Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vanishing Rainbows

This is a short multimedia video (9 minutes) on the proposed independent power project (IPP) currently threatening Glacier and Howser Creeks in the West Kootenay region of BC. I shot and produced this about a year ago, and it screened at the Fliks Canadian Film Festival in Nelson last February.

It addresses the potential loss of these pristine watersheds to Axor Corporation of Montreal and the injustice facing the two sole residents of the valley. The Grabowskys stand to lose their water, their simple mountain lifestyle and their small horse ranch at the hands of the Campbell government and the corporations that he feeds. Sadly it's a familiar scenario worldwide!

P.S. Have heard some people are experiencing "jerky playback" of this video. I would appreciate anyone experiencing this contacting me by email. It may be just an individual computer issue or a major streaming issue from Vimeo (in which case I'd like to resolve it). Thanks. Doug


Vanishing Rainbows from Doug Pyper on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Thought to Consider

With summer waning our spirit and energy often tend to lose momentum as the warm sun disappears. Here's a beautiful thought to embrace.

Look to this day,
For it is life.
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all
The realities and verities of existence.
The bliss of growth,
The splendor of action,
The glory of power---

For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today, well lived
Makes every yesterday a dream
of happiness
And every tomorrow is a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day

Sanskrit Proverb

Pics of the Week

Autumn in the Kootenays

Memories of Summer Near Slocan Lake

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's Not Easy Bein' Green..... Or Is It?

Well perhaps not for Kermit the Frog, but seems its a piece of cake for Gordon Campbell.

Do wonders never cease? Gordo just returned from the 2009 Governors’ Climate Summit in California held September 30 to October 02. This corporate puppet a.k.a. our duly elected dictator, continues to portray himself as organic green. It’s nothing short of astounding!

Here’s a clip from a recent press release by the Office of the Premier:

LOS ANGELES – Premier Gordon Campbell signed the 2009 Governors’ Climate Summit Declaration on behalf of British Columbia, committing the Province to work co-operatively with all levels of government around the world to combat climate change.

“Climate change is a challenge on an unprecedented scale and calls for an unprecedented level of co-operation between governments at all levels – national, state, provincial and municipal,” said Premier Campbell. “This declaration reaffirms our commitment to work collaboratively with other jurisdictions around the world, even as we take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within our own province. I want to thank California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and all host governors for giving a voice to sub-national governments on this important issue.”


This government is actively supporting and promoting the Northern Gateway Enbridge Pipeline across northern BC that will carry dirty Alberta Tar Sands oil to a proposed oil tanker port at Kitimat (snuffing a 30-year moratorium on coastal tanker traffic) that protected us from oil spills similar to the Exxon Valdez. This will allow a 50% increase in production from the Tar Sands, the biggest contributor to GHG emissions in Canada, and considered the most destructive project on the planet.

BC is currently one of the largest exporters of coal, providing carbon emitting fuel for power plants and steel production in Japan and South Korea. (now possibly including the new proposed Vancouver Island mine). Is this “working with governments around the world to combat climate change”? A little hard to swallow!

The lower mainland Gateway Project will produce more urban sprawl and build freeways gobbling up food producing Fraser Valley farmland while massively increasing single vehicle freeway traffic and consequently GHG emissions, instead of opting for increased rapid transit initiatives.

Gordon Campbell and the Fiberals blatantly promote off shore oil exploration and development and have provided 1.5 billion dollars in subsidies to oil and gas companies. That’s your tax dollars by the way! Green Initiatives???

And this government is in full support of coal-bed Methane gas exploration by British Petroleum (BP) in the pristine Flathead Valley of southeastern BC, an area that many foresaw as a future National Park.

It’s goes on and on.....there's no end in sight!!!


The Terminator and the Corporator

Photo Courtesy of Gordo's Public Affairs Bureau

I can honestly say I never really envisioned my blog as engaging in political commentary. My sole concerns at the root have always been “close to the heart” environmental issues. However, it seems inevitable that when addressing environmental issues you're drawn into the realm of political discourse, unavoidably when you share a province with the likes of Gordon Campbell and Co.

Quite frankly, politics makes me very weary, being foreign to my generally peaceful state of mind. I'd say I have a sort of “respectful disdain” for most politicians. An oxymoron perhaps, but I do reluctantly accept politics as a necessary evil in running the affairs of the human race. I even believe a rare few are actually there to serve.

