Comox Valley Echo
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Open letter to Premier Christy Clark:
I am writing to express my complete opposition to the idea of the Raven Coal Mine, Fanny Bay, Vancouver Island. There are a number of reasons why I feel so strongly about this issue.
1) Climate Change. Coal is the dirtiest of fossil fuels, contributing massive amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere both in the extraction and burning processes.
The world cannot afford the price of climate change, whether it be increased volatility and strength of weather phenomena leading to massively increased disaster relief costs, changes in crop growing conditions and yields leading to food shortages and conflict, rising sea levels leading to population disruption and mass migration and ocean acidification again leading to food shortages. NO to the coal mine.
2) Acid mine drainage risks polluting first fresh water and then salt, with arsenic, sulphates and heavy metals. Contamination of ground water and pollution of Baynes Sound would be an environmental and economic nightmare.
Baynes Sound is the second most Important Bird Area, (IBA), in BC; Baynes Sound is the largest herring spawning ground in BC, a vital part of the food chain for salmon and so much more; and the Baynes Sound shellfish industry which employs some 600 people, is reliant upon clean water. However you look at it, it makes no sense, in fact it is brutally wrong, to risk pollution of this inland waterway that is so important to so many. Please do not say that all measures will be taken to ensure nothing goes wrong. We have all seen that what can go wrong, will eventually go wrong. NO to the coal mine.
3) Heavy trucks hauling an obsolete fuel along a tourist corridor and over a mountain is both ludicrous and dangerous. NO to the coal mine.
4) Costs of clean up when 'things go wrong'. Just up the road from the proposed Raven Mine, theTsolum River copper mine continues to be an environmental and economic catastrophe. It has cost the public many millions of dollars and the mine drainage problems while mitigated are still of major concern and impact. NO to the coal mine.
Professor Nicholas Stern of the London School of Economics has warned that if CO2 emissions continue as they are doing, the results will be dire, and "a risk any sane person would seek to drastically reduce". Are politicians sane? Because business as usual certainly is not. NO to the coal mine.