Advance View: Dam site better than other options

There will be much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth, but the decision to go ahead with the Site C hydroelectric dam project is probably, in balance, the right one.

In a perfect world, the idea of flooding more than 5,000 acres of arable land to generate electricity would be incomprehensible. Many would suggest that any environmental assessors who could have given their stamp of approval to such a project should be made to work in a windowless office in a block of concrete for the rest of their lives.

The provincial leaders who followed the environmental approvals by giving the project the go-ahead will certainly pay a political price from some quarters.

We empathize with the First Nations who will see sacred lands drowned beneath cubic miles of water… if their court challenges are unsuccessful, and that certainly remains to be seen.

Likewise, farmers who will see their livelihood shift as their farms – currently significant agricultural attributes in a province which is comprised of only four per cent arable land – are flooded and rendered useless.

Going ahead with Site C is not a great decision, and maybe not even a good decision.

But it is the best decision, not just from the viewpoint of the obvious economic benefits, but whether we wish to admit it or not, from an environmental position – which is surely what the assessors and politicians had in mind.

We live in a society that gobbles energy, and unless we decide to reduce our consumption, our environmentally sound options are limited. Wind, wave, and sunlight, despite great recent advances, remain too expensive. Too many people are too afraid of nuclear power. We’re not convinced LNG is more than a pipe dream. And coal and oil are too dirty and too dangerous.

Hydroelectricity isn’t perfect, but for now, it’s relatively clean and valuable. And it’s the best we’ve got.

– B.G.

Just Posted

Langley East MLA could testify in logging lawsuit

Rich Coleman has been put on the witness list for a lawsuit against TimberWest.

WATCH: Kwantlen artist paints and installs Indigenous mural in Fort Langley

First Nations painter Brandon Gabriel created a piece of art for Cranberries Naturally.

Surrey woman plans to travel after winning $500,000

Frances Jarvos bought her winning ticket at Willowbrook Mall in Langley

New Langley resident takes to the stage in upcoming musical

Leah Newson is performing in Annie: The Musical in Burnaby starting Feb. 1.

Day 3 brings fourth win for the Langley-based Team BC

Tyler Tardi and squad plays two games Tuesday at the junior curling nationals in Saskatchewan.

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

South Surrey mother didn’t have the intent to kill her daughter: defence

Closing submissions in case of Lisa Batstone underway

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Aldergrove soccer tournament set for March 30-31

2019 edition of the Barry Bauder Memorial Soccer Tournament taking registrations

Most Read