By Peter McCartney The Georgia Straight March 4, 2016
I’ve had a lot of inspiring moments around Howe Sound: taking in stunning mountain views from the top of the Stawamus Chief or dipping my feet in Browning Lake after a long hike. But my experience this past weekend blew them all away.
I remember standing beside a festering pool of "processed" water from a fracking drill site outside Hudson's Hope in northeast British Columbia. It was toxic water that was used by the gas industry to smash shale rock at high pressure and extract the fuel. My eyes hurt and my lungs burned from the oppressive air surrounding the pool (watch the video here). This isn't the natural gas from your grandparents' era -- we are in a new and extreme energy age.
This summer, B.C.’s forest fire season arrived a month early—and with a ferocity not witnessed in our lifetime. While struggling to breathe the smoke-filled air in Metro Vancouver this week, I’ve been reminded of the predictions made by experts who say that climate change will make this “freak” situation the new normal.
Eight months ago, a hiker and friend of our organization found new surveying tape in the central Walbran Valley. There, centred around the iconic Castle Grove, stands one of the largest intact tracts of unlogged old growth rainforest on southern Vancouver Island.