A David Suzuki rep rides a gas-powered motorboat to protest oil in Burrard Inlet
Because of the horror in the Gulf of Mexico, any story slicked with oil is golden at the moment. The apparent leak happening at the Chevron refinery in the east Burrard Inlet has been hard to get a handle on this week. Is it just a one-time mess, or is it "seeping"? Is the amount as low as 50 litres, or approximately 1/3 of a barrel of oil, or is it really more? No one knows, but even with media seemingly crawling all over the nearby beach there are no visible traces of oil in the Inlet.
I loved the irony in CTV's story about the refinery leak, where a representative of the David Suzuki Foundation went screaming up the Inlet with a TV crew in a gas-powered motor craft. Yes, we've got to stop this damned oil!! But of course, please don't notice that I'm using it to get around.
If the Suzuki gang were using canoes to make their point, perhaps they'd have a bit more credibility. Speculating that sand has been powerwashed makes them look desperate.
As Vancouver technologist and Twitter fiend Tim Bray said yesterday:
Unlike apparently everyone, I'm not pissed at BP. You gonna live on fossil fuel, shit gonna happen. BP drew the short straw.
Tim's pithy tweet sums up the problem – it's our reliance upon fossil fuels that cause these petroleum mishaps. We're all looking for someone to blame at the same time we're driving to the grocery store, or dropping our kids off at school.
As for Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan, he's a clever one isn't he? Derek, you're not one of the shrewdest politicians in Metro Vancouver for nothing.
You comment that maybe we shouldn't be putting oil refineries near residential neighbourhoods. Pardon? How about not building subdivisions near industrial zoned land? Those refineries have been there well before your city decided to permit housing developments too close for comfort.
Of course Mayors love housing rather than land that creates long-term jobs. Industrial land provides a fraction of the tax revenue that residential land does. Derek would love to have all those dirty refineries move somewhere else so Burnaby could build lots of monster homes with waterfront views.
Of course, in order to get to them you'll need to refine that black stuff to power your cars. And where will we do that? Oh, nevermind.
- rant by Mike