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.
On Vancouver Island, there are two sets of rights when it comes to clean, safe drinking water. Some of us get water from sources controlled by our municipalities and protected in perpetuity. Others drink from watersheds that are privately owned and open to all manner of industrial exploitation.
I remember in 2010, before I knew my future lay in Canada, I was in Scotland enjoying my Canadian friend’s pride over hosting the Winter Olympics. One detail that twigged my attention at the time was the fact that snow was being trucked to the slopes surrounding Vancouver, because it was unusually warm that winter and they desperately needed it for the alpine events. When I asked whether or not trucking in snow was commonplace in Canada, I got a clear and uncompromising response: no this was freakish, an uncommon practice born out of bad natural luck.
The Times Colonist By Torrance Coste March 12, 2015
Monday, March 2nd was a tense day for those of us monitoring the Raven Coal Mine proposal. After a 30-day screening period, the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) was set to announce whether or not the application to mine close to 30 million tonnes of coal and rock in the Comox Valley would advance to final environmental review.
Then, just hours before the announcement, proponent Compliance Energy abruptly withdrew its application.
BC Stats shows the practice has reached record levels in recent years
For as long as I've been aware of raw log exports I've been unwaveringly against them. The controversial practice of shipping logs overseas without processing them or adding any value has been in place for years. When logs are exported in raw form, they provide the lowest possible value for B.C. communities and starve the mills and the livelihoods that rely on timber.
Over the last few weeks, I've looked into the most recent data and I've been heartbroken to see just how bad things have become.