Pro protesters

Politically active people should be complimented, not reprimanded

Re: John Harding’s editorial in the Jan. 15 edition of The NEWS.

The editorial, or at least one sentence, heaps scorn on individuals who care enough about the quality of life on our planet to take time out of their busy lives to drive to peaceful protests to voice their opinions about the risks associated with ever increasing oil pipelines.

These concerned citizens are telling corporate executives who want to build their federal Conservative government-supported pipelines through B.C. to the Pacific the known, possibly catastrophic, risks of piping bitumen from Alberta to the ocean. Rather than mocking people by criticizing them for driving their cars, many of whom car-share, we should be praising them for taking an interest and caring enough to provide valuable insight into the debate about the future of Canada and the quality of life, not only for humans but all species on land and sea with whom we share this tiny planet.

No matter how efficient federal Conservative ministers claim current technologies might be to mitigate an oil disaster in our waters, there is always the human factor. Let’s assume this heavy crude can be piped to the Coast and transferred aboard supertankers without spillage. What are the consequences then? We constantly witness through social media the Chinese people already suffering the effects of horrendous air pollution related to fossil fuels.

Are these pipeline projects safe and healthy for our small planet and all the species which live on it? Where are the visionaries, the leaders to wean us off our addiction to oil? We need new leadership to guide the way toward a brighter, safer, cleaner world, not those who are bringing us back into darker ages.

Some groups, such as the Communities to Protect our Coast  (The NEWS, Jan. 15) are demonstrating by practical means we can flourish in a green economy. Perhaps federal Conservative ministers can get out of their comfortable limousines in Ottawa, come out to Vancouver Island and witness these citizens leading and working for a better quality of life here in Parksville/Qualicum Beach. We should compliment people who participate in protests and other events because they do care enough to move us toward a future with a flourishing, green economy, not heap scorn upon them.

Paul Connolly

Parksville

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