Martha Wickett

Short-sighted Site C

Flooding land should no longer be an option

Fifteen thousand scientists can’t be wrong.

But two political parties can.

A month and a day after 15,000 scientists issued a warning to humanity about the state of the world – just their second in 25 years – Premier John Horgan gave the go-ahead for the continued construction of the Site C hydro-electric dam.

Although figures vary according to who’s providing them, the dam will flood about 6,000 hectares of land, two-thirds of which is agricultural land. The reservoir will be over 80 kilometres long.

The project has been contentious, sparking both opposition and approval. Horgan, in an untenable position, said his decision was based on finances. Four billion dollars would be lost if the project is halted. So could government services and B.C.’s credit rating. Yet the project is already over-budget, up from the initial $8 billion total to 10 or 12.

Farmers, environmentalists and First Nations have been opposed, among others. The Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations are continuing their legal battle by seeking an injunction.

But back to the scientists.

These are not whining fearmongers. According to media reports, the original warning from the Union of Concerned Scientists, signed by 1,700 international scientists, was sent in 1992.

Scientists now warn that “soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.”

They continue: “By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivise renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperiled biosphere.”

They point out that although ozone depletion has declined and more energy is being generated from renewable resources, these are the exceptions in a damaging 25 years. The bad news includes: large increases in ocean ‘dead zones’; millions of acres of forest lost; a population growth of 35 per cent; and a drop in the number of birds, fish, mammals and reptiles by nearly 30 per cent.

Although people argue Site C would provide so-called clean energy for 450,000 homes, at what cost? Other, less destructive, energy sources are available.

In the face of the scientists’ report, First Nations are about to be flooded off their land – they, along with all the other species which have been part of the Peace River Valley for thousands of years. These are the people whose philosophy includes protecting the earth for the seventh generation. This, in itself, should be enough to halt Site C.

@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm hockey enthusiasts recognized by regional association

Minor hockey association adds its congratulations to player, coach

Volatile enrolment leads to loss of teaching staff at three North Okanagan-Shuswap schools

Three quarters of students using online learning program expected to return to class

Shuswap 4-H Club members’ projects up for auction

Second-year club member Kayleigh Stockbruegger selling lambs Olaf and Nacho Cheese

Morning Start: One Year on Uranus Is 84 Years on Earth

Your morning start for Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Kelowna man’s child porn collection ‘traversed the spectrum of depravity,’ court hears

Terry Krock was caught in possession of between 7,000 and 12,000 child porn files

COVID-19 exposure at Merritt pub

The exposure happened on Sept. 19 at the pub of the Coldwater Hotel

UPDATE: Person safely pulled from Vernon creek culvert

First responders from multiple agencies assist in getting individual out of the creek

Police watchdog investigating after man injured in Penticton RCMP cells

Man suffers serious injuries after being lodged into cells at the detachment

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Most Read