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Kamloops News

JONESIE: You're barking up the wrong end of the pipeline

April 18, 2018 - 12:18 PM


When I was a kid growing up, it seemed like the concept of litter wasn’t fully understood. We’d hit the Tas-T-Mill for a pizza pop or the Five & Dime for snacks and it wasn’t even a consideration to bag it up in the vehicle until a garbage can was found. It was tossed out the window.

I remember ditches and roads and fence-lines and fields full of plastic wrappers, bags and Styrofoam.

Maybe that was just me and mine. But I distinctly remember a series of commercials, national I believe, asking people to take more care, along with the environmental do-gooders who taught me and society how terrible styrofoam and plastic is in the environment.

As a teen, I developed a particular distaste for it, along with, now that I am on it, many things people were doing to the planet and my own neighbourhood. I would excoriate my friends for littering but that caused me problems. Most of the time we were partying and I didn’t want to be the social-conscience downer all the time.

So I quit complaining about it and gave them an alternative: Just give it to me. I spent the better part of three years filling my pockets with other people’s garbage and unloading it into trash bins.

I suppose it’s not as simple with this whole Kinder Morgan pipeline business. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

Rachel Notley, Premier of my home province and John Horgan, Premier of my adopted province are going toe-to-toe, just like neighbours and friends here in B.C.

I don’t know how much of the rhetoric is real and how much is perceived. I’m skeptical of the business interests. Kinder Morgan is a multi-national company that will reap most of the rewards when this pipeline is built. Talk of pushing Albertan and-or Canadian taxpayer money into it makes no sense to me as a fiscal conservative. I abhor corporate welfare, but I also know plenty of families, including many members of my own family, who work in that industry and whose livelihoods depend on it.

It’s not just rich, American former Enron executives.

I am also skeptical of the protesters. I, too, have concerns about protecting the coast, but I also know that nothing proposed, no concessions, no hearings or facts, no spill response, no mitigation would be enough to quell the protest signs.

But they lose me on the climate change concerns. Oh, I don’t doubt we as a species are causing great harm to the planet, but the response is just silly. What’s on the agenda after you stop the pipeline? Prohibiting slaughterhouses to stop people from eating meat? 

They attack the supply-side of fossil fuels, as if that strategy, played to its logical end, would benefit anyone. Attacking Canadian resources is a drop in the worldwide oil barrel and makes no difference to climate change, except that our resource industry and our country will pay a price not paid by OPEC countries, et al.

At the same time I admire their resolve, stopping a Canadian pipeline is low hanging fruit. Head to the Middle East or Russia and stop a couple of pipelines and maybe I’ll get on board.

Now Alberta and Saskatchewan are threatening to stop sending resources to B.C. A typical response from B.C. is: How stupid, that’s what we want in the first place.

But is it? Are we ready for a fossil fuel-free future? Because that’s the linch-pin in the whole argument. We are not ready.

Yesterday, I spent two hours outside an EV charging station for electric vehicles in West Kelowna, the only one in my city. Not one vehicle pulled up. Records for that one station for roughly 40,000 people shows it’s not even used once a day. That appears to be typical for EV charging stations, despite numerous government and other incentives to get you into one.

The demand for oil and gas resources has not been abated. If you want to get us off fossil fuels, start there please. Yes, I am skeptical of business but business is also predictable. If there were no need for it, they would stop producing it.

So let me be productive here. I invite you and encourage you to check out where you can find all the benefits of an electric vehicle, including your options for buying one. There are plenty of them now, if you can afford one. They start at roughly $30,000 all the way to $200,000.

It’s a lot harder work to convince people to change their ways. No, it’s not a simple solution, but it’s the only real solution to the problem.

— Marshall Jones is the managing editor of

News from © iNFOnews, 2018

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