Sierra Club Blog Posts
Let’s pretend there was no BP oil spill. No explosion killing eleven offshore workers. No waves of viscous and pungent grease choking wetlands and sensitive wildlife breeding grounds. No sticky end to the Gulf fishing season, with the portent of immense lasting damage.
Would we still be discussing the hazards of offshore drilling and transport?
Sure, albeit in a very limited way. After all, there is always a deeply concerned minority on issues like these.
But now the conversation is more urgent, more passionate. The minority may gradually, finally be turning into a majority.
Yet the problem is far larger than this disaster alone. In fact, it’s bigger than “BP” or “oil” altogether. The danger lies in human energy needs, and in the way we’re trying to meet them.
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Monday, May 24, Day one: Well after that big Post I made about success and failure, I went ahead and failed right off the bat. I got as far as just outside Lumby, and got a flat tire. So I pumped it up enough to get me back to town, changed it out, and wouldn't you know it; a second flat tire. This, coupled with the fact that I had forgotten a few things, forced me to turn back, and call my girlfriend for a ride home. She was most gracious about it, and although I went to sleep miserable over my poor start, I knew it would have been a lot worse without her to cheer me up.
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Greetings my fellow Canadians, from sunny Medicine Hat! Yes it is true, I have indeed conquered my own worst fears of failure to pass through British Columbia, and come out the other side of the Rockies proud of even the small accomplishment I have gained thus far. And it has been a challenge almost every day. I had forgotten how sore and tight you wake up on a bike trip, even if you stretch after your butt finally departs the seat. The first two hours of the day show little progress, as you work to shake the stiffness from your joints and muscles.... Read more »
As someone who is committed to environmental sustainability, I hear all too often that my ideas stand in the way of “progress.” In fact, some people set up the environmental question as a choice between two options fundamentally at odds with one another. On the one hand lies preservation of the environment, an option chosen at our peril because it implies economic collapse and a reversion of some kind. On the other hand lies the magical world of progress – a smarter, richer, more efficient world where all of our needs can be better met, forever and ever.
Needless to say, I think this assessment is a little out to lunch.
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Every single step forward for mankind that I know of has been made by people, both famous and not, who have attempted to change the world around them. Socrates and Plato attempted to grasp the concepts of morality, purpose and existence so that society would look inward for the first time and contemplate where it stands. Columbus was trying to find a passage westward to Asia, and although he was unsuccessful, he colonized a new land, which is a triumph he is still celebrated for today. The Wright brothers ushered in a new era of travel when they attempted to fly at the start of the century. And arguably the greatest Canadian hero, Terry Fox, strove to run across Canada. In this he failed, but he is not remembered as such; his marathon of hope brought in millions of dollars for cancer research, and continues to do so to this day.... Read more »
Saturday, May 15
So my scheduled departure day has come and gone and I am still stuck in vernon, waiting to see if my knee is going to be strong enough to make it all the way across canada. Unfortunately, I promised myself that I would not leave until I was back to my pre-injury abilities, and I just am not there yet. So as of now, I will be waiting an extra week and leaving from here (Vernon). Of course that might change as well, but as of now it is the plan. In the meantime, I wish to talk a little about some research I have been doing on the subject of our Nation wide thirst for oil.... Read more »
You would think that while the oil flows into the Gulf of Mexico, Canadian politicians and the phony bureaucracies they setup to rubber stamp approvals for offshore drilling would at least pause and think about the implications of new drilling projects--for public appearances at least.
You would of course be wrong. Chevron started drilling this week in waters a 1000 meters deeper than the Deepwater Horizon disaster. In fact, it is to be the deepest well ever drilled in Canada. No re-examination of procedures or technology. No public hearings.
No nothin' but bold assurances by Danny Williams and Stephen Harper.
I can't tell you how many times I have been told to be reasonable by politicians, industry people and bureaucrats over the years.
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To all concerned and curious Sierra Club members. Although I have had my page up at sierraclub.ca for almost a week now, I have neglected to post anything on my blog, This is for two reasons. The first is actually pretty silly; I was nervous about what I would say. Since this is such a big event for me, I wanted it to be sufficiently... fulfilling, when I made my first Post. Which leads me to the second reason, Due to a knee injury I sustained while on my 24Hr earth day ride, my departure date, and subsequently the entire trip has been thrown into turmoil. This has been really hard for me, mentally and physically as I struggle with the fact that I can not ride until it gets better, lest I should re-injure it. Because of these two things, I have put off what I have most been looking forward too; interacting with the people of Canada. Well no more, I break my silence here and now to fill everyone in on what I am trying to accomplish on my cross Canada ride.... Read more »
As the oil slick winds its way to the Louisiana coast, we have been busy responding to media calls.
"Can it happen here? What would be the impact? Which species would be impacted? What about chemical dispersants? Can they keep oil from reaching the shore?"
I try to answer the questions, but they are the wrong questions, so I tell them. Yes, it could happen here, yes it would be a disaster, but why are we taking such unnecessary risks? This isn't about relief wells and blowout valves; it's about gambling with the future of the planet.
For one horrible year I was Greenpeace International's oil campaigner. My job description required me to “destroy the international oil industry”. Needless to say, I failed miserably.
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