rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Northern Gateway: Isn't it time to embrace a future without tar sands?

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Image: Flickr/Caelie_Frampton

Please help rabble.ca stop Harper's election fraud plan. Become a monthly supporter.

Last week the federal cabinet approved the Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline.

It's a decision that could define our times. We are witnessing the final stages of a protracted wrestling match between our future and our past.

Can we afford to let this decision stand? Aren't our children -- born and unborn -- depending on us?

I'm not going to go into all the reasons why we must end our fossil fuel addiction, and move on to a clean energy future. You've heard it before.

But this decision could be different. It could be a game-changer. The Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline could be a turning point because of the huge opposition in British Columbia -- unparalleled in Canadian history:

  • 130 First Nations and over 10,000 residents have said NO! They told the environmental assessment panel that it was simply too risky and they wanted nothing to do with it. Period.
  • Over 300 independent, respected scientists asked the government to reject the conclusion of the panel based on numerous scientific errors and dubious assumptions.
  • There are at least five legal challenges from First Nations, with many more in works.

The panel charged with reviewing the scheme ultimately approved the tar sands pipeline anyways, despite making over 200 of their own "recommendations" (concerns).

Christy Clark's provincial government now holds all the cards. Clark, too, had a number of concerns -- in fact, she set out five conditions that would need to be met before the 60+ required licenses and permits would be granted by her government.

Those conditions clearly haven't been met, so what's next?

We were at a similar crossroads a decade ago when the government of Alberta fought tooth and nail against then-Prime Minster Chretien's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. Since that time Canadians have been repeatedly misled on climate change: "Action is coming. Regulations are coming," we were told by a succession of federal governments, but all we got were more tar sands mines and more of the dirtiest oil on Earth. Classic bait and switch, petro style.

The battle over the Northern Gateway and Keystone tar sands pipelines is the defining moment of our time, and the world is watching.

Rejecting these dirty and dangerous tar sands pipelines can end the suicidal petro cycle in which we've been ensnared.

This is an opportunity for our leaders to abandon their reckless pandering to international oil companies and get down to the job of building a green and safe future for our children.

Isn't it time to reject the past and embrace the future? The science is done and the jury is in: the world cannot afford any more dirty tar sands oil.

You can stand up and be heard, today. Please send an email to Christy Clark right now!

Click here to email the B.C. Premier.

Image: Flickr/Caelie_Frampton

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.