AHEAD OF THE HEARD -- A recent lawsuit launched by a cabal of green lobby groups highlights what absurd lengths professional zealots are prepared to go to keep themselves busy. Last December a lawsuit was filed against the Canadian government in a B.C. court that alleges increased oil tanker traffic will endanger the existence of a local killer whale (orca) pod. The lawsuit is just a part of the legal holy war waged by green extremist organizations against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and ultimately against the oilsands. Virtually all of the money to finance these lawsuits seems to come from wealthy entities like the Rockefeller and Hewlett Foundations in the USA. The money trail from these foundations looks like a classic case of money laundering that would put criminal organizations to shame. The foundations funnel money through various other foundations to cover their tracks, in this case the final American courier is the San Francisco based Tides Foundation – that group then funnels money to their Canadian subsidiary in Vancouver. That subsidiary then grants money to local groups who then hire the legal guns to carry out the dirty work for the big American anti-oil foundations. Not surprisingly the beneficiary is a familiar player in launching frivolous and vexatious green related lawsuits – that being the notorious Ecojustice group. It’s a spinoff of the Sierra Club and is essentially a law firm that serves green lobby groups. A note to lawyers looking for jobs, Ecojustice seems to expand constantly with its busybody lawsuit work and has a seemingly bottomless source of funding. But I digress.
The lawsuit to save the orcas from increased oil tanker traffic is related to the idea that the noise from ship propellers upsets the mental well-being of the whales and is a cause for their decline in numbers. Be that as it may it causes one to ponder why was this lawsuit not launched sooner being noisy mechanized ship traffic has been a fact of life in the waters around Vancouver and Victoria for over 100 years. Are we to believe from the lawsuit that the endangered orcas are threatened only by oil tankers and not the hundreds of other ships that constantly ply the same waters. Most ships in the affected area are B.C. ferries travelling between the islands – would those vessels not present the greatest danger to orca habitat and peace of mind. Apparently not – maybe orcas have a special sense that enables them to identify ferries and avoid them. I expect even though those ferries use large quantities of fuel derived from the oilsands, targeting them with a lawsuit would create a backlash from local voters who use those ferries in their everyday lives and provide sustenance and economic benefit. Including them in the lawsuit would also detract from the actual goal that being pipelines and the evil oilsands. These are strategic political decisions that are made at the highest level and reflects the will of the original funding institutions. If it all seems so hypocritical that’s because it is and is typically B.C.
One notes that the lawsuit did not include the increased shipping traffic created by the establishment of new coal loading facilities on the Fraser River and on Texada Island. Those facilities were built to transship American coal transported by rail all the way from Wyoming. Ship traffic is actually doubled in this case – first it is barged from the Fraser River to Texada then it is reloaded onto ocean freighters for further transport. I guess orcas are just not bothered by the noise from all that ship and barge traffic – coal ships must have different propeller noise than oil tankers. One is reminded that oil tankers regularly transport oil from Alaska through orca habitat to refineries near Seattle – but I guess that oil is okay with orcas being its American and not from the oilsands. It’s going to get worse of course.
In a few years after new grain handling terminals are expanded and built in the Vancouver area there will be a significant increase in grain ships sailing through orca habitat waters. One would assume that Ecojustice will be launching lawsuits against those shipments on the same grounds as the lawsuit against increased oil tanker traffic. I think not – being there would be no wealthy American sugar-daddy foundation to provide the money to launch such a lawsuit. Like so much in the anti-oilsands holy war the orcas are just another pawn to be exploited and manipulated. I rest my case.