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Humans can figure out how to do things, by Celia Brauer (Vancouver Sun)

Harvey Enchin's commentary on the perils of sacrificing megaproject... is once again full of the mythology which got us seven billion humans on this planet into the deep trouble we are in at the moment.

"A job is the best cure for poverty." What fool would dispute that? But the thousands of jobs that would be created by the Site C Dam, the Enbridge Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines, the Jumbo Resort or the Prosperity Mine that are (thankfully) being opposed by "aboriginal groups and self-appointed environmental guardians" are all in the resource extraction sector.

Every one of these megaprojects is rooted in a misguided ideology that promises endless growth - except that the sources for raw materials and sinks for inevitable waste cannot possibly be infinite on a planet that is itself not growing. The business plans for these megaprojects rest on the assumption that the long-term impact of the continued destruction of our natural world, which has already been massively compromised, is a fair price to pay for progress and the only thing we need to talk about is human jobs right now.

What about the future of the children whose parents will get these jobs? What will their lives be like on a planet significantly altered by runaway climate change, pollution and ecosystem and biodiversity loss? Will they not curse us for not finding some alternative sources of "job creation"?

Thank goodness people have finally risen up to fight these destructive megaprojects. The discussion of alternate ways to meet our real needs and the creation of employment as a healthy byproduct of doing so can then proceed - as it already has to a modest extent - without the background noise of wholesale destruction continuing.

No jobs on a dead planet. It's time for more columnists to wake up and realize that considering the health of the Earth, our home, is essential. Endless "fire-sale" style activities that destroy our living resources and create too many waste products for the sake of jobs and growth is economic folly.

Celia Brauer Vancouver


Source URL: http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/letters/Humans+figure+things/58...

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