We debut a new feature on our website, Green Voices. We will share opinion articles from our members in this space. We begin with Karin DeVries, who is the Executive Representative for the Minas Basin Region.
Chronicle Herald 5th of July 2018
N.S. cabinet shuffle shifts focus to mining, forestry and environment
Premier Stephen McNeil shuffled his cabinet on the 5th of July 2018, saying he wants his Liberal government to focus more of its attention on the province’s mining and forestry industries.
By: Karin DeVries
On the 5th of July 2018, Premier Stephen McNeil shuffled his cabinet, saying he wants his Liberal government to focus more of its attention on the province’s mining and forestry industries. Since then, we have seen more media coverage about mining and specifically about uranium and gold mining.
I believe there are more economically beneficial and environmentally sustainable industries to focus on for our future. Apart from sustainable forestry, the mining and forestry industries damage our health and environment. In addition, these are not sustainable without subsidies and that means taxpayers’ money. It is true that these industries will generate revenue and will create some short-term jobs. After the mines are no longer economically sustainable, all our good quality wood has been consumed, and the remainder of the wood left prone to the diseases and insects that characterize monoculture, then what?
How do I see the future in our province related to industry? In the future, stricter international environmental regulations and emission controls will become effective and I am advocating for more environmental, “health friendly” and sustainable technology. Many companies already acknowledge that this will be the new status quo.
Transforming municipal solid wastes and industrial waste into high value fuels and recyclable materials at lower costs than landfilling is not new but needs to be developed and implemented in Nova Scotia. I believe that this one industry that Nova Scotia should focus on, recycling waste. I do see this as a good start and not the end goal. Reducing waste is the goal. I also realize that certain recycling technologies are not environmental and health friendly, so each technology needs to be assessed before being implemented in Nova Scotia. But there are some really good technologies available that have already proven themselves for many years.
“In the future, stricter international environmental regulations and emission controls will become effective... Many companies already acknowledge that this will be the new status quo.”
Another beneficial area of focus on is power generation using solar, wind and hydro. I do not consider the mega hydro projects where a tremendous amount of nature, wildlife and human habitat are being destroyed as a proper solution for power generation.
When the renewable power generation is in place, the extra generated power can be stored and used to create biofuels from waste. This to be used when there is not enough generated renewable energy available and there is a need for fuel for engines, gas turbines, or boilers. Also, the extra generated power can be used to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen and use hydrogen as fuel.
I believe that Nova Scotia should invest in the above-mentioned sustainable and renewable technologies and developments. Nova Scotia has focused already too long on the “dirty” industries and with the result of wasting money on waste disposal clean-up, on forestry study after forestry study and paying for health issues caused by environmental pollution.
Attaining 100% sustainable power generation in Nova Scotia, Scotia will take considerable time and resources, but it is better to start working on it now and change our focus to the future and future technologies rather than continuing to invest in the old (dirty) technology that will only offer short-term economic benefits.
The above is all very feasible, it only requires a change of focus and determination to make a change.
I joined the Green Party because I believe in what I have written above and the Green Party most closely aligns with my beliefs.