United Church takes a stand against pipeline

Several of us Castlegar United Church members joined in a protest last month to defend our coast

Several of us Castlegar United Church members joined in a protest last month to defend our coast. We were taking a stand to protect our coastline against the proliferation of oil tankers coming into Kitimat or anywhere in BC.

Did you know that the United Church of Canada’s “head office” has taken a official stand against the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal in solidarity with the First Nations people.

Why? Why has the United Church done this? Why did it feel right to stand with 70 other people at our MLA’s office to protest the Northern Pipeline? As United Church members, we believe in caring for God’s creation.  We believe in being careful stewards of our earth. It’s the same reason for being committed to buying Fair Trade products like coffee, tea and cocoa and thereby helping farmers to be sustainable. It’s the same reason we are committed to living as green as possible, reducing garbage, recycling, using less plastic, etc. It’s the same reason we strive to buy local and support small businesses to reduce the carbon footprint.

A few facts to remind us what the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline

means: 1. The pipeline threatens more than 45,000 fisheries and tourism jobs. 2. Shipping out

such huge quantities of raw bitumen is only possible with gargantuan tar sands expansion and unsustainable carbon emissions that go with it. 3. Shipping quantities of the raw bitumen overseas puts Canada’s own long-term energy needs on the back burner. 4. Bringing 200 super-tankers a year through hazardous coastal inlets makes spills inevitable and would contaminate the coastline for decades. 5. This northern pipeline would cross almost 1000 rivers and streams, including sensitive spawning habitat.

It’s difficult for us to imagine what it’s like at the tar sands but by all accounts, it is like being on the moon. The surface of the green earth has been peeled back as far as the eye can see. To produce the bitumen supply for China via this proposed Enbridge pipeline, would require the moonscape scene to far more than double.

Doing what we can to care for our earth, our land and its people, our water and the air is an integral part of being a follower of Jesus.