Thursday, September 9, 2010

Connecting the Dots and Paying the Full Price At the Pump

Photo courtesy Pat Freeny

This month, the iLCP, a group of internationally renowned photographers are taking part in a RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition) in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest. Home to white spirit bears, ancient forests, and stunning marine biodiversity, it is one of the planet's most priceless treasures, but overseas oil interests wanting access to western Canada's tar sands, the second largest known oil reserves in the world, have put the region in threat, prompting the action of conservation groups and the iLCP. Throughout the expedition we'll be bringing you profiles, stories, statistics and photos to learn more about the region and why it's so crucial that we all work to protect it. Please follow along here on the iLCP blog, on Facebook and Twitter.


Cristina Mittermeier writes from Great Bear...

Once upon a time people would have never dreamed of putting energy needs over food security. In today’s carbon era, however, that does not seem to be a problem for governments and corporations alike.

What is the big deal in sacrificing the livelihoods, traditions and sustenance of entire indigenous communities, when the rest of us will not accept paying the full ecological and social price at the pump?
Photo courtesy Cristina Mittermeier, iLCP

Do we even make the connections between the landscapes lost, species imperiled and indigenous people stripped of life and home and ancestral ways of life to accommodate our bad energy habits? I believe that as a civilized society we are failing to make those critical connections, but photography can help us better understand the links between causes of environmental degradation and the full consequences paid through the entire life cycle of “energy production”.
Photo courtesy Cristina Mittermeier, iLCP

Last week, the iLCP launched its 11th RAVE — this time to the Great Bear Rainforest. The purpose of this RAVE is to lend a voice to the marine mammals, coastal ecosystems, bears, wolves, eagles and more importantly to the First Nations who forcefully oppose plans for the government of Canada to build a pipeline from the Tar Sands of Alberta to the coast of British Columbia.

Ten photographers will be joined by a small army of reporters from American and Canadian news outlets to help bring these voices to the rest of the world and hopefully to help shine a light on this magical corner of the world that is threatened with yet another misguided oil development project.
Photo courtesy Cristina Mittermeier, iLCP

If all goes well, we will build a constituency of opposition to this project both in Canada and abroad. If we fail to be offended to our core by these type of projects, we will deserve every Gulf Oil Spill coming our way in the future.

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