Issues that demand connection and action

Thanks to donations from readers, DeSmog Canada was able to send photographer Garth Lenz to the Peace to capture the ongoing construction and the landscapes and lives that stand to be affected by Site C Dam.

Connecting the dots

by Bruce Mason

Corporate media may be denying or ignoring their existence, but the world is awash in unprecedented, existential crises: from Syria to Standing Rock, global climate tipping points, to so-called trade deals that enable greedy elites to prevent action, from international anti-nuclear arms initiatives, to the ugly, unwelcome return of the Cold War. The army of so-called mainstream media journalists, increasingly irrelevant and nearing extinction, are paid to prop up the multi-national corporate agendas. Instead of calling it mass media, the more accurate moniker is corporate media.

We turn your attention instead to independent social media; just type the headlines below into your search bar.

A Last Stand for Lelu

One of the most informative and inspiring half-hours on the Internet is Farhan Umedaly’s courageously truthful and impressively artful, A Last Stand for Lelu (Tamos Campos is credited as co-producer). It just earned the award for Best Documentary Short at the prestigious 9th Annual Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival.

In the audience at his KL introduction and acceptance speech were officials from PETRONAS (Petroliam Nasional Berhad), Christy Clark’s bed partners in her fracked gas phantasmagoria. Umedaly is achieving the goal he set for his VoVo Productions: global impact for clients working towards a “positive future for humanity and our planet.” His mission: “films that have a positive impact in the world… opening doors that I can be proud to walk through.” A Last Stand for Lelu is his first documentary. He is also keen to have people accompany him on these less-travelled journeys. He released the documentary to the public – for free – at the request of the Lax Kw’alaams and those who stand to protect the vital Prince Rupert region.

A Last Stand for Lelu not only provides comprehension of the profoundly counterproductive and destructive project, but also, context for Justin Trudeau’s decision to support the Northwest LNG pipeline. Share the video with friends and family; it must be shown in classrooms everywhere, especially in Canada.

“Very important,” says marine biologist/activist Dr. Alexandra Morton of the film. “Unlike so many films, this is about now, not some time in the future. This is about integrity, strength and a vision for the future that includes our children and grandchildren. Look at the faces of the people in this film; it is healthy and good for us to take a stand. These are the forces of KNOW.”

The year-long Justin Trudeau honeymoon is ending unhappily now that the “children” have arrived. Dire storms are obliterating his “sunny ways,” perhaps the big important story of 2017, particularly as Millennials awaken and take note and action. Everyone can keep score (bookmark) with the superlative, the non-partisan, collaborative citizen initiative that tracks his election promises. At press time, on his 363rd day in power, Trudeau had not yet started on 95 of his well-documented 219 platform planks, 64 were in progress, 34 had been achieved and 26 had been broken, since taking office.

All eyes are on the umming and ahhing PM who must make a decision on the despised Kinder Morgan pipeline in December. A must-read is Andrew Nikiforuk’s (Tyee) comprehensive article, Four Harsh Truths for Canada’s Lovestruck Pipeline Politicians: A reality check for our bitumen-besotted leaders.

Among the fossil fuel addicts and pushers who need to take note – but will likely require an intervention – are sisters-in-arms Rachel Motley and Christy Clark, Haper-lite Trudeau, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who wants more pipelines to carry the “sins of the carbon economy” and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, who categorizes proposals to limit climate change as “misguided dogma.”

The four obvious reasons why more pipelines don’t make economic, energy or climate sense are: 1) There is no way to clean up bitumen spills (forget the nonsensical distractions about spill recovery, “World-Class” or otherwise); 2) The economic case for pipelines has totally collapsed; 3) Bitumen cannibalizes the economy; 4) Climate disruption and carbon anarchy aren’t a distant threat; they’re here now.

Two more dam exposés from DeSmog

Also among the near-viral, on-line information are two recent and compelling DeSmog posts:

Exclusive New Photos: The B.C. Government’s Frantic Push to Get Site C Dam Past ‘Point of No Return” and Cutting Through the Spin on the Site C Dam with Harry Swain.

Thanks to donations from readers, DeSmog Canada was able to send photographer Garth Lenz to the Peace to capture the ongoing construction and the landscapes and lives that stand to be affected by Site C Dam. The little known devastating destruction will alarm all who see it, as yet confined to the proposed dam (being contested in court); as documented by Lenz, 80 kilometres of river valley remain untouched at the current stage.

There are voluminous arguments against Christy Clark’s controversial plan for the Site C Dam in the Peace River Valley: it floods First Nations land against their consent, destroys precious farmland that could feed millions, expropriates land from families and farmer and increases the cost of electricity that we don’t need and can’t afford, etc.

Site C wasn’t properly reviewed, especially in terms of renewable, job-rich alternatives. But are there any upsides? Emma Gilchrist, who has spent several years working on the story, asks Harry Swain, appointed by the BC government to chair the joint review panel. He discusses some common justifications. It is invaluable and enlightening to listen, finally, to someone honest and qualified.

Bad, bad for Bella Bella

Weeks after Texas fuel barge Nathan E. Stewart and tugboat sank, most of the 200,000 litres of fuel on-board escaped into the water, poisoning abalones, herring, urchins, anemones, kelp, sea stars and more. As whales swim through the still sickening slick, politicians point fingers and duck responsibility for the destruction of one of the most productive food sources on the coast, and the loophole that allows such traffic in the Inside Passage. Even without a qualified local pilot. All shellfish harvesting remains closed and could be off-limits for years, depriving the Heiltsuk Nation and nearby communities of abundant traditional and commercial food sources. The futile and ineffective response is being documented, a turning point in the long-standing battle to ban tanker traffic, or the start of irreversible damage to BC’s beloved coast. Let’s keep it up and help the Heiltsuk Nation by browsing their website and following Ingmar Lee, a passionate, long-time environmentalist who has warned of the tragedy for some time.

Bruce Mason is a Vancouver and Gabriola Island-based five-string banjo player, gardener, freelance writer and author of Our Clinic.

Editor’s note: At the end of October, DeSmog Canada published a video about the Site C Dam, which, after generating nearly 120,000 views in 36 hours, was suddenly removed by Facebook due to a complaint filed by a BC government contractor. Fear not, there is a new cut. This is the video they didn’t want you to see. Read more about the complaint at

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