Highway dustup in British Columbia highlights gap between talk and action on climate change

Mon, 2008-03-10 11:13Bill Miller
Bill Miller's picture

Highway dustup in British Columbia highlights gap between talk and action on climate change

One only has to go a few miles northwest of B.C.’s capital in Victoria to see what governments are really doing about global warming.

While provincial Finance Minister Carole Taylor was finalizing her “go green” budget, governments at the federal, provincial and local level were taking steps that guarantee sprawl, gridlock and greenhouse emissions will continue to spiral.

Since April, 2007, peaceful protesters have tried to save an area of old-growth forest from becoming a highway interchange that would give developers easier access to a mountain, where they mean to replace a natural forest with roads, highrises and commercial buildings.

The dispute peaked recently when 60-odd Royal Canadian Mounted Police pounced with dogs and assault rifles to roust six tree-sit demonstrators engaged in a non-violent protest. There were three arrests, and even as the police attack was underway, crews began felling trees for the huge clover-leaf.

The reasons given for stopping a road and saving trees are laudable, especially in this time of escalating climate change – to protect First Nations’ sacred ground, to arrest sprawl and to expand transportation options, among others.

A few local politicians – federal, provincial and local – have criticized the harsh treatment of the protesters, but none has said anything about stopping the interchange or reining in the growth and development that drive global warming.

The interchange site is in Langford, one of a dozen municipalities in B.C.’s capital region. It was Langford’s mayor who inflamed the issue by calling in the RCMP swat team. Then he followed up by instructing municipal lawyers to consider legal action against the penniless protesters.

Now, in addition to that pointless expenditure of tax dollars, Langford is borrowing $25 million to fund the bulk of the $32 million projected cost of the interchange!

You are what you do, according to the old adage. And what Langford is doing here is abusing taxpayers by subsidizing infrastructure expansion for developers. In a sense, so are the feds, who are ultimately responsible for the hysterical behavior of the RCMP.

Nor should we forget the province, which enjoyed favorable reportage recently for introducing a new tax on gasoline and home heating fuel.

A new tax, however, isn’t a climate-change plan. Budget documents, for example, show fossil-fuel consumption is expected to rise in the immediate term. Also, provincial subsidies for oil and gas exploration are increasing to more than $300 million this year. So the trough just keeps getting bigger.

Stanford entomologist Paul Erlich once remarked to me that “Politicians go where they are shoved.” Right now the big shove comes mainly from the corporate elite of big oil and gas, auto manufacturers, and developers.

That’s how we got into this fix and it’s what’s keeping us there.

Comments

Hello Bill!

Get a map, a really big map, of BC. The geographical surface area of the province is a mind-boggling 234,400,000 acres. This value does not include the area of coastal waters or the area of the water to the boundry of int. territorial limit. Since the province is not flat, the topographical area is actually much larger.

From the population distribution map, you will also note that most of the province is unhabitated, like ca 99% (if the area of the water bodies are included). In short, BC is a pristine wilderness most of which is inaccessible by man, beast or float plane!

Like all species of plants and animals, we have a biological right to adapt to or modify our environment and to use the resources therein to improve our biological fitness so as to enhance our chance of reproductive success. (Incidentally, this sentence and its variations usually occur in the first of paragraph of every thesis of the biology grad students that I have reviewed). And there is no guarantee that the human species will survive. A highly infectious, contagious and acutely virulent virus could emerge from a remote jungle and wipe us all out. If a sure-fire cure of or method of prevention of AIDS is never developed or discovered, this might well happen in southern Africa.

The Protestors: Do these guys have real jobs and careers, a family and children, and contribute to the well-being of their communities and society? Of course not! They are just a bunch of lazy lowlifes who have no useful job skills and who seek to avoid real life and hard physical labor like tying rebar on the thirteenth floor of a highrise under construction when it 2 deg C and pouring down rain!

Why these guy get bent out of shape over few trees is beyond all reason. If the trees are Doug. firs or western red cedars, it is very likely that these trees are infected with root rot and infested with carpenter ants.

"Do these guys have real jobs and careers, a family and children, and contribute to the well-being of their communities and society? Of course not!"

