BC's Politicians