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PROTECTING BAY OF FUNDY AND PROCURING A LOW CARBON ECONOMY FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN ENERGY EAST

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Photo credit of basalt shard "Balancing Rock" on the Bay of Fundy coastline: Copyright Stephen Patterson
Photo credit of basalt shard "Balancing Rock" on the Bay of Fundy coastline: Copyright Stephen Patterson
Photo credit of Bay of Fundy beach stones: Copyright Stephen Patterson
Photo credit of Bay of Fundy beach stones: Copyright Stephen Patterson
Photo credit of Basalt beach not he Bay of Fundy: Copyright Stephen Patterson
Photo credit of Basalt beach not he Bay of Fundy: Copyright Stephen Patterson
Basalt Shard on the Bay of Fundy coast Photo credit copyright Stephen Patterson
Basalt Shard on the Bay of Fundy coast Photo credit copyright Stephen Patterson
Basalt Shards on the Bay of Fundy coast Photo credit copyright Stephen Patterson
Basalt Shards on the Bay of Fundy coast Photo credit copyright Stephen Patterson
Look east, old industry! The Keystone pipeline lies dead, severed in the wheat fields of Nebraska. The Energy East pipeline dream lives in the simple minds of the short sighted near the waters of a special bay, full of simple things--nature, basalt shards and pebbles and ecosystems that keep on giving. Why there's even a magical "Shamanic Shard" called "Balancing Rock" that guards the entrance of the bay and has protected the sea life here since time immemorial!

In the minds of nineteenth century thinkers in good old traditional Maritime seats of power, nature doesn't enter into the conversation; fantastical pipe dreams dominate. But here's the niggling nightmare no one in those towers notices:  what will be dead in the corresponding water that will carry hundreds of tankers of bitumen (thicker and more deadly) through fertile feeding grounds are marine species--a disaster waiting to happen, just like Exxon Valdez was.  Quebec had its beluga whale calfing grounds that stopped the port going there. There's "an elephant in the Energy East board room" as well, too. It's the endangered species of whales that take their sustenance from the krill that live in the waters of the entrance to the Bay of Fundy. Increasing tanker traffic will inevitably lead to whales deaths. But wait, there's more: sea plants, lobster, scallops, clams, fisheries--a traditional cornucopia of seafood since time immemorial when the Mi'k maq spent their summers fishing along these shores--now a billion plus dollar economy with thousands of communities receiving real wages to make sure it keeps flowing sustainably. 

Tankers versus whales is a no-brainer and we don't have to "do sociology" (to echo the black and white discourse of the past) to know that the whales would die.  Despite the feeble attempts by the N.B. premier to talk jobs (Did he not hear the President of the United States stating,  "There will be no good jobs created from this (or any) pipeline)."?), the  reality with a bitumen pipeline is dangerous, bleak and outdated, no matter how many Irvings want to increase their profits shipping crude to Asia. (Is it even viable now that prices have tanked?). 
 
Citizens have shifted to demanding a low carbon economy and a freeze on tarsands expansion, a sinking ship.  We're in a deep hole with it: stop digging.  Thousands of highly skilled Maritimer workers are twiddling their thumbs, having been laid off from working at this ever more stranded resource that needs to be left stranded--in the ground!  Federal government, never mind feeling disappointed over the death of Keystone, resurrect the peoples' hope and give something real and meaningful to Premier Aylward to talk about: big subsidies to build clean energy technology industries in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island the way the former government gave subsidies to the fossil fuel industry to dig us into a big hole. Give it a market signal with a revenue-neutral price on carbon emissions at the source. 

Why aren't the Irvings lobbying for this? They could become even richer if they lead the march to what we really must have--declining global warming, protected waters and lands, a reduction in income inequality through the thousands of permanent  clean and free electromagnetic energy jobs a low carbon economy would demand. Are they too entrenched in linear thinking to see what the Rockefellers and economists like Jeff Ruben have already acknowledged--that fossil fuels are deader than they've ever been and that's not a whale of a lie.  Energy East will be stopped, just like Northern Gateway will.  Let the archaic managers in the viscous boardrooms of the fossil fuel industries stick to sticky tunnel thinking  ship it by rail until the next Megantic and then maybe the public outcry will deafen the deaf ears of the corporate boardrooms.  Get to work and give us clean renewables and divergent thinking to dig us out.  Now THAT would be a"real change" from the mouth of "He's ready."

 

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