The final hearings for the Joint Review Panel on the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal concluded in Terrace with a masterful rebuttal of opposition by Enbridge’s lawyer.
However, that lawyer neglected the greatest problem of the proposal: global warming’s increasingly deleterious effect on the present and for the future.
That neglect was evident in three ways: the emphasis on revenue, the narrow view on job creation, and the narrower view still on public interest.
On revenue, the emphasis on quick return for as much export as possible means that much more carbon in the atmosphere and that much more mean weather rather than gradual, longer-term accrual of income from slower, more conscientious exploitation.
On jobs, the quantity nowhere near matches what would be possible if we began, now, to convert from carbon-dependent transport to advanced rail. The spin-off benefits from that alone would dwarf tar-sand exploitation.
On public interest, the short-term tax and royalty generation nowhere near compensates for the disaster that global warming and climate change have in store, if not for us immediately, then absolutely for future generations.
Calgary has now become emblematic of the climate threat we face. An act of God, insurers say, has devastated the city. One has to ask, what has Calgary done to upset God so much? You don’t need religion to answer that.
Dr. David Heinimann,Terrace, B.C.