Opinion

Happy not be to labelled anything

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Although I’ve always thought of myself as a conservator, I am happy to not be labeled an environmentalist, ecologist, tree-hugger or any of the other duplicitous categories that have become so popular with professional protesters.

For instance, I don’t have any serious objections to the reasonable damming of rivers or lakes to facilitate the development of needed hydro electric power.

I just love it when I switch on the lights or television and, lo and behold, there is plenty of electricity to allow them to operate, even if it means a dam being built in a location that others think will lead to the ruination of our beautiful province.

Nor do I mind if we have properly designed and constructed pipelines bringing raw or refined petroleum products from far flung areas to be processed in a safe manner locally or safely exported from coastal ports to other countries.

I think it’s hilarious to observe all the protesters who object to pipelines and the petroleum industry, in general, arriving at their predetermined opposition rallies in their petroleum powered vehicles.

I don’t like the price at the pumps for gas or diesel, but I’m sure happy that they are available in such quantity. However; it annoys me that we have so much untapped petroleum reserves that remain in the ground because of the pipeline protests and the cynical manner in which some of these protests are funded.

I grew up in a resort-based era of our history and always looked upon forestry and logging as the backbone of our economy. I even worked in a few sawmills, logging camps and the old Hammond Cedar shingle mill, which created many jobs while processing old growth cedar.

I didn’t feel guilty about it then, nor now.

The forest industry has slipped a notch or two on the scale of importance for our economic well being, but it remains important to every British Columbian, especially for the production of all the placards carried by those professional protesters who object to the harvesting of even a single tree.

Least of all do I object to reasonable development of so-called agricultural land for non-farm purposes. The folks who oppose development on what they see as prime agricultural land must really like higher taxes and fewer local jobs because, whether we like it or not, most industrial development takes place on former agricultural land. Pitt Meadows is an excellent example of how that works for industrial or commercial development.

Then we have the pseudo-scientific protesters who don’t like messing with Mother Nature, as in genetically modified foods. These are probably the goofiest of all protesters to understand, but I’m not sure they even understand themselves.

Man has been messing with the natural process of evolution for animals and food crops for centuries. But only recently have we been informed by these pseudo-scientists of the dangers of mucking around with the natural process.

Wheat, still one of Canada’s most important crops, wouldn’t grow profitably in the true north strong and free until they messed around by mixing different varieties. It seems no harm has been done to Mother Nature because of this messing around.

There are parallels with cattle and other farm animals, but the main harm has been in how the animals have been cared for, not how they are bred or cloned.

And so I conclude that most of what I refer to as duplicitous protests are usually partisan political movements that oppose free enterprise governments. It’s the same crowd that appears at economic summits and other initiatives of those people in society who work hard for a living and seek to make a profit.

Sandy Macdougall is a retired journalist and former district councillor.

 

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