Posts Tagged ‘gas’

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Sustainable Environment in Canada: Coming Down the Pipelines

12/09/2011

I have suggested in several of my past posts, here & here, that sustainability in Canada is a really slippery slope, especially when it comes to the law.  And right now, it most certainly appears that oil & gas pipelines are higher on the sustainability agenda than the actual environment & truly erring on the side of caution.  It was announced in the media that the Harper government has backed off a very good initiative for properly managing the oceans in British Columbia a few days ago.

There are a few important things to note about this article and what it points to:

1) “environmental groups are using U.S. money to try to thwart development projects including Enbridge Inc’s $5.5-billion proposal to pump Alberta bitumen crude by pipeline to the West Coast for Asia-bound tankers”

What is sustainability in Canada?Anyone else find it aggravating that to keep on producing & expanding the oil & gas industry does not seem to align itself with what many believe to be a more sustainably developed world? Electric cars & solar power (along with a slew of other truly eco-saving energies) can easily be made available.  But hey, its always about the money almost everywhere seems.

Oh ya, and don’t forget about how it seems to be of great concern that environmental groups are thwarting (gas, oil) development projects. Holy human waste, batman but isn’t it effectively the agenda of environmental groups to save the environment? I am losing my mind here. Are we such oil & gas addicts that we cannot use fantastic alternatives & solutions right out of nature? We know this continued use of oil & gas & its development kills nature.  I’m smelling some human waste issues here that point to a certain kind of green – called greenbacks.

2) “The federal government’s letter, dated Sept. 1, 2011, declared that Ottawa is walking away from the $8.3-million funding agreement because it wants an oceans plan for the north coast based on a more “focused” and “sustainable and effective” process.”

Four words. “Focused”. “Sustainable”. “Effective”. “Process”.

Again, I will stress, that if one “FOCUSES”, it can be seen in the Federal Sustainable Development Act of Canada, the terms ‘sustainable’ & ‘sustainability’ are purely about “the capacity of a thing, action, activity, or process to be maintained indefinitely“.  In our government’s point of view & under the law, because the oil & gas industry are actions or activities or processes (that have already been around & will be for future generations!) to be maintained indefinitely. I will also stress that the precautionary principle is again, just a principle and/or a guide.  It is not specifically written into the legislation. I encourage you to look it up for yourself & read the Act.  Google it. Bing it. Share it. But make sure you don’t just take my word for granted.

Also, please view PNCIMA’s website.  Familiarize yourself with it. This plan has a steering committee comprised of government officials as well as First Nations & others.  First Nations are important & they comprise a large number of the population in BC. We also cannot forget that irregardless of any stereotypes, First Nations people understand nature & its circle, of that I have not doubt.  I have worked with First Nations in Ontario, talked to them.  I know what is going on.  This type of support withdrawal is nothing new to First Nations, but it is a big slap & direspect to them here as far as their involvement & it is indicative of control over their future involvement.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

If we really want to save our beautiful environment in Canada, let’s use some logic here.  It is not unreasonable for us to want to wean ourselves off of oil & gas & other dirty methods of energy production & to start the stoppage of these kinds of developments.  There are alternatives.  Are they at the top of the sustainable list in Canada?  I’m just not seeing that really.

What is coming is a lot more of oil, gas etc. developments unless we do something.

Roman historian & poet Juvenal posed this question:

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Translation:  Who will guard the guards themselves?

It is up to up to us to work within the system & fight for the proper wording & defense of our environment, animals, food, water etc. because sustainable seems somewhat a Trojan horse.

We hope & want & believe sustainability will save our environment. In global political economical terms, its all really about money, technology & resources.

But what do I know?

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Sustainability in Canada 101 – It’s Applied to Oil & Gas?!!!

21/08/2011

First, I love renewable, green  & nature.  The idea of sustainable is fantastic, but it may not be as it appears to be, within Canada’s Federal Sustainable Development Act.  I have found ‘irregularities’, or at least, that may be my interpretation.  Which is exactly the point of this post.

With recent events & arrests occurring as a result of people peacefully protesting the KXL Pipeline, I have been trying to find any agreement, policy or exclusion that allows the oilsands & gas fracking by companies to be deemed “sustainable” in Canada.

What I have found is what, on the surface, could appear to some as an oxymoron of terms and legislation used by the Feds.  Clearly, there is something funky with interpretations here:

Oil and natural gas account for most of the energy consumed in Canada. While the Government of Canada is committed to developing alternative fuels and renewable energy, it also wants to ensure the sustainable development of our important oil and gas reserves.

You can find the link here.  Look at the left hand side of the page on the menu.  Note that the selection is entitled “Sustainable Gas & Oil”.

How can this be, you may ask, since sustainable is supposed to be protective of the environment, isn’t it?

Well, that’s true in “principle” or an idea branded into our thoughts. Which leads into what is termed a definition in the Federal Sustainable Development Act: the “precautionary principle”.

The word “principle” in itself, has a number of definitions, which includes a favourite, “assumption”.  When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.

And as stated, the “precautionary principle” is merely defined in the FSDA.  The Act itself is ‘guided’ by this principle.  If its a guide, it doesn’t necessarily have any real power.  That’s where the definitions of “sustainability” & “sustainable development” themselves become really interesting.  Under the FDSA, these two terms are defined without pairing, including, using, inserting any words in reference to protecting the environment.

Maybe I am just plain old ignorant here, but when agreements, legislation, contracts etc. are broken & then argued by lawyers in court, its the words & their applications within these, that are the main focus.  If “sustainability” means “means the capacity of a thing, action, activity, or process to be maintained indefinitely” and “sustainable development” means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, I really don’t see how it really protects our environment except that I will have to “assume” that to some degree, the “precautionary principle” is being applied with respect to the Tarsands and gas fracking?

It is very important to note that the use of “sustainable” “sustainability” and “sustainable development” is all over the subsections & laws within the FDSA.  However, the “precautionary principle” isn’t even mentioned once within the actual subsections of the FDSA (how convenient, really), it is only demonstrated under the “Interpretation” section, under “Definitions”.  Defining something doesn’t make it law unless its actually made law.  Don’t believe me? Read the Act yourself & tell me if I am just plain old ignorant or blind as a bat.

So, to me, its all about branding & misleading information.  Take a look at how the Feds paint a pretty picture of what they want you to think “sustainability” means because they probably bank on the fact that most won’t go so far as to actually learn the legislation or how it can, might, may be applied.  I mean, I can also “recognize” something or someone. Doesn’t mean that just cause I give it or that person recognition that I will include, use or apply what I have “recognized”.  It doesn’t say its the actual law, again.  But it does give the appearance, or “recognition” of being environmentally concerned.

And when we get down to the use of “sustainable” paired with “oil & gas” on the Feds website, this could be evidence of what I have been trying to say.  We are being misled about what “sustainable” means, because if you look at the greater picture, it is really a very clever way of creating as much economy around our resources as possible, for the greater good of the “public interest.”

I commend the activists & real people who have been peacefully protesting against the TransCanada – KXL Pipeline.  To be arrested for actually supporting the real definition of the “precautionary principal”:

“means the principle that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation”

Are you wondering now what “Sustainable Oil & Gas” really means?  Because, call me ignorant, drilling up more oil & fracking for more gas are “threats of serious or irreversible damage” and will only cause immense “environmental degradation”.  I don’t think our Federal Government interprets it that way.

But what do I know?

As an addendum, please vote “NO” on this CBC Poll, which asks the question, “Are you in favour of the oilsands pipeline?” => PIPELINE POLL

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