I was interested to hear of Premier Christy Clarks recent interview with Peter Mansbridge of CBCs The National talking about the lack of preparedness on BCs coast to deal with oil spills. The contents of the interview highlighted the bizarre kind of two-fold world that is unfolding these days in this province and country.
On the one hand we have scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying climate science and are in large majority warning us about climate change and the very high likelihood that humans are contributing to this sad scenario for future generations; alongside them we have some incredibly intelligent and innovative people putting together ideas about how we could grow a clean economy, in a true sense of the word.
On the other hand, we have a kind of thuggish dominant politic which positions economic growth before and at the expense of all else as a kind of biblical message that is not to be interfered with nor contested by anyone else on any basis -- human health, human rights, First Nations rights and title, water quality, air quality and other aspects of the environment matter naught with this kind of mentality unilaterally calling the shots. Christy Clark seemed lost between these two versions of the world in the Mansbridge interview.
On the one hand she made a lot of sense in stating that we are not prepared to deal with oil spills, and I give her credit for that. On the other, she seems to be advocating for the federal government to step forward with public resources aimed at trying to tackle this impossibly dangerous scenario of bitumen spills on BCs incredible coast. The first question that comes to mind for me is: really, is this where we want our tax dollars to go, to oil spill response mechanisms? What is all of this economic growth and development about anyway if not for the common good? Wouldnt a better starting point to building the economy be to first identify those things that are simply not acceptable nor negotiable: detrimental human health impacts, potential environmental catastrophes, degradation of water and food supplies for the people.
Wealth means more than how much China will pay the government for our raw bitumen exports. Lets start with the basics of health, environment and peoples rights and together build on that. We do not need Enbridge Northern Gateway to be part of the picture of BCs future economy.