While most British Columbians were at the beach or around a barbecue, a group of activists spent the Monday stat (August 5) working to ensure that their grandchildren will inherit a planet that’s still mostly habitable.
The collection of Indigenous people and environmentalists gathered outside the Kinder Morgan Westridge Marine Terminal on Burnaby Mountain to protest an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
The pipeline, which the Trudeau government purchased from Kinder Morgan last year, runs from Edmonton—where it receives diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands—to a port in Burnaby. It’s expansion would triple the amount of bitumen transported to the Lower Mainland, increasing the number of oil tankers moving through Burrard Inlet from some 60 ships per year to more than 400.
Legal challenges have delayed the project. But last Saturday (August 3), the National Energy Board said construction could resume.
According to CBC News, the protest on Burnaby Mountain yesterday was largely in response to that decision.
"We're opposed to the fact that the National Energy Board has given advance permits without hearing the final declaration or have a final report on their consultation with Indigenous people and that they are advance drilling underneath the mountain,” a Burnaby resident named Elan Gibson told CBC News.
"It's our community. We are ground zero. We are due to suffer the explosions on this side of the mountain which are very possible with dryness and forest fires," she added.
Yesterday (August 5), the Straight reported that July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded by humans. While no single month’s temperature or weather can be directly linked to climate change, there is consensus among the vast majority of scientists that greenhouse gases attributable to humans are affecting climate and weather patterns to increase the planet’s overall temperature and increase the likelihood and frequency of severe-weather events, including extreme temperaturesand longer-lasting heat waves.
"With continued greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting impact on global temperatures, records will continue to be broken in the future," Jean-Noël Thépaut, head of the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service, told CNN something similar.
The demonstration was organized by Mountain Protectors, Climate Convergence, and Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion," according to Global News.
“This is just the beginning,” said one of the activists quoted in Global's report. “There’s going to be very fierce opposition from communities all along the route, people here in Burnaby and people all around the world."
In October 2015, the Straight reported that the Burnaby RCMP had responded to more than 50 calls the force received in relation to Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby Mountain facilities and the company’s Westridge Marine Terminal from 2010 to March 2015. At least some of those calls to police were for activists voicing political opposition to Kinder Morgan's business there, that report detailed. Since then, protests have continued.