Having Power

With excitement and anticipation I tore the stickers off of the parcel from the post office. My friends, caught up in my enthusiasm, watched with anticipation, and then shook their heads in disgust when they saw some simple black electrical switches and wires. Was this all I was waiting for? But who are they to talk, all they got in the mail were bills from BC hydro, demanding money for a service that fails when the wind blows, brought to them on lines that dissipate up to half of the electricity produced in far away locations.

In my old neighborhood, people are gladly paying up to $10 000 to hook up to a power service that will break down every time there is a storm. If I had ten grand to build an electrical system, it would be years before I would fork out a single cent for electricity. I believe that having power comes from having knowledge. True power is in independence; the micro system as opposed to the centralized service. I have heard it said dependence is the greatest vice of the human race.

Right now there is a proposal to divert 47 rivers in the watershed of Bute Inlet to supply power for General Electric customers in the United States. If the proposal is allowed, the Americans will likely not know what is being tampered with to provide them with power. They won’t see the magnificent grizzly bears and mountain goats being robbed to make this power. They won’t know of the ruined spawning beds of massive three foot chum salmon and white springs, or the beauty of the water itself, turquoise and white, flowing from the foot of melting glaciers.

These recipients of GE power, will continue to sit in early morning traffic jams, watch television at night, and shake their heads in frustration as they open up bills. They’ll continue to complain about outages and deal with the automated telephone voices of a large company. This is living the good life, the American Dream.

But what if they knew about the fantastic beauty of Bute inlet, and the good life that is possible there for human beings and other species? What if they came to this place on their holidays and see it for themselves, taking tours to watch wildlife, to climb rock faces unmarred by high voltage lines.They would stay at lodges and charter boats from people who operate off the grid power systems, and enjoy all the comforts of home in beautiful, pristine surroundings. Why couldn’t they too enjoy the satisfaction of producing their own power at home? The wind blows and the sun shines everywhere.

If Bute inlet were to provide power to outside places, it could be done with tidal generators in the ocean; there are also lots of rapids near by to use; the precious estuary habitat and rivers need not be touched. Right now, there is only a proposal; it could be changed, if enough people demand it in time.

Let us not become China, where a thoughtlessly placed dam flooded farmland, displacing animals and people, and ruining their capability to grow food. Jobs created by building the project, would be temporary and the damages would last forever. Also lost forever would be our right to travel these threatened rivers, as the area would become a private industrial site.

So I invite you to experience your own personal power, protecting what we enjoy and love on our magnificent coast, by reading more at buteinlet.com and writing letters to the appropriate members of the government.