But seriously, one cannot responsibly ignore Gordon Campbell. It’s not so much a crime that he’s selling himself and his political and corporate cohorts as green. That’s mere hypocrisy. The real crime is that the people of British Columbia buy into this gigantic lie. It’s tragic.....we’re being robbed of our geographic and natural heritage and ultimately our future. We follow like lambs to the slaughter as he gives away our province to corporate interests and the global new world order.

HOW DOES HE DO ALL THIS? Well, seemingly a bullet proof image (until recently) provided by his Public Affairs Bureau along with the "conscience soothing" carbon tax was all he needed. Meanwhile the corporately “dominated” mainstream media hailed him as a veritable “little green leprechaun”. Add to the scenario an NDP Party that offered no real alternative vision (and still doesn’t) and you've got a bogus carbon tax and a government seen in the eyes of the public as a panacea for climate change.

Sorry folks, but the buck stops with us. Let’s be realistic...with greatly fluctuating fuel prices the carbon tax isn't even noticed at the pumps, and statistics reflect that fact.

FUEL CONSUMPTION HAS ACTUALLY INCREASED SINCE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CARBON TAX. Further, those in rural British Columbia who often use their vehicles because they have to, not because they want to, are screwed by this ‘green wash’ political tactic. The big polluters...including the oil and gas companies.....yes they pay, but it’s returned to them in generous subsidies (as noted 1.5 billion dollars in subsidies) to keep them at work devastating our planet for personal gain, squeezing the last fossil fuels out of mother earth here in BC and Alberta.

There are alternatives to the Campbell's ineffective CT and numerous avenues to pursue for reducing GHG emmissions here in BC and worldwide. Increasing rapid transit, promoting car and ride sharing, curtailing the auto industry from further production and promotion of unnecessarily large gas guzzling consumer vehicles and above all putting the 'cuffs' on large industrial polluters. Numero Uno...immediate scaling down of the "Canadian" Tar Sands.

I could go on forever. Enough said! Let’s get rid of this white collar criminal before the next election (there are democratic options). It’s really up to us folks.....together we can toss out this arrogant crook through recall or a general strike! The Americans got rid of Nixon.....we can do the same with Gordo!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rivers at Risk

The Western Canada Wilderness Committee (WCWC) has recently published a new paper (tabloid size brochure). This is a "must read" and as noted in their memo below can be ordered from them at no charge.

If you're concerned about the corporate takeover of our rivers you may wish to order some and distribute copies throughout your community.

You can view and read the publication by clicking on the graphic illustration below and then clicking on the PDF file in the upper left corner.


Hello friend of BC Rivers

Our latest paper just arrived. It’s called BC Rivers at Risk, and is a successor to our Power Grab paper from last year. It looks at the threats to BC’s rivers caused by privatized hydropower projects. All around British Columbia people are concerned about the rampant privatization of our rivers. This newspaper gives people a way to channel their concerns into action.

It sheds light on how the BC government, through the 2002 BC Energy Plan forbade our profitable Crown corporation, BC Hydro, from competing with the private sector by barring Hydro from producing new sources of electricity. At the same time, it directed BC Hydro to meet future projected electricity needs by purchasing from private power developers. Since that time, there has been a phenomenal 1140 percent increase in these so-called “independent power project” (also known as IPPs) applications throughout BC.

The paper shines a spotlight on two large and extremely unpopular proposed projects:
Bute Inlet (150 km north of Powell River) and Glacier/Howser (in the West Kootenays). It also points out breaking news that the BC government is finally admitting what we’ve accused them of all along: that this private power would not be generated to serve British Columbians, but rather is intended for export. The newsletter also shows how we can do green power right: in a way that respects local communities, promotes conservation, fights against climate change, has real environmental oversight and benefits the public - not just corporations.

Here’s where YOU come in. Due to popular demand for our last IPP paper, we’ve printed 75,000 copies of this latest education report, and we want to get them to as many folks as we can to your local coffee shop, Doctor’s office, or friends, family and co-workers. If you can help, please e-mail us at or phone us at 604-683-8220 (1-800-661-9453 outside the Lower Mainland), and we’ll send you reports right away!

Sven Biggs
Outreach Assistant
Wilderness Committee