Thursday, August 07, 2014

New column day

Here, on the need to take downside risks into account in discussing industrial development - especially when our water, land and lives are at stake.

For further reading...
- The CP and Jenni Sheppard report on the many warning signs which should have identified the causes of the Mount Polley spill before it turned a town's water toxic. Stephen Hume rightly concludes that the spill can be traced to a lax regulatory culture. Alison Bailey's report points out that similar ponds set up for larger mining projects could cause even more damage. And Nature Canada discusses the deliberate choice not to require tar sands operators to assess the risk of tailings pond breaches.
- Mike de Souza reports on the "investigation" into the continuing Cold Lake oil spill - which included regulators allowing Canadian Natural Resources Limited to self-report and collect its own evidence. And Laura Broadley's report reminds us about CNRL's stonewalling in even admitting that a problem existed.
- CBC reports on Toledo's water contamination, as well as the earthquakes caused by fracking in the U.S.
- Tanya Lewis discusses the methane releases which are blowing holes in the Siberian landscape. And Brian Merchant notes that similar uncontrolled methane releases from the ocean floor could make climate change far worse than even the most dire scenarios currently under discussion. So while Marc Jaccard may be right to point out the need for honest discussion about climate change, that conversation also needs to factor in the growing dangers of leaving emissions to soar.
- Finally, PressProgress highlights the policy choice to imposing all kinds of new and unassessed risks on an unknowing public - as the Cons fully intend for their lax regulation to cause a wave of applications for projects whose damage to land, water and wildlife would never have been permitted before.

Update: I wasn't previously aware the Mount Polley and Cold Lake incidents were connected by more than lax regulation. But apparently there's another common thread between the two.

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