Lots of anger, but no solutions

Where the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline is concerned, it is difficult to argue with the desire to protect the environment.

Re: Geezer Gang and the Northern Gateway Pipeline

There is an old adage that you should be careful what you wish for, the implication of which is that, if not careful, your wish may bring with it unintended consequences. This is not to suggest what you hope for may not be worthy in itself, but that its consequences might diminish if not nullify the good you intended.

Where the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline is concerned, it is difficult to argue with the desire to protect the environment. Unfortunately, a major consequence of wishing the pipeline away — as opposed to proposing measures to ensure its safety — is to also wish away the economic benefits associated with its construction.

The fact that this consequence is rarely, if ever, addressed by those opposed to significant resource development projects such as the pipeline suggests a belief in a bottomless source of funds from which to draw. This, of course, is wishful thinking but unfortunately is all too common in a country as blessed with an abundance of resources as Canada.

The response to this by those opposed to resource development, if the issue is even addressed, is all too often “It’s just the price you pay,” usually without any idea how high that price actually is, who might be required to pay that price, and how others affected might feel about it.

While the intention of dissenters might be noble, it is sometimes difficult for others to see it as anything other than self-centred, little more than a begger-thy-neighbour attitude.

None of this is to suggest environmental issues are unimportant where resource development is concerned. But in an increasingly competitive world economic environment that threatens like never before the wealth of inefficient and hidebound economies, willfully sacrificing the natural advantages of one’s economy is a recipe for economic disaster.

Surely the time of those concerned with environmental and social issues would be better spent attempting to find solutions to resource development issues rather than simply blocking them. Ignoring potentially negative consequences won’t make them go away.

Dave Haynes

Nelson