I'll have to ask you again:

Is Naomi Oreskes fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

Huh? Never met the lady so I don't know.

Then, is James Hansen fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

If one does get a map, and looks at the area in question instead of other faraway areas (as Harold Pierce did), one finds this is a heavily populated area with lots of development already and we could use some green space of the sort they're trying to develop, at our expense, for the benefit of developers.

However, if the developers would like to relocate their project several hundred miles north, in the empty places Harold Peierce is talking about, I don't think we'd have any problem with that. For some reason I don't see the developers doing that. And they still shouldn't do it with our dollars; use their own.

Some of us are willing to put our jobs on hold or risk them altogether to take a stand when it really counts. I have done it myself, although not recently, spending days -- weeks -- at a time doing volunteer work, attending daytime council meetings and protests. You choose your battles, and when it's required, you stand up to be counted. I applaud these protesters, and I hope their families & employers back them all the way.

Fern Mackenzie

These folks have job and employers? They must have really nice bosses that let take a lot of time to hang in trees!

Tell you what. I have more job skills than you'd imagine. I just don't use them to further genocide and destruction. I use them to grow my own food, build my own shelters and fix things that the true lazy class throws away because it has a broken gear or something simple that confuses them.
If tying rebar on the 13th floor of a highrise building were the pinacle of human achievement I would jump right off that 13th floor right now, because it is these skyscraps and condos and highways that are making life unbearable for thousands of creatures, poisoning the watersheds and devouring land that people need to survive.
Once again, put your map away and put on your hiking boots. Come out to Langford and see the development that is being built on the city's drinking water area. See the highway that is being built through the provinces most rare and threatened ecosystem. Meet the First Nations people whose grandparents are being dug up. Look at the toxic homes that are already falling apart.

All this happening on land my parents generations fought for years to protect as greenspace. For very good reason. But that doesn't matter to the super-wealthy. They'll build whereever they want. This is not your average development. That's where you're all confused. this is the worst kind of development build in the worst possible place, and the collusion that occurred to let it happen is more shocking than you'd imagine.

Thanks for speaking up, Kalanu. I knew nothing about this development until this story was posted. Someone who states, as Harold Pierce has somewhere on this blog site, that it's not possible to have "too much money", needs some serious exposure to the real world.

Fern Mackenzie

"Also, provincial subsidies for oil and gas exploration are increasing to more than $300 million this year. So the trough just keeps getting bigger."

As usual, you never mention where you get this information on "subsidies" for oil and gas in BC. But here are a few little facts you also neglected to mention:

Payments to the province via royalties, bonuses and fees from the oil and gas industry (2006): $2.1 billion

Capital spending by oil and gas industry in BC (2006): $6.1 billion -- (that's for exploration and development alone, and doesn't include production)

Direct and indirect employment by BC oil and gas industry: 40,000 jobs

So let's see ... an alleged $300 million "subsidy" versus $2.1 billion in revenues. Offhand, I'd say that's a pretty healthy return on investment for the province. And that doesn't even take into account the revenues from income taxes or corporate taxes directly resulting from oil and gas activity in BC.

Just where did you think the money to keep idiotic hippy protesters and associated malefactors supplied with welfare cheques came from?

"Just where did you think the money to keep idiotic hippy protesters and associated malefactors supplied with welfare cheques came from?"

I guess I'll ask you too:

Is Naomi Oreskes fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

Number of gigatonnes of greenhouse gases emitted by this industry: God knows how much.

Effect of additional GHGs on the Earth's climate: at least a few tenths of a degree by the end of the century.

"Number of gigatonnes of greenhouse gases emitted by this industry: God knows how much."

So you admit you have no idea what you are talking about.

"Effect of additional GHGs on the Earth's climate: at least a few tenths of a degree by the end of the century."

Okay, so in spite of having just admitted you have no idea what you are talking about, you are completely convinced the oil and gas industry will be responsible for a global apocalypse -- in this case, the "apocalypse" being a hypothetical increase in temperature of "a few tenths of a degree" in 100 years.

Oh dear. What ever shall we do?

Tell you what -- since you are so completely convinced of the world's impending doom, you will immediately switch off your computer, shut off your furnace, water heater, and hydro, and then wander off into the bush to subsist on nuts and berries until you die of natural causes.

