Today I am struck by the magnitude of the decision that the BC cabinet must make about the future of the proposed Site C dam. Not just all the pressing issues around Site C that so many heroic people have been studying and warning us about, some of them for decades. By now we can all repeat many of the most urgent ones.
NO!…. what is pressing on my mind is the nature of the decision that is coming. The new government faces a mountain of hard decisions left by a government that was simply blinded by a belief in the magical qualities of the neo-liberal market ideology. Most of these decisions will be tactical, meaning that they have somewhat limited impact on BC citizens, whether limited in scope or over time. No… this time the decision is different.
Our government is about to signal which direction it (and thus, the people of BC) will be going. Are we going to follow business as usual (possibly with a slightly new greener look)? Or will these new folks in Victoria decide to challenge one of the key tenets of the dominant paradigm of our era?
Will we see a decision that sends our ‘energy economy’ in a totally new direction toward a sustainable future with an emphasis on conservation, renewable energy, an ethic of regeneration and a genuine recognition that this land is not ‘ours’, does not belong to ‘newcomers’? Will we move forward with a goal of leaving the planet better than we found it? Or do we carry on with the old centralized, frankly obsolete system of producing power in one location and shipping it around the province and the world to produce largely useless ‘stuff’ sold mostly for profit and rarely for need? We have the know-how, the technology and the opportunity to usher in an entirely new Gaian ethic of interconnectedness, even if it is only in our little piece of the planet for now. We have to start where we are.
Or do I stand a good chance of perishing, along with my grandchildren in some gruesome eco-apocalypse? Does this government understand the magnitude of the decision they are about to make?
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