Monday, November 14, 2011

Coastal British Columbia an Ecosystem in Peril

I recently wrote in this blog about how oil and water don't mix. When oil spills occur the impacts on marine life can be devastating. Let's face it, we are addicted to oil. Until this addiction is overcome spills are going to happen. The effects of spills on marine life are obvious, but the impacts to the creatures on land, humans included can be a little harder to see. Why should we care? We should care because all life is interconnected. The oceans are the birth place of life on Earth. When the oceans suffer we all do. I recently watched the film Spoil which does an amazing job of showing how the oceans are connected to terrestrial life. I was moved by this film and I think you will be too.  This short trailer will whet your appetite. 

The full length film is well worth 45 minutes of your time. The photography is stunning, the story is compelling, and the call to action couldn't be more timely. With the US government putting the Keystone XL pipeline on hold last week, pressure may well build to find alternate routes to get the oil from the Alberta Tar Sands out to market. If the US government has identified enough potential environmental damage associated with a pipeline running through the fields of Nebraska to delay approval, then surely the Canadian government should question the safety of a proposed Enbridge pipeline.  A pipeline that would run from the interior of the country over the Rocky Mountains and through the Great Bear Wilderness. The pipeline would stretch 1,100 km, cross thousands of streams and deliver 500,000 barrels a day of unrefined bitumen to the port of Kitimat. Where some of the worlds largest super tankers would have to navigate through dangerous and complex waters to deliver their cargo to locations around the world. It is a recipe for disaster. It is not a question of if a spill will occur it is a matter of when and how big it will be.

I encourage you all to watch both Spoil and Oil in Eden: The Battle to Protect Canada's Pacific Coast and to do your part to help protect BC's wild coast. Visit and


  1. Thanks for the awareness, Ben, as always. i didn't know what a "spirit bear" was before watching this trailer.

    Borrowing from the CRL lingo: "In what ways could we make the Keystone XL and BC coast tar-sands pipelines unnecessary?"
    * demand less oil
    * raise awareness
    * not forget the past (Gulf disaster, Exxon Valdez, etc.)

    Question: Do you think that tourism from raised awareness (as in, "If spirit bears are going extinct, i want to see one) can help or hurt this cause? Are there sustainable ways to experience firsthand the sights and sounds of this pristine land/water junction? (because firsthand experience goes further than film)

  2. Thanks for the informative post, Ben! I now have another docu to put on my to-watch list. Beautiful trailer.

    I think the questions raised above are important and I too wonder about the immediate things we could do to raise awareness about the importance of not taking the ocean and the life within it for granted. I think wildlife tourism can help the cause in that it raises awareness with locals to conserve their habitat, the incentive being tourism revenue. And, I think travel to pristine areas should be capped as unlimited travel inevitably ends up having a detrimental effect on the area.

  3. This is an excellent posts that really moves me to watch these videos. Great job telling me why to watch this video and giving a synopsis.

  4. Thanks for the post Ben. I've yet to see this film, but plan to watch it over the holidays. I have some friends working within the Great Bear Wilderness tracking and observing wildlife. They're monitoring this situation closely and having spent the past year navigating those same waters, completely agree with your grim forecast if the project is approved.
    While we look and point fingers to the far off drillers and shippers, they are supplying a need for which we all are responsible.