Two things come to mind regarding the Northern Gateway crude oil and condensate pipelines.
First, our over confidence in technology. Second, our vulnerability to the forces of nature.
Examples of human tragedies and ecological disasters caused by both are far too numerous to list here.
However, I reference one event. This April 15 will the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
A modern marvel of the age with many safety features – water tight compartments, electronically controlled water tight doors, eight massive water pumps, wireless radio – the Titanic fell victim to the arrogance of technology and the might of nature.
The owners, designers and builders of the Titanic never said publicly the ship was “unsinkable” – brochures and news articles made that claim.
But they did state the ship was “practically unsinkable” and “as far as possible to do so” the Titanic was “designed to be unsinkable”.
The proponents of the Alberta to BC pipeline believe that as far as it is possible to do so, this pipeline can be engineered, built and operated not the fail.
And are equally confident that the tanker ships carrying the millions of barrels of oil are “practically unsinkable”.
Faith in the technology of 1912 was proven fatal. Staunch belief in this Northern Gateway pipeline is equally flawed.