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On Getting Rich as a Tree Hugger

by INGMAR LEE

Vancouver Island.

I’m tired of being a tree-hugger. I’m tired of being called a radical by the Prime Minister for signing up to speak at the Enbridge Pipeline/Tanker Giga-Project hearings. I’m tired of being skinny and hungry and broke, even though Stephen Harper is telling everyone that I get millions of dollars every year from American foundations. I’m tired of being dragged away by police and thrown in jail, and then having to sit in court for years on end, just because I happen to like primaeval forests, Sandhill cranes, wild salmon and whales. I’m tired of climbing flagpoles, hanging up banners, putting up tree-sits and dismantling gigantic seismic blasts. After all these years, I’ve never made a single buck out of environmental work, and for all my efforts, I’m not famous either..

Of course, it would be nice to make $70,000+ a year like BC’s official, professional, organized, bureaucratic, charitable-status-guarding environmentalists. It sure would be fun to jet over to Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Durban and all over the world to chat about the climate disaster, become a go-to corporate-media darling, drive a Prius and hobknob with Paris Hilton. It might be pretty boring, hanging out in secret backrooms cutting deals with Gordon Campbell and ilk, but it would be worth it.

I’m starting to think that perhaps it would be nice to have a great big jiggling beer-and-beef fed belly, just like our Prime Minister and his media adviser, Ezra Levant does. I think Ezra Levant is making a whole lot more money than I am, and just imagine all the fun he must be having, living there in Calgary. The only thing that’s holding Ezra Levant back from the really big bucks is that he can’t preface every single thing he says with “I was a co-founder of Greenpeace, but then I saw the light about corporate logging, the nuclear business, DDT and Big Oil.” Being able to say that at big corporate AGM events catapults a reformed tree-hugger into a world of glamour.

I’m just starting to see the light here about Enbridge. I mean, just look how well they are looking after former Prince George Mayor and Gordon Campbell shill, Colin Kinsley. And after a very long difficult search all across BC, Enbridge was finally able to find a single First Nation supporter, Mr Elmer Derrick, -I believe that he got some $7 million for selling out the Gitxsan people to Enbridge. And what about all those very comfortable regular Vancouver Sun Enbridge stumpers like Barbara Yaffe, Peter O’Neil and Gordon Hoekstra. All they have to do is write several columns a week extolling the virtues of Enbridge, the Tar Sands and gigantic Big Oil projects. And then of course, there’s the ubiquitous Patrick Moore, who is right in there, cashing in. If Enbridge is so eager to hand out truckloads of cash to such uninspired lowlifes like these, why not me?

I’m starting to think about a whole new way of Green, – actually, Enbridge Pipelines really can guarantee the people of British Columbia that it will be impossible for them to ever have an accident with their pipelines. They can certainly safely transport a half million barrels of thick Alberta Tar Sands bitumen a day through a thousand kilometres of pipe, right through the Rocky Mountains and across more than 700 rivers all the way to the Pacific Coast so it can be shipped to China. It really isn’t a problem to coordinate hundreds of giga-tankers the size of the Empire State Building, loaded with 10 times the amount of oil spewed into Prince William Sound by the Exxon Valdes wreck, weaving in and out of the rock-pile that is the BC Coast and Douglas Channel every year dodging hundreds of LNG and Condensate tankers at the same time.

Even though Enbridge factotum Paul Stanway says on CBC Radio that Enbridge can’t keep on cleaning up their Kalamazoo River oil disaster “because we had to shut down because it is winter” we know that they can mitigate that winter issue in BC by continuing to exacerbate global heating. I’ll bet that Stanway is getting pretty rich saying what he says for a living.So obviously Enbridge and their spokesperson, Stephen Harper are being completely honest when they say that there can never be an accident that will destroy Canada’s Pacific Coast. And our Prime Minister, Big Oil scion that he is, will happily retires with his legacy to Canada for which he will be eternally remembered, -“The Stephen Harper Pipeline.”

We all know that Canadians are too stupid and lazy to refine all that dirty-oil in Alberta, or invite all of the world’s energy-sucking manufacturing industry to come build their factories in Fort MacMurray. Canadians certainly are not interested in the thousands upon thousands of jobs that simple scenario would produce. Certainly that is outside Stephen Harper’s great vision for Canada. So I’m thinking the Prime Minister must be right, -Canada’s economic future is absolutely dependent on shipping raw Tar Sands gunk to China so they can make all the stuff themselves. After all, in a world experiencing capitalist-caused bank-bailing economic catastrophe, somebody has to get rich. Those humungous ships all headed over to China wont be coming back empty. They’ll be coming back loaded up with stuff they made with our oil.

I wonder how much I’d be worth to Enbridge?? I could always preface my lectures with, “I used to be a raving tree-hugger, but..” That’s got to be worth  more than a few bucks…

Ingmar Lee is writing from the heart of the ‘Great Bear Rainforest’ one of the Earth’s final great wildernesses, near Bella Bella on the BC Central Coast, -where Prime Minister Stephen Harper hopes to build a giant giga-tanker port at Kitimat, which will receive 525,000 barrels of raw bitumen every day, transported over an 1100 km double pipeline direct from Alberta’s Dirty-Oil Tar Sands. The Alberta Tar Sands are the same planetary blight that would have fed the Keystone Pipeline scheme that would have delivered Dirty-Oil all across the USA.

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