Once again Bill Dunphy has decided to use his column as a bully pulpit to attack environmentalists. Never mind that in 1914 the economy was so bad that young Cape Bretoners signed up in droves for the killing fields of Flanders; never mind that in 1940 again Cape Bretoners in droves enlisted again in the military to escape the poverty; never mind that when I arrived here in 1974, with thousands of men employed at Sydney Steel and coalmines throughout Cape Breton, almost all the young people I met assured me there was no future here, and they were all heading out west. Apparently this was also all my fault. According to Bill’s reasoning, Neal Livingston, I and other unborn environmentalists were responsible for the depression of 1880. Never mind the fact that private industry walked away from the coal and steel industry, never mind that governments chose to shutter these industries; apparently, it was the fault of environmentalists.
Never mind that Jim Campbell’s Barren was selected by the staff at Natural Resources for protection, and never mind that Jim Campbell’s Barren sits above the headwaters of three major river systems. Never mind that a gold mine on Jim Campbell’s Barren would have been a constant threat to the health of the Margaree River. Never mind that the salmon fishery on the Margaree River was eco-tourism generations before the term was coined. Bill insists that facts don't count; only opinion is of value to this Harperite wannabe.
To support Bill’s contention that facts don't matter, he cites a man as blind as himself, a columnist with The Chronicle Herald. Never mind that not a single company has ever made a profit from shale gas. Never mind that the history of shale gas development has been an abject lesson in how the petroleum geologists have been dead wrong about nearly every aspect of shale gas. Never mind that in 2012, US shale companies spent $42 billion to produce $32.5 billion worth of gas. Never mind a dead loss of almost 25 per cent. Never mind that shale gas is not an energy strategy but an investment banking scam. Never mind that fracking shale formations has polluted aquifers from Pennsylvania, to Colorado to California, never mind that fracking has caused earthquakes from the UK to Ohio to Alberta. No, never mind the health impacts of turning rural communities into open air factories. Never mind that shale gas plays are in decline across North America. Never mind that shale gas has replaced cattle as the number one US source of methane emissions.
Never mind the fact that every Academy of Sciences to review the published science on climate agree that the planet is warming dangerously from increased greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. Never mind that not a single academy of sciences holds a contrary position. Never mind that the International Energy Agency has determined that to have any hope of avoiding launching runaway greenhouse effect, 80 per cent of known fossil fuel reserves must be left in the ground. Never mind.
Bill can wrap himself in self-satisfied ignorance, that's fine, no one is requiring him to face facts; it's not his way .
But to deliberately attempt to drum up hatred of a recognizable minority, environmentalists, to attempt to punish people who have studied the issues and put themselves out to try to protect the jobs, economy and environment of our adopted home, that is beneath contempt. Shame on Bill.