Odd Thoughts: Pipeline filled with red herrings

Bob Groeneveld’s column this week looks at the arguments over oil pipelines.

If an oil spill kills B.C.’s coastal fishery, we could still feast for years on the abundant red herrings in the pipeline debate.

We can start with the assurance that not one oil tanker has sunk off our coast. Of course, Alaska had the same record until the Exxon Valdez.

It’s also supposed to be reassuring that there have been more rail car incidents than pipeline spills. But a single rail car – even an entire train – doesn’t hold as much gunk as a pipeline.

But pipelines are safe, because nearly all serious spills have been caused by human error, not by faulty pipeline technology. It is no doubt reassuring to the dead and dying that it is our stupidity, and thankfully not our technology, that provided them with their agonizing demise.

You can’t complain about the havoc being wreaked on the environment by fossil fuels if you drive a car. Instead, you must worship the heavily subsidized oil economy that ensures dominance of fossil fuels… so that you can’t complain if you drive a car. Environmentalists must make their anti-pipeline points on bicycles so their message remains valid… and doesn’t get too far.

We could have $2 gasoline if Alberta doesn’t get its free ride to the coast? That might force us more quickly to follow Europe into developing safer – and ultimately less costly – energy.

B.C.’s government is being led poorly by an un-elected premier who will do anything to hold onto power… oh wait, that was before John Horgan gained the confidence of the Legislature and became premier at the head of a minority government representing about 60 per cent of voters.

The biggest red herring comes from environmentalists.

Global warming will not destroy the planet. Humanity may be committing suicide. We may take a whole raft of species with us. We may even destroy the biosphere. But the earth will exist until the sun expands into a red giant and swallows it whole in the ultimate global warming.

And neither Mother Earth nor Father Sol will notice.

So go ahead. Run your pipes to the supertankers, and crash them on the rocks of human arrogance.

If we run out of red herrings, there’s always someone with a jug of Kool-Aid to quench your fleeting ego.

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