All things environmental

Musings about the environment and all it touches, from education to city planning

Heyhey! Trudeau! KinderMorgan’s got to go!

leave a comment »

img_0876Vancouver: hedonistic, apathetic, disengaged.  The only time crowds gather is for fireworks or the Sun Run.  Usually.

It was so uplifting to see so many, many people gathered yesterday for a demonstration against the KinderMorgan pipeline.  This was organised by a group called Climate Convergence Metro Vancouver.

kinder-morgan-cut_origConvergence is an apt word.  There was a lot of diversity in the crowd.  Some folks were mostly concerned about climate change.  Others, about the img_0867impact that a leak from the pipe or the tankers would mean for our rivers and our coast.  Others yet were there for social justice: among the people most at risk from the impacts are First nations who have never ceded their lands by treaty and have been ignored by the mainstream – until now.

Why was I there – why were so many people there?  I’ve participated in demonstrations in the past, and there is such a thing as demonstration fatigue.  I was waffling, I was gonna maybe go, maybe not.  But then I saw a post from one of my students.  Then another.  Then at a meeting a colleague said “we’ll see you at city hall tomorrow, right?”.  That tipped the balance for me, I had to go – I wanted to go.



img_0885-2I don’t want to exaggerate and call this a historical event.  But I might have witnessed, I might have participated in a social tipping point, a true grassroots moment when a lot of people, like me, went from  feeling of “I should go, I s’pose” to one of “that’s gonna be special, I gotta go”.img_0911


I couldn’t attend all of it, and I missed all the speeches.  Oh well.  But I caught up with the march on Cambie Bridge; what I saw was a dense crowd covering the whole of the 1.1 kilometre-long span.  I hoisted myself on the guardrail and took pictures.  Pictures, more disbelieving pictures.  The crowd kept coming.  I waived at a few people I know.  More people still marching.  I waited until the end, I made may way back to the beginning.  There were block after blocks after blocks worth of people.


Crowds can turn ugly, crowds can be somber.  Not here.  There was a sort of an buoyant, elated feeling from the crowd, a recognition that something special, something unusual was going on.  As if all of us, selfish individualistic Vancouverites that we are, had finally found a way to get together.  I felt proud of Vancouver, suddenly.


Written by enviropaul

November 20, 2016 at 8:49 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: