Posted by: Vicki Burns | May 7, 2012

The Yinka Dene Alliance Freedom Tour and Denmark’s Decreased Energy Consumption – What’s the Connection?

Yesterday I attended the Yinka Dene Alliance Freedom rally at the Forks in Winnipeg. Its all about a group of First Nations from B.C. drawing attention to their move to stop the Enbridge pipeline being built across their traditional lands in B.C. They are concerned about the devastating effects an oil spill could have on their lands and waters. A group of 40 people are travelling by train across the country to Toronto to make their case at the Enbridge AGM.image of women holding banner, No Pipelines Without Consent

Several of the speakers at the rally referred to their desire to protect the land and water for the children and grandchildren of the next 7 generations. There were representatives of the grandmothers’ council in Manitoba and their words were impassioned and straightforward. As a grandmother myself, I relate strongly to the basic idea of wanting to protect the natural world for many reasons, not the least of which is our responsibility to future generations. Then I think about how we can accomplish this if we’re still so reliant on fossil fuels, which is driving the market for the tar sands product that would travel through the Enbridge pipeline.

This morning I opened the Globe and Mail to see an article about Denmark and how they have decreased their GHG by 13% since 1990 while we in North America have increased ours on average by 30%. Although they now provide 20% of their energy needs by wind power, the remaining 80% is coming from coal burning plants. Even so, they’ve decreased their  GHG emissions by shrinking energy needs through various energy conservation measures. They’ve increased the cost of energy to such an extent that consumers are driven by basic economics to ride bikes instead of driving, for example. It struck me that the basic idea of trying to decrease our energy use has not really taken off yet in North America. Maybe that is where we should be putting much more of our attention and efforts. What do you think?

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