As much as I love them, people with green leanings tend to be a little pessimistic. Obviously there is a lot to be concerned about in a world with changing climate, out-of-control capitalism, and an ozone layer that occasionally resembles a finely crafted Swiss cheese. But if you constantly bury yourself in bad news, you aren’t the most pleasant person to be around. Case in point: the reaction to the province of BC formally coming out against the Northern Gateway Pipeline.
In case you hadn’t heard, after extensive reviews and lobbying on the part of the oil industry and after extensive backlash from environmental and First Nations Groups, the province has decided that some important questions have not been satisfactorily answered and the government does not support the pipeline at this time. Despite all the qualifiers in that last sentence, this is great news for anyone who would rather not see thousand year old trees cut down and spirit bears displaced in the name of “progress.” You would think that the greenies of the world would be out partying in the streets. Instead, at least from what I have seen and read, there is a reserved sense of mild contentment flowing through the environmental community. Every article detailing the news is careful to note that the pipeline is not dead and that the oil companies are viewing this as “part of the process.”
Granted, cautious optimism is a rational and level-headed reaction to this kind of news. In news as in life, if you get carried away you are generally setting yourself up for a letdown. Sometimes though, rational level-headedness can rob you of hard earned joy. In a fight that is as endless and occasionally overwhelming as environmental protection, it’s important to remember that even small victories are worth celebrating. With that in mind, I think we should all take at least a moment to smile about the fact that a provincial government with a significant stake in a development project has come down on the side of the environment! Despite the promise of jobs and economic growth, a group of politicians has decided that concerns about the environment are worth defending!
Let’s even take it one step further and not think of this as a rare fluke event, but a sign that the tide could be turning. At least on the provincial level, it shows that if you make enough noise, you can and will be heard.
So fellow tree-huggers, let’s put our feet up, drink a pint and revel in a small victory. If not for the noise that the Canadian public has made against this project, we might not even have has this to celebrate. Great job everyone, let’s keep up the good work.