What? You're still here? You're not going to do that? Oh well, I guess you weren't serious after all.

Thanks for setting the record straight.

Well, if you are serious about your anti-enviro conlibertarianism, you'd be out there founding your own company and raking in the big bucks as CEO, instead of sitting at the keyboard writing about how tough you are.

(Unless, of course, being a keyboard commando is your day job. In which case, get an honest living, because you'll need one soon.)

By the way, is Naomi Oreskes fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

A more effective way of reducing GHG emissions would be to turn off the oil sands.

Also, I don't have a number for the GHGs emitted by the oil sands. That's why I said "God knows how much." This number, however, is very high and is essentially criminal, in that with the current state of the science of climate change (i.e. the consensus view that the planet is warming and it is primarily due to human activities which emit large amounts of GHGs), the proliferation of oil sands production INCREASING GHGs is like a cancer cell spreading throughout the body, which at some point will reach a trigger point killing the body. The increasing GHGs will not kill the planet, but will destroy much of the life on this planet.

"A more effective way of reducing GHG emissions would be to turn off the oil sands."

Brilliant solution, and completely without any undesirable consequences, whatsoever. Well, if you don't consider economic collapse, and freezing in the dark an "undesirable consequence".

"Also, I don't have a number for the GHGs emitted by the oil sands."

Your complete ignorance on that subject has been previously admitted in no uncertain terms. But thanks for acknowledging that again.

"This number, however, is very high"

So, let me get this straight -- without any regard for facts, you have, apropos of nothing, decided this number "is very high". That stands in stark contrast to your standards of evidence, ie., very low.

" and is essentially criminal,"

Criminal? Uh, what law is being broken? If you honestly believe some "criminal" act is taking place, then I'd suggest you contact the RCMP, 'K' Division (1 800 222 TIPS (8477)).

"in that with the current state of the science of climate change"

Here's a sample of your "current state of the science":

"I don't have a number for the GHGs emitted by the oil sands." ... "God knows how much."

Yes, let's destroy our economy based on that exacting "science".

"the consensus view that the planet is warming and it is primarily due to human activities which emit large amounts of GHGs"

And, yet, no such "consensus" exists, no matter how many times you keep repeating that mantra.

"the proliferation of oil sands production INCREASING GHGs is like a cancer cell spreading throughout the body, which at some point will reach a trigger point killing the body. The increasing GHGs will not kill the planet, but will destroy much of the life on this planet."

If you honestly believed that, you would stop using anything and everything connected to fossil fuels in any way. You haven't, though, so we can safely assume that you don't actually believe your own hysterical prediction.

You really don't have a leg to stand on, do you, Rob?

If you reread your comments, and my responses, it's quite obvious which of us doesn't have a leg to stand on. But I'm sure anyone with the reading skill of a four-year-old can figure that out.

You, on the other hand ...
Good Lord, how daft can a person be?

All your responses are chock full of fallacies. Quit reading Faux News and Terence Corcoran and actually read some science.

'"Also, I don't have a number for the GHGs emitted by the oil sands."

Your complete ignorance on that subject has been previously admitted in no uncertain terms. But thanks for acknowledging that again.

"This number, however, is very high"

So, let me get this straight -- without any regard for facts, you have, apropos of nothing, decided this number "is very high". That stands in stark contrast to your standards of evidence, ie., very low.'

Rob, I'm interested in what the actual numbers of this are, but I'm too busy making money and stomping polar bears to look into it myself. Could you please look it up for me and post it on here? I'm interested to know and may actually base a life-changing decision on your findings.

The future of our children lie with your journalistic skills.

"Then he followed up by instructing municipal lawyers to consider legal action against the penniless protesters."

Let's meet the leader of these "penniless protestors", shall we? I present to you one Ingmar Lee.

From his personal website, this "penniless protestor" appears to have no discernable source of employment or funds. Yet, miraculously, he seems to have both the ample liesure time and budget to travel to exotic locals around the globe, organize extra-legal trespassing activities, and publish his bug-house crazy leftist thoughts.

In short, Ingmar Lee appears to be on permanent vacation -- and not just from reality.

