Letter: ‘Consensus’ on pipeline falls into its own category

Editor: I am writing this letter in response to a recent letter to the editor, Kinder Morgan pipeline approval a win for Langley (the Times, Dec. 21).

The letter writer expressed support for the pipeline and I get it. I understand that people are entitled to their opinions.

However those sentiments only mean anything when we discuss things like making an extra bike lane on a stretch of road, or adding a transit stop along a bus route, or increasing traffic lights on busy intersections.

Those issues are important and require consensus. When it comes to pipelines I would say that falls under a different category of consensus altogether.

The Kinder-Morgan Pipeline is a demonstration of how consensus does not work. The National Energy Board hearings were demonstrably lacking in any sincere attempt to engage the public in a proper and crucial consultation process.

A panel comprised of industry representatives with no backgrounds in science or technology — rather, the NEB panelists had a solid understanding of how to line their own pockets, and a thorough understanding of how to bypass democratic processes, all which were upheld and encouraged by the federal and provincial governments. Municipalities turned a blind eye to all of that to cleave onto voter ignorance and apathy

Not withstanding both the Harper and Trudeau governments used the same playbook, bought and paid for by the Kinder-Morgan oil corporation itself, and marketed to you as the best economic course of action, supported with economic projections that are four, 10, 20 and even 50 years down the road.

I have never seen an economist or political party predict with any accuracy the economic outcomes that far ahead into the future.

On the other hand, climate scientists, who have credible methodologies of measuring ecological cycles, and even parameters on consumer behaviours, as well as population density impacts on a global scale to a degree of accuracy that is far more accurate and way more sound.

Words like “economic benefits”, “progress”, “forward thinkers”, “growth “, “the bigger picture”, and  “hope for our children” all sound nice and dandy and are perfect sound bites to appease an audience too ashamed to admit that they have failed in their duty to protect the environment, to see the “economic benefits” that only help a select few, to “progress” towards autocracy, and “forward thinkers” who only see a short term benefit for themselves, “growth” that already exists and moves at a ferocious enough speed that has had detrimental impacts on notions of community; and I see  the “bigger picture”, and a great deal of other people see the bigger picture, and I share the same sentiments for “hopes for our children” — but the Kinder-Morgan Pipeline doesn’t fit the criteria.

Brandon Gabriel,

Kwantlen First Nation