“The more we exploit nature, the more our options are reduced, until we have only one: to fight for survival.” (Morris Udall)
“What is the good of having a nice house without a decent planet to put it on?” (Thoreau)
“We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment.”
Squamish is currently wrestling with the difficult moral, economic and environmental questions around a proposed liquid natural gas (LNG) plant along the shores of the recently revivified and somewhat healed Howe Sound waters. There is no shortage of opposition to this project as can be seen in articles from the Georgia Straight, Squamish Chief, Vancouver Observer, The Tyee, Globe and Mail, Huffington Post and a Facebook Page titled No to LNG – Squamish which currently has nearly 5000 likes. This proposed re-industrialization of Howe Sound, in combination with other proposals, has also generated new concerns and opposition if its own. Although the Woodfibre Liquid Natural Gas project also has it’s proponents, this article is not about presenting any sort of balanced coverage and so there are no links to any articles supporting the project. This post is about my own personal reasons for opposing the Woodfibre Liquid Natural Gas Plant on the shores of Howe Sound and near the small mountain community of Squamish BC – my home.
The communities of Howe Sound have already been through decades of polluted waters, reduced salmon stocks, reduced whale populations and other damaging effects of a mining operation at Britannia Beach which operated from 1905 to 1974. Cleaning up the devastating environmental damage from those decades of copper mining effluent polluting our waters has been a long and costly process. But this cleanup effort has been a resounding success and to the amazement of many, whales and dolphins have become a regular occurrence again in the waters around Squamish and Howe Sound. Although past environmental regulations and oversight were nothing like what we have today, and the potentially damaging effects of a mine vs an LNG plant may not be comparable, there is still a potential risk to the environment if the LNG plant and subsequent increase in tanker traffic goes ahead. And regardless of the size of this potential environmental risk, an LNG plant INCREASES the probability of environmental damage and INCREASES the chances of a plant catastrophe with potentially devastating long-term environmental and economic effects to Squamish.
Summary of My Opposition to the LNG Plant:
Reason 1: I am opposed to the Woodfibre Liquid Natural Gas Plant on moral grounds – it is the RIGHT thing for me to do since I value the health of the planet and our local environment far more than personal employment opportunities or economic development.
Reason 2: I am opposed to the Woodfibre Liquid Natural Gas Plant because I believe we need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels as an energy source, in order to create a sustainable future for the planet.
Reason 3: I am opposed to the Woodfibre Liquid Natural Gas Plant because it would contradict the growing reputation and image we are presenting to the world as being an environmentally conscious community.
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