What Is Wrong With This Picture
For the past few months, I have been working on raising awareness about the proposed oil exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. I’ve heard and read about thousands of people, organizations and communities who are against the project. And yet, the outlook is not good…
And it got me thinking. When I first moved to PEI, I heard about a wind farm project that had been stopped because the local people didn’t think it would look nice. I’ve heard about wind farm projects in Ontario stopped because of people complaining that the noise and vibrations give them headaches. And those complaints have worked, despite the fact that there is no scientific research that supports the complaints (well, looks are a subjective thing, I’ll admit). Actually, the have been many scientific studies showing that wind mills are actually safe for humans. Besides, we put highways and airports in peoples backyards and no one complains. I’m sure you get a lot more noise and vibrations from those than from wind mills!
But, when it comes to offshore drilling, no amount of historical evidence, scientific evidence, petitions or complaining seems to do the trick. 2010 has shown us how damaging off-shore oil spills are. We’ve seen how inept oil companies are at containing and cleaning the mess. We’ve seen how reluctant those same oil companies are at paying to help the people affected by those spills. (In the Gulf of Mexico, the companies wouldn’t even let clean up crews wear protective equipment for fear of how it would look in the press! And now, throughout the Gulf, people involved in the cleanup are showing up sick and dying.) We also have a very good idea of what a spill in the Gulf of St. Lawrence will do to the maritime provinces’ fisheries and tourism industries. And yet, despite all the evidence…
Clean, safe wind farms that can produce truly sustainable energy = BAD. Unsafe, under-regulated offshore drilling that will increase Canada’s carbon footprint = GOOD.
And I know this will change eventually. But, I wonder, what is the source of the problem? Is it our politics, our dependance on oil, our fear of change?
Thanks. I had to get that off my chest.