Coast Reporter recently published the results of an online poll: of 373 responses, 59 per cent were “in favour of water extraction for bottling from streams in Jervis, Toba and Bute inlets.”
Superficially, it seems Sunshine Coasters support one of the most polluting and unnecessary processes and products in the world today.
Consider these figures of annual bottled water production in the U.S. from National Geographic: 17 million barrels of oil to make the bottles; 50 million barrels of oil to pump, process, transport and refrigerate; just 13 per cent of bottles are recycled (most are in landfills for centuries or incinerated, releasing toxic by-products).
Plus, the unknown effects of removing stream water on all the life it supports, including ours.
Yet the province decided these 33 licences to extract 93,500 litres of water daily from this area “would be unlikely to result in significant adverse effects” and did not warrant a full environmental assessment.
B.C. obviously considers these serious, global harms to be “externalities”— someone else’s problem, not ours — but for Sunshine Coasters, resource extraction is necessarily a local concern. So what about this poll?
The website notes it isn’t “based on recognized statistical methods” and, by clearing the browser’s history, you can vote on one poll as many times as you like. So, could these results reflect the views of only a few self-interested parties manipulating public opinion?
Powell River approved these projects, First Nations haven’t been adequately consulted, and the Sunshine Coast Regional District is concerned about “compensation.” What compensation can there possibly be for selling out the planet? Everyone must share in this concern; we should not need a poll to prove it.
Marina La Salle