Pipeline bad for environment

There are two elephants in the room with respect to the Northern Gateway pipeline discussions.

Dear editor:

There are two elephants in the room with respect to the Northern Gateway pipeline discussions.

First:  We live in an earthquake zone!

I seriously doubt any pipeline traversing our province east to west could survive a major earthquake.

Likely there would be multiple ruptures; a fracture of the pipe at one point would not ease the stresses in more distant parts of the pipe — earthquake waves would meet each of the supporting structures in turn.

Thus, away from the coast, one could expect that at least several waterways would be contaminated.

At the coast, the tragedy at Fukushima gives an impression of what could well happen here.

But imagine that additionally the wall of water sweeping the coast is contam-inated with crude oil.  Oil companies may well argue that they have “shut-off” valves in case of sudden loss of pressure, but control systems, too, can be put out of action in complex systems.  Surely the litany of engineering disasters to date should remove our belief in the infallibility of engineers. The same applies to massive tankers navigating in these risky, narrow coastal waters.

It is time to stop pretending that major engineering structures or projects can be made immune to catastrophe.  Where the outcomes of such failures have such enormous consequences, it is time to invoke the precautionary principle, and weight decisions to the side of caution.

The second elephant is the enormity of the contribution that this pipeline to Asia would make to global warming.  Not only is the annual quantity of crude to be transferred there immense, but because of the gigantic investment required the project guarantees that Canada will keep on exporting, and China will keep on burning for decades.

It is a huge atmospheric carbon dioxide supply tap that we will not be able to shut off.

Prudence in caring for BC’s extraordinarily bountiful and beautiful environment, and in protecting the future of the planet demands that the project be rejected.

Dr. Colin Park

Comox, BC.

 

 

Just Posted

Island Foods renovates bottle depot and cans old bottle return system

“I don’t want people to spend the whole day here,” said Angela Taylor on Port McNeill’s bottle depot.

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in Port Alice exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Sointula Resource Centre to hold fundraising play

The play will “grab people’s attention” says Stephanie Rockman.

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Western Forest Products goes ahead with harvesting, despite Falconer’s concern

WFP will “mitigate impact on local wildlife” near Coal Harbour.

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Most Read