I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Those Dead Ducks

A few dead ducks in Syncrude's tailings ponds don't matter: after all, hunters kill millions of ducks per annum.   And wind power kills birds - so it must be OK that ducks drown in toxic goo.  Why are we wasting money on a trial?  We are only damaging the reputation - and that reputation was carefully built  too - of a great Canadian energy company - and perhaps the entire industry.  This isn't my opinion - it is that of Gwyn Morgan's in the Monday, April 19th business section of the Globe and Mail.  On page B7 to be exact.

I hope his eyes are brown!  Syncrude is on trial as prosecutors allege that the company broke the law.  Remember those stupid kids who sluiced ducks out of season and posted their hilarious video on You Tube?  They were charged  with killing migratory birds - and convicted.  Afterwards, one of them said:

"What happened was severe," he added. "A few ducks were killed and that's tragic. But this has been getting coast to coast and international coverage when endangered species are being killed everywhere, all over the planet." http://www.cbc.ca/canada/saskatchewan/story/2009/08/11/sask-youtube-duck-hunter-convicted-observations.html
Sounds rather like the arguments Mr Gwyn Morgan used.  Yes, we killed a few ducks - but other people do worse things.  I hope Syncrude's lawyers have better arguments than that to present in court.  Is he suggesting that , since trials are expensive, that we shouldn't charge and try alleged child abusers?  After all, worse things have happened - look at the Holocaust! 

I think Mr Morgan is  spinning on behalf of tar sands producers and their carefully built reputation.   I'm sure he is worried about the effects on the industry if Syndcrude is convicted - and is therfore attempting to build support for the industry.   However, suggesting that Syncrude and the industry should be exempt from the rule of law seems a tad excessive to me.

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