Folks might particularly enjoy this representative sampling of his moonbat antisemitic ravings about Zionist conspiracies and George Bush -- a true exemplar of the tinfoil hat medium:

http://www.ingmarlee.com/content/view/109/1/

The best part is that he's a dead ringer for the brain-damaged and semi-retarded character Cyril O'Reilly, from the HBO prison drama series "Oz":

http://www.magma.ca/~klaman/cyrilanswer.jpg

...and by the way... is Naomi Oreskes fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

These guys are something else! They seem to be trying to jump-start Armageddon (just plug in Dubya for the Anti-Christ & you're on your way!!)
http://www.newamericancentury.org/

Fern Mackenzie

Gosh, Rob, just imagine... there are people who do not think money is all-important.

Hello VJ!

You can never have enough money. The more money you have, the more freedom you have. When you have vast wealth, you have complete freedom and are beholding to no one. Vast wealth also ensures your survival. History teaches that goverments cannot be trusted to provide adequate health and welfare for the old folks.

"History teaches that goverments cannot be trusted to provide adequate health and welfare for the old folks."

Oh, I thought this was a discussion on environmentalism. Is Harold Pierce now in the business of dishing out unrelated conlibertarian talking points?

And Harold, is James Hansen fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

The love of money is the root of all evil. How about that?

Of course, money's only evil when it's in the hands of Al "Fat Al Bore the Great Satan" Gore. Or James Hansen. Or Naomi Oreskes. ...

When money's in the hands of Donald Rumsfeld, or ExxonMobil, or John Coleman, or Christopher Monckton, it suddenly becomes a force of infinite virtue.

(Personally, I'm not opposed to people making money as long, as they don't make the climate go to pot or do any of the other things that make people's lives suck.)

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

Go to RealClimate, plug in Harold Pierce and see what you get...the man has had more strips torn off him than a cheese snack.
Oh, and Harold, about your post on RealClimate (May 30, 2007 6:17 AM "The Weirdest Millennium"), just how many jet engined air transports were used in World War 2?

None! The main reasons the Allies won WW II is that the Axis Powers ran out gas and resources. The Allies produced war material faster than they could destroy it.

In the attack on Pearl Harbour, the Japanese did not destroy the numerous fuel storage tanks. If they had attacked these, the fuel would have flowed into the harbour and every ship would have been destroyed as well as the harbour itself. There was so much fuel(bunker fuel) in the tanks that it would have burned for weeks.

"Gosh, Rob, just imagine... there are people who do not think money is all-important."

Uh-huh. If money is so unimportant to these layabouts, then they should be more than happy to refund taxpayers, with interest, for every last cent of welfare they have parasitically leached from us.

Oh? What's that? I guess this "money is not all-important" philosophy only applies when they are receiving it, in exchange for nothing, from taxpayers, or Daddy's trust fund. Yeah, I thought so.

But money is not the only thing for which these faux-hemians express their haughty disdain. No, I'm not just referring to their loathing of soap, razor blades, hair cuts, and an honest job -- but also their utter contempt for the democratic process.

These lil' dictators always claim to have such a deep devotion to their various hare-brained causes -- just not enough devotion to do anything so tedious as convince a sufficient number of citizens of the merits of their cause, through rational argument, or successfully run for public office.

These phoney "I don't care about money" hippies remind me of a toddler throwing a temper-tantrum in a shopping mall, when they don't get their way immediately. It's entirely appropriate that they be given a "time out" in the local jail. Perhaps it will give them an opportunity to reflect on their bloated sense of self-importance and entitlement? But then, I'm an optimist.

rob, why don't you simply tell us whether Naomi Oreskes is fat?

