Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Reader's Digest publishes major takeout on BC pipeline and tanker perils

[This post has been updated] Reader's Digest in its February issue publishes a remarkable 5,000-word original article drawn from research excerpt for his forthcoming book The Oil Man and the Sea by Arno Kopecky, a Vancouver-based environmental journalist and travel writer. He writes about traversing the inside passage of BC and considering its peril from future Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker traffic. The piece is illustrated by photography of Ilja Herb. (Curiously, the Valentine's-themed cover of the issue makes no mention of the 18-page article.)

I'd say the story reporting and the editing are careful, providing both sides -- those who oppose Enbridge's pipeline and those who favour it. But the balance is clearly a warning against the project and it is hard to see how a story in a magazine with Canada's largest readership can fail to contribute to swaying public opinion on the issues. Here's a taste:
"Are we really going to put at risk tens of thousands of existing jobs in fishing and tourism, the watersheds and the internationally renowned Great Bear Rainforest for a couple hundred jobs promised by Enbridge?" asks Caitlyn Vernon, coastal campaigner with Sierra Club B.C.  
We just might. But in an age of rational hubris, Canada's West Coast  is one of the few places that reminds us of the unreasoning primacy of nature. Coastal residents believe they can win the Northern Gateway debate if they can get their fellow citizens to understand value in larger terms than money -- to see it, instead, in terms of functioning ecosystems, a healthy climate and a democracy that respects minorities.
The story is not available online; so if you're not a subscriber, you'll have to pick up at copy at the newsstand for $4.25.  [Update: the article has now been posted online http://www.readersdigest.ca/magazine/true-stories/273-billion-question-enbridge-and-northern-gateway-controversy (But you could buy a copy anyway.)]


Blogger Carmine Starnino said...

Small correction! It's not an except. Arno is indeed working on a book about the project and his trip, but this feature was written specifically for us.

3:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go, RD, for having the guts to tackle this story. I wonder why Canada's other large-circulation national magazines are staying away? If the subject is of interest to readers, it should help sell magazines. Even/especially if it's controversial.

1:45 pm  
Anonymous Dominique Ritter said...

Here's the link to full-text article, now online: http://www.readersdigest.ca/magazine/true-stories/273-billion-question-enbridge-and-northern-gateway-controversy

5:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tip of the cap to RD for this one. And while I'm at it, a tip of the hat to this blog.

I took it daily for years but left the industry and got interested in other things, but I've returned periodically to stay in touch with the industry. D.B., you seem to be the sole sentinel now. Masthead has shriveled to virtually nothing and Folio still doesn't see a reason to seriously cover the Great White North. As for the Enbridge pipeline, well, yeah, it would make an awful mess if a tanker ever broke up but we are hairless monkeys after all, and not gods, 'rational hubris' notwithstanding (lovely phrase and concept, biting, too.)

Urban/suburban nuclear plants, like the one in Pickering, would never have been built with Sierra's logic. Would they?

6:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RD has obviously taken a position against this pipeline; presenting one sided testimony, with only infrequent and token reference to safety measures being proposed, then presenting hazy arguments against even those concessions... I thought, all these years as an RD subscriber, that they were more balanced, but now I see the typical left-media agenda, and will cancel my subscription.

4:39 pm  

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