The BC Sierra Club has been at the forefront of eco-activism for almost 50 years. Mark Leiren-Young talks to their campaigns director, Caitlyn Vernon, about protecting the whales, the oceans and her award-winning book about the Great Bear Rainforest.
“This is where the ludicrousness of the way we measure economic progress comes into play: an oil spill is good for GDP”
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“We work to conserve wilderness and wild places within the urgent context of climate change” [02:10]
“What’s really exciting is that a clear majority of British Columbians voted for environmental issues.” [02:59]
“The science is super clear—that, with the 400 tankers that would come as a result of the Kinder Morgan proposal, these endangered whales would likely go extinct. Even without an oil spill. Simply from the sound getting in the way of being able to find their food.” [05:12]
“Anyone who’s had the great honour of seeing one of these whales knows how amazing they are, and I feel like we all have the responsibility to try and protect their homes so they can survive” [06:41]
“When I was around 10 years old I went kayaking around Robson Bight and got pretty close to some killer whales… I was pretty small, they were pretty big, and they were very close to our kayak…it made an impression.” [07:13]
Not just for the whales, also for coastal jobs, and coastal economy, and recreational values, and our climate—there’s so many reasons why [the Kinder Morgan] project is not in the interest of British Columbian’s communities or ecosystems. The whales are one piece of that.” [11:13]
“[The Kinder Morgan Project] faces 19 legal challenges.” [13:47]
“We don’t think it’s just or right that these First Nations should have to devote much-needed community funds to pay for these legal challenges when we all stand to benefit from the outcome.” [13:56]
“In the case of the National Energy Board review, neither Canada nor BC has properly consulted with the first nations. ” [15:35]
‘Even if only one of the cases succeeds, that will be enough to stop the project.” [15:49]
“The Kinder Morgan tankers and the whales go on both sides of the border. This is not just a Canadian issue, this is a cross-border issue.” [18:23]
“The more diversity of people in places speaking up in opposition to this project the greater the financial risk. ” [20:58]=
“There doesn’t need to be a dichotomy between protecting postage-stamp areas over here, and then over here, we’re just going to do status-quo, business as usual. We can look at conservation holistically. We can ensure that outside of conservation areas, business that happens operates within ecological limits. ” [30:55]
“This is where the ludicrousness of the way we measure economic progress comes into play: an oil spill is good for GDP” [35:27]
“There are very few jobs, long-term, that would come from these pipeline and tankers, and it would put 98,000 jobs on the coast alone at risk, plus all jobs that depend on a wild salmon economy.” [36:30]
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