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Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

I am one of the 'pennyless protestors' who spent 10 months of his life in the trees to bring this issue to light. I am not on welfare and I survived on donated food and dumpsters for the time I was out there.
Those who critisize what we are doing have no idea what they are talking about because they have not seen this land, they don't know what value it has to the people here, to the watershed and to the region as a whole. they don't know anything that the mainstream media isn't telling them. they don't realize that tis was once indigenous land until it was stolen and declared crown land, and they it was illegally transferred over to the logging companies to destroy and when they were finished they sold it for cheap to their friends, and set about to descrecate gravesites, drive the salmon into extinction and cause more environmental damage than any development in recent history has.
At least I believe in something. At least I was out there doing something while y'all just sit there in front of our computers insulting other people who believe in things and fight for things. I know what we are doing here is right, and your cheap insults dont serve you in the least.
Democracy is dead, friend. Democracy is letting genocide happen right in front of our eyes. democracy is letting the politicians sell off the land to their close friends and decide for themselves that it is not conflict of interest. You go vote. I'd rather make change.
the real dictators live on a sacred mountain they stole from the indigenous people and run over anyone who challenges them.
If being a productive member of society means contributing to the destruction of all we hold sacred, then I denounce your society. I stand for the continued health of this planet and it's life, not wholesale destruction of the most important sites. Get off your couch and have a look at what is happening out there. When your water is undrinkable and the air is unbreathable don't come knocking on my door.
Entitlement? What entitles you to rape and destroy the earth so that you can read the sports page and eat your poisoned cattle and knock your little white ball around what used to be an ecosystem? What entitles this system to kill off the native populations so that they can have ski hills and golf courses. Wake the hell up.

Kalanu, Rob is a troll who wastes his time writing insults about his betters.

I'm sorry your group wasn't able to stop the tree destroyers, and I do thank you for the effort you made.

We have to keep getting the message out that our current way of life is killing us.

"We have to keep getting the message out that our current way of life is killing us."

Even if all the evidence completely contradicts your claim. Human lifespan is longer than at any point in history, and population is larger than it has ever been. To the contrary, we are thriving quite nicely.

So you go ahead and "keep getting the message out" -- even though it's obviously a false message.

"I survived on donated food and dumpsters for the time I was out there."

Right, so you're a homeless person. And this distinguishes you from any other crack-head on East Hastings, how?

"Those who critisize what we are doing have no idea what they are talking about because they have not seen this land, they don't know what value it has to the people here, to the watershed and to the region as a whole."

Of course. You are the only one who knows what they're talking about. Anyone who disagrees is an idiot.

"they don't know anything that the mainstream media isn't telling them."

Yeah, okay. We get the picture. Everyone but you is a moron.

"they don't realize that tis was once indigenous land until it was stolen and declared crown land, and they it was illegally transferred over to the logging companies to destroy and when they were finished they sold it for cheap to their friends, and set about to descrecate gravesites, drive the salmon into extinction"

Okay, Ward Churchill. You're going to straighten out all of us "little Eichmanns". Do you have anything to say that isn't right out of the radical leftist manifesto, or do you prefer simply foaming at the mouth?

"and cause more environmental damage than any development in recent history has."

So you are saying this is worse than Chernobyl, or the Three Gorges Dam project in China? You don't exaggerate much do you? You just keep telling yourself whatever you have to, to inflate your overweening sense of self-importance.

"At least I believe in something. At least I was out there doing something"

Any Hitler Youth or Iranian Revolutionary Guard could say the same thing. Except, you weren't even "doing something" -- other than making the most empty, lazy, self-agrandizing symbolic gesture, good only for pumping up your pathetic sense of self-esteem.

"I know what we are doing here is right"

No room for doubt whatsoever, eh? The true mark of a delusional fanatic.

"Democracy is dead, friend."

Well, if that's what some loser who eats out of a dumpster says, it must be true. You seem to confuse the notion that democracy not serving your extreme fringe beliefs with democracy not functioning. Here's a hint: nobody else is on board with your moonbat program. Obviously you don't like democracy -- your ideas are unpopular (for good reason, in this case), so naturally you could never achieve your aims. That being the case, I'd say democracy is working just fine.

But I'm glad you openly admit your contempt for democracy. It exposes you for what you really are -- a petulant, inarticulate little fascist.

"Democracy is letting genocide happen right in front of our eyes."

Oh, yeah! Right on cue. Do you have any idea what you are talking about? Or do you have some obscure new definition of the word "genocide" -- one in which the native population of BC has literally more than doubled between 1982 and 2005?

I've never met you, but just from letting you rant, you have exposed yourself for an utter fool. You are either high on dope, or you come by being a half-wit naturally. We live in a free society, in which you are free to be an odious bufoon -- just don't act surprised when you open your mouth, people respond by mocking you.

