Tzeporah Berman Coming Home to Vancouver
by Damien Gillis l The Canadian.org
In comments section today on her Vancouver Observer Fluff Piece.
DAMIEN: "I wonder whether Tzeporah will return to promoting private river diversion projects now that she's back in town.
Thankfully, in her absence, the cat has fully emerged from the proverbial bag on this disastrous program she championed prior to leaving for Amsterdam. A little required reading to get her up to speed:
"I sincerely hope Mr. Beers doesn't fail to cover this topic and the extraordinary controversy Tzeporah stirred up within the environmental community when he interviews her at Cap U."
TZEPORAH: "Hi Damien, interesting article. I think however, in your opposition to IPP's you fail to recognize the need to fight climate change and move away from a dependence on fossil fuels.
"Seems to me what the debate has always been missing is a recognition the far majority of BC's energy (not electricity but total energy) still comes from fossil fuels. If we are going to move to a low carbon economy we need to plan for increased electricity demand (from the electrificiation of our ports, transportation system etc.).
"Of course energy efficiency needs to come first but all of the models out there, even the ones that maximise energy efficiency and conservation options way beyond current trends show an overall increase in demand if we are going to move away from fossil fuels that I think we need to plan for. To be clear I never "promoted IPP's" I simply said I think we need to produce as much renewable energy as is possible in an environmentally responsible manner and that will include production by companies. The diverse technologies and locations of renewable energy demand that in almost every jurisdiction in the world that is being successful in dramatically increasing renewables (other than China...)."
"I do expect David to bring this up Wednesday night and that is in fact why I asked him to be my on stage interviewer. I am happy to discuss any and all of this issues and I think that is the only way we can figure out a path forward. All I ask (and hope for) is that we can avoid personal attacks and focus on the issues. best, Tzeporah"
DAMIEN: Tzeporah, first of all, thank you for your prompt reply. Beyond that, it's as though you never left and we are having the same conversation we did the first time we met to discuss private river diversion projects in early 2008 [correction: early 2009]. I encourage you to look at my body of work - from documentaries on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, to exposing the folly of paving highways over farmland when we should be investing heavily in public transit, cycling infrastructure and walkable, densified urban communities (much as you discuss in your article here). It is all about recognizing and dealing with the challenges of climate change.
But I look beyond (easily manipulated) carbon calculations to ECOLOGY. I encourage you to learn this word and apply it in your work. These private river diversion projects wreak havoc on our ecosystems and are not a worthy trade-off for the alleged carbon benefits you and the Donald MacInneses of the world cite in defence of IPPs. The reality is, even on a carbon level, it's a losing proposition, as you fail to take into account the carbon and ecological consequences of clear-cutting thousands of hectares of forests for transmission lines, industrial roads, and the river diversion projects themselves; meanwhile, there is no tying of new IPPs to the ramping down of coal-fired plants. We are simply being asked to lump more ecologically damaging power projects on top of our existing hydrocarbon-based energy system, and that's not helping the climate one iota - quite the opposite. I encourage you and the readers of this site to check out my TEDx talk on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq8-xbAj2YQ
Finally, quite apart from the climate aspect of this discussion, you neglect the fact that this whole program is one massive FRAUD perpetrated on the people of BC by large, foreign corporations. The point of the Sun article I linked for you earlier and everything myself and my colleagues like Rafe Mair and Drs. John Calvert, Marvin Shaffer, Marjorie Griffin-Cohen, the Wilderness Committee, etc. have been saying for years is that we DON'T NEED this power we are being suckered into paying 3-4 time the market rate for. The reason is - thankfully - our electricity consumption has been trending downward in recent years as we improve our energy efficiency and practice active conservation (this, combined with deliberately exaggerated demand to justify more private power, made clear by both the Hydro Panel Report and Hydro's CEO). And that is where the focus needs to be - CONSERVATION.
In a world of PEAK EVERYTHING, we need to learn to use LESS - not more. Not Power Up, but Power Down. And that is the point you continue to miss. Apparently a year abroad did nothing to change your perspective and that is a great disappointment.
I just wanted you to be aware that the playing field has shifted in your absence and I hope we won't be hearing more private power boosterism from you now that you're back in our beautiful city (that much we can both agree on).