Why are we allowing the BC Liberal government to hijack our education system to provide workers for the fracking industry at a time when climate change, caused by massive emissions of greenhouse gases, is already wreaking havoc in the lives of millions of people around the planet?
Why we are funnelling our children toward an industry that is associated with environmental death and destruction, an industry that has a long track record of contaminating waterways?
I can understand why adults who already work in oil and gas industries would continue to do so, but why, at a time when there are viable alternative energy industries, are we not preparing our children to live in an age of climate change?
Evidence that the BC Skills for Jobs Blueprint is nothing more than a fracking industry recruitment drive is abundantly clear in the LNG seminars that are currently touring our province. Designed to spin all the benefits of the fracking industry, there will be a lot that will not be mentioned in the presentations to our children.
Groundwater being contaminated by undisclosed chemicals won’t be mentioned. The folly of pursuing training for a single industry won’t be mentioned either. And certainly the fact that fracking wells leak dangerous methane gases daily, won’t be mentioned.
What will be mentioned is how much money our children will make in the jobs not taken by the many Temporary Foreign Workers we are to expect.
But even when money is the topic, what won’t be mentioned is how many billions oil and gas corporations will make and how little of that will actually be collected in taxes, how little they will pay for the extraction of our collective resources and the destruction of our environment.
Why are we standing by while profit is prioritized above ensuring there is a livable planet for our children?
With the money that they will earn, where will our children go to buy a new planet once the oil and gas industry has destroyed the possibility of human life on this one?
Why is it so difficult for people to understand that we are not in the environment, that the environment is in us.
Whatever we put into our water, we put into our bodies.
Whatever we put into the air, we put into our bodies.
Whatever we put into the soil, we put into our bodies.
Is the fact that there are PCBs and other pesticides in the breastmilk of nursing mothers not enough to cause us to pause and to reflect upon what we are doing in the name of the economy?
There can be no economy if there is no healthy environment.
Our children are entering a world they did not create. What kind of world is our education preparing them for?
When enormous resources are being spent in a spin machine that is trying to persuade our children that the only viable option for employment is an industry that destroys the environment, what are we doing?
Why are we not insisting that our children are trained for skills in green technology industries? Why are we not demanding that our governments follow the example of countries like Denmark that are rapidly moving away from fossil fuel dependence?
Why not teach our children a new way of being in the world, a way of living that does not destroy what our lives depend on?
Why are we fracking our children’s future?
Would a poem elucidate our options more clearly?
The Ark of Consequence by Marge Piercy
The classic rainbow shows an arc,
a bridge strung in thinning clouds,
but I have seen it flash a perfect circle,
rising and falling and rising again
through the octave of colours,
a sun shape rolling like a wheel of light.
Commonly it is a fraction of a circle,
a promise only partial, not a banal
Sign of safety like a smile pin,
that rainbow cartoon affixed to vans
and baby carriages. No, it promises
only, this world will not self-destruct.
Account the rainbow a boomerang of liquid
light, foretelling rather that what we
toss out returns in the water table;
flows from the faucet into our bones.
What we shoot up into orbit falls
to earth one night through the roof.
Think of it as a promise that what
we do continues in an arc
of consequence, flickers in our
children’s genes, collects in each
spine and liver, gleams in the apple,
coats the down of the drowning auk.
When you see the rainbow iridescence
shiver in the oil slick, smeared
on the waves of the poisoned river,
shudder for the covenant broken, for we
are given only this floating round ark
with the dead moon for company and warning.
From Mars and Her Children, Knopf, 1992