"You go vote. I'd rather make change."

Or, more likely, beg for it.

So great, not only do you have no regard for our societies democracy, you also feel yourself quite free to ram your cockamamy ideas down our throats by undemocratic means. You don't belong in jail -- you belong in a North Korean labour camp.

"If being a productive member of society means contributing to the destruction of all we hold sacred, then I denounce your society."

Denounce away, junior. We have probably the easiest society in human history in which to live -- and you lack even the basic wherewithal to function in it. Keep eating out of that dumpster and panhandling. What a pathetic clown.

"When your water is undrinkable and the air is unbreathable don't come knocking on my door."

What door? You eat out of dumpsters, remember? Last time I checked, my water is clean, and my tap water is delicious.

"Entitlement? What entitles you to rape and destroy the earth so that you can read the sports page and eat your poisoned cattle and knock your little white ball around what used to be an ecosystem?"

Uh, aside from the fact that the Earth is neither being "raped" nor "destroyed"? What are you blithering about? You are all heat and no light, but golly, you are strident in your cluelessness.

"What entitles this system to kill off the native populations so that they can have ski hills and golf courses."

Hmm, given that the native population has increased by 102% in the past 25 years, I have to wonder to what native population you are referring? Can you really be that completely ignorant?

What's really hilarious, is that based on your total cluelessness, you just spent a year living in a tree and eating out of a dumpster -- for nothing! Ahahahahahaha!!!!

Priceless.

Please ban this racist lying troll.

So tell us, VJ, what exactly was a "lie" in Rob's comment? How was he being "racist"? I can't see it, and you never mention any specifics.

Is openly mocking the drug-addled blatherings of hippies now considered "racist"?

Sockpuppet.

Their bloated sense of self-importance and entitlement? Oh, please . . .

Fern Mackenzie

Bill.. why are you diffusing desmogblog and its audience with irrelevant minutia. Your post was silly and parochial. It would be better to stick with the desmogblog mission.

Good Job Bill!

Not enough people (especially politicians) in this dispute have talked seriously about the fundamentally unsustainable patterns of development that arise when cities or municipalities expand with a blind commitment to personal automotive transportation, sprawling urbanization and eventual mansionization. There are better ways to develop a city and region that don't grasp onto a historic model which has proven its inefficiencies time and time again. Climate change is as applicable an issue here as it is just about anywhere these days; and local PR spin has me dizzy just trying to keep up with the daily news. So, thank-you De Smog Blog, keep up the good work!

Ethan J,

And see the thing is, the public is waking up to the effects of development, and some developers are even beginning to 'greenwash' their products, installing some energy efficient lightbulbs, low-flow showerheads, better insulation, etc, to reduce 'carbon footprint'. Yet the developments that aren't being brownfielded are plowing through intact eco-systems. Greenspace is a word that means nothing to me. Manicured lawns are greenspace. Golf course is greenspace. I care not about greenspace. I care about intact eco-systems. Intact eco-systems provide life to many lifeforms. Elite Golf course communities provide amusement to a select class of people.
The thing about Bear Mountain resorts is that they aren't even bothering to greenwash. They are ex-hockey thugs and golf pros who dispute that climate change is occuring or that biodiversity is needed on the planet and scoff at anyone who suggests they think about the impacts of their actions.
You want rational arguements? That's what this entire campaign is built on. This development is textbook example of the most shockingly blatent destruction of endangered eco-systems, first nations sacred sites, rare karst limestone cave systems, delicate watercourses, and the city's drinking water!
The conflicts of interest pile up and pile up every day and yet what good has democracy done? The people of Langford got suckered when they voted these clowns in. The people of BC were suckered every election since the province stole the land from the Coast Salish people. (Who by the way never ceded their territory, and if one does their research will see still have the only legal right to this land.)
But it isn't about rational arguement to the armchair critic. It's about infamatory retoric meant to belittle and insult anyone who doesn't agree. It's about justifying the enablement and empowerment of state sactioned genocide and destruction. Yes, when you destroy an indigenous communities ability to feed itself by developing on their hunting and gathering grounds and poisoning the salmon-bearing streams with toxic run-off from the golf course, you kill the people off, and anywhere else that would be considered genocide. But the people committing the genocide are re-writing the laws and defining what is and what isn't land theft and genocide.
Any questions?

"Coast Salish people. (Who by the way never ceded their territory, and if one does their research will see still have the only legal right to this land.)

Any questions?"

Yeah, what are you still doing here?

Please ban Rob the racist.

Hi, VJ.
I agree that Rob is an obnoxious racist and, worse, a moron with a keyboard and time on his hands -- but banning him wouldn't help. There are hoards of "Robs" out there who regularly flock to his own blog and others like it, keeping that diatribe going whether we like it or not. In a way, it's important to remember that the Robs of this world are out there, and that they really believe what they are saying. No rational argument will sway them. They could see the evidence with their own eyes and would still believe it to be contrived. He's not a liar -- he's simply incapable of believing himself to be wrong.

I don't think these guys are deliberately lying so much as holding to a firm belief founded in fear that they must be right, or else everything that they believe in, cling to and hold dear will start shifting beneath their feet. Their imagination is so limited that they can't foresee a future without oil as anything but a grim return to a kind of pre-industrial squalor. "The Big Picture" is beyond the capacity of their vision, so they perceive it to be a commie plot for global domination.

I feel very sorry for these people. They aren't skeptics, because they are incapable of critical thought. Careful reading of any of Rob's long-winded responses reveals nothing but the most literal, superficial understanding of the issues -- no depth, no subtlety, no over-arching awareness of the complexities.

So let him rant. It keeps him off the streets. Meanwhile people like Kalanu are willing to actually DO something about their convictions.

Fern Mackenzie

Fern Mackenzie of Ketchum, Idaho, wrote:

"He's not a liar -- he's simply incapable of believing himself to be wrong."

Oh, well at least that's a step up from your call me a racist (though you are short on specifics, as usual).

So what am I wrong about? That there is nothing to substantiate the claim of some imaginary "genocide"? That the native population in BC has grown by 102% in 25 years?

Come on, step up to the plate. Tell me where I'm wrong -- or are you just going to hurl some laughable insults and run away, as usual. Now's your chance. Let's see what you've got.

I don't much like the use of the word genocide; but it arguably can apply to Canada's treatment of First Nations in many cases. It definitely applies to the US's treatment of them in the Trail of Tears, the Indian Wars, etc. Canada certainly has implemented racist government policies against First Nations.

I could spend a lot of time telling you how various Canadian government policies affected the First Nations, but why should I waste any time on you, Rob? Read a couple of books about the residential schools. You could start with J.R. Miller's Shingwauk's Vision.

"I don't much like the use of the word genocide;"

No kidding, but I think that has more to do with the fact that you clearly have no idea what the word means.

"but it arguably can apply to Canada's treatment of First Nations in many cases."

And yet you don't bother to make the argument.

"It definitely applies to the US's treatment of them in the Trail of Tears, the Indian Wars, etc."

Aside from the fact that isn't what hippy-boy claims he was protesting in the first place (he's pretty vague on that point, in any case), it's a little late for that. But why stop there? Why not get indignant about Roman treatment of Gauls? Progressives seem to enjoy the warm aura of moral superiority -- especially when safely removed from the actual events, preferrably by centuries.

"Canada certainly has implemented racist government policies against First Nations."

Absolutely. That is still the case. You can't undo past racist policies by imposing even more of them. But that misses the point -- still no genocide here.

"I could spend a lot of time telling you how various Canadian government policies affected the First Nations, but why should I waste any time on you, Rob? Read a couple of books about the residential schools. You could start with J.R. Miller's Shingwauk's Vision."

Gee, thanks for "raising my conciousness", VJ. Since my father-in-law attended a residential school, maybe I'll ask him, instead? Though, oddly, he never seems as outraged about it as you sanctimoniously pretend to be.

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A study published by Geophysical Research Letters sheds new light on the connection between California's epic drought and human-induced climate change.

The study carries the decidedly wonky title, “Probable causes of the abnormal ridge accompanying the 2013-14 California drought: ENSO precursor and anthropogenic warming footprint.”

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