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Economy and environment
Re Arrests And Travel Disruptions As Anti-pipeline Protests Spread (Feb. 26) and The Deeper Reason Behind Indigenous Resistance To Pipeline Projects (Opinion, Feb. 22): Contributor Blair Stonechild explains that the Indigenous protests are based on respect for nature and opposition to exploiting it. In that case, why are they mainly targeting pollution-saving users of railways and public transit?
It would make greater sense to block more highways and inconvenience the car drivers who keep the oil industry going. Of course, that would be in addition to getting rid of any vehicles they themselves might own that depend on transported oil.
Jean O’Grady Toronto
Re All Falls Down (Letters, Feb. 25): While it is true that liquefied natural gas emits less carbon than coal when burnt as fuel, it seems increasingly apparent that the total effect of “clean” natural-gas production, including methane leakages from drilling, fracking, venting, transport and liquefaction, rivals dirty coal in its full emissions impact. This is because methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, at least 80 times more damaging than carbon in the first 20 years after release.
Tom Pater Courtenay, B.C.
In response to all the arguments for the disputable pipeline that mainly concern the economy, jobs and money, I have only to speak for all creatures great and small, the land, the rivers and eventually, the ocean.
We know bitumen is crude oil thinned with condensate to ease and facilitate flow. We know the corridors necessary for a pipeline are antithetical to caribou crossing and inhibit migration. We know a spill in B.C.'s Skeena River would be devastating to salmon and bird habitat. We know that sonar in the Georgia Strait is disruptive to whale foraging. Need we know more?
I find the blockades are supported for a reason, and the hereditary chiefs have the ability to veto the pipeline for a reason. How do we graciously choose between the economy and the environment? I don’t think we can afford to choose both any longer.
Tracy Wragg Victoria
Re Enough With The All-or-nothing Rhetoric (Feb. 26): Columnist Andrew Coyne has done it. He has laid out the path for resolving reconciliation, development and carbon pricing. It is clear and concise to me, and it is reasonable and realistic – the Canadian way. Now if we could only find a leader to champion it.
David Hickey Cobourg, Ont.
Just checking in as a member of the “fanatical cult” that columnist Andrew Coyne says has grown up around some Indigenous leaders.
I am a grandmother who attends a United Church every Sunday. I am a gardener who is painfully aware of climate change. I am a book-club member, reading John Ralston Saul, Richard Wagamese, Thomas King , Bill McKibben and Robin Kimmerer. I have enjoyed friendship with and teachings from Indigenous people for nearly all of my 76 years.
I’m a writer whose subject, frequently, is spirituality. I’m a concerned citizen who, with many friends, helped convey the risks of the proposed Energy East pipeline. And we are firmly on the side of those Indigenous leaders who are defending the land and water, climate and coastlines of this country. I don’t much feel like a fanatic. I feel like a citizen of the new and better Canada that is being born.
Donna Sinclair Author, Activist Alphabet; North Bay
Mine the gap
Re Teck Pullback A Wake-up Call For Canada On Climate, Energy (Report on Business, Feb. 25): The Globe’s Kelly Cryderman notes that, with the death of the Teck Frontier project, “the United States, Russia or Saudi Arabia will be more than happy to step in … however long the world continues to use oil.” Instead of hand-wringing about the feared economic damage, why don’t we immediately put our creative heads together for a better alternative?
Canada could play a leadership role in quickly developing greener, large-scale energy resources that would go side by side with innovative job opportunities. If the Canadian government and businesses were to have the collective will and perseverance for such an endeavour, transitioning away from fossil fuels and economic health need not be mutually exclusive.
Gordon Yanchyshyn Toronto
It should be top of mind that Teck chief executive Don Lindsay clearly called for a countrywide carbon-pricing regime and a legislated cap on oil sands emissions as necessary measures to enable resource development in Canada. And recall that just last month, Teck announced the purchase of the SunMine solar energy facility in Kimberley, B.C., a 1.05-megawatt project on reclaimed land at its Sullivan Mine.
Mr. Lindsay seems to know something about the future of the energy business that Jason Kenney’s “war room” does not. As Leonard Cohen sang: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
Dick Bakker President, Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative
Re Alberta Will Not Cede To Ottawa On Climate Change, Kenney Says (Feb. 26): Jason Kenney says that Ottawa’s carbon tax “punishes people for simply living normal lives.” Notwithstanding the fact that carbon rebates mean the tax is a washout for most payers, and even a net gain for others, living normally does not seem a great response to a crisis that threatens the planet.
If climate change has taught us anything, it should be that the normal consumption of fossil fuels is a recipe for a very abnormal future. We should do better than normal.
Dale Hildebrand Toronto
Re Buffalo Stance (Letters, Feb. 26): The Buffalo Declaration, eh? The buffalo was driven to near extinction by greed and profligate self-interest in the late 1800s. What’s different now with our exploitative use of the Earth’s resources, as if they were infinite? Good choice for a name, I say!
Rick McKelvey Penticton, B.C.
Baby on board
Re Parenting in a Time of Climate Change (First Person, Feb. 25): My husband and I also pondered the effects of bringing a child into a world already beset with problems, overpopulation and dwindling natural resources being our main concerns. But this was several decades ago.
As a child, she studied nature and all creatures avidly. By the time she was in Grade 4, clouds and natural disasters were her passions and I depended on her for weather advice. Where am I going with this? She’s now an environmental consultant, living and working in British Columbia, protecting the environment and its creatures.
Start an RESP now and enjoy life’s greatest adventure: parenting. We even had – gasp – a second child, a totally amazing son.
Edie and Mike Lewis Brantford, Ont.
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