet devastating enough to get Trudeau’s attention  

As disastrous as those accidents are, the consequences of the products reaching their destinations are also horrendous, as burning fossil fuels spills massive volumes of climate-disrupting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. With the rapacious rush to exploit every bit of gas, oil and coal before the reality and consequences of climate change become too devastating to ignore, we’re likely to see ever-increasing accidental and deliberate fossil fuel contamination.

Ignorance drives provincial and federal governments to expand oilsands production and add pipeline capacity in the cause of national interests

In the midst of it all, we have Canadian provincial and federal governments bizarrely claiming that expanding oilsands production and pipelines is not only in keeping with our national and international climate commitments, but is actually necessary to them! The government of my home province, B.C., while standing firm in protecting the province’s interests against Kinder Morgan’s obsolete Trans Mountain pipeline project, thinks increasing fracking for the energy-intensive, methane-spewing liquefied natural gas industry is the way to go.

Trudeau trades short-term economic interests for long-term wellbeing of all life on planet Earth

If short-term economic gain, a relatively small number of jobs and the priorities of shareholders in mostly foreign-owned companies are more important to the national interest than ensuring that people and ecosystems here and around the world remain healthy and alive, something is wrong.

Canada’s powerful elites choose business-as-usual over imaginative, responsibly informed decision making

If people, especially those in positions of power, truly understood the severity and urgency of the climate crisis, they would be doing everything possible to confront and resolve it. But it appears many don’t even want to understand. It’s easier to go along with business as usual, while implementing some half-hearted plans and talking more than acting, than to make the difficult choices to ensure our species survives and thrives.

Climate crisis rarely discussed by pro-pipeline crowd; focus is mostly on getting oil to foreign markets

Most discussions among governments, industry and media about Texas-based Kinder Morgan’s pipeline project don’t even mention climate change. It’s mostly just shouting about the need to get Canadian resources to foreign markets and threatening economic and trade sanctions for not bowing to the wishes of industry and its supporters — even though using the resources at such a rapid pace is making the world increasingly less hospitable to humans.

Sadly, too many Canadians are blind to reality of climate crisis and declining importance of fossil fuels

One can sympathize with the federal government, which is already facing some provincial opposition to its climate policies and is likely to face more after a number of upcoming provincial elections. The Alberta government is also in a difficult position, struggling to hold power in a province where many people are blind to the realities of global warming and have an overblown sense of the oil industry’s relative, and declining, importance.

For the federal government to argue that the pipeline is necessary to keep Alberta on-board with its climate plan is short-sighted when the party leading in Alberta polls opposes key elements of the plan.

The push for expanded fossil fuel development and infrastructure that will lock us in to unsustainable fuels and industry for years to come shows an appalling lack of imagination and courage on the part of those we elect to represent our interests.

“We must stand together against the Kinder Morgan pipeline project and all fossil fuel expansion”

Our natural landscapes, wildlife, coastlines, waters, air and climate are too important to risk for short-term gain. We must stand together against the Kinder Morgan pipeline project and all fossil fuel expansion. We have better ways to create jobs and economic opportunity.

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