Address the climate crisis without pipelines
I am an English teacher at Cegep Heritage in Gatineau. This semester, I am teaching a course in the emergent genre of Climate Fiction. This literature explores climate change and its intersections with health, the economy, human rights, politics and spirituality. The novels we are studying are Thomas King’s The Back of the Turtle, and Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood. A warming planet is the background of both books, and both condemn the government’s protection of corporate interests over the interests of the people.
My students are highly engaged in the material, and, I must say, they are angry. Their research is leading them to some galling realizations such as the poisoning of the Athabasca river by tailings ponds in Fort McMurray and the January 7th RCMP raid of Wet’se’weten territory to facilitate pipeline expansion. They brought these examples to class, and they are extremely upset.
Apart from the open attack on human rights posed by the oil industry, it is a dying industry. Investors are withdrawing trillions from fossil fuel projects. This includes my own pension fund.
Instead of investing in this risky pipeline, I’d rather see the federal government support transitioning to renewables. The Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project is too risky for the economy, climate, coast and progress on Indigenous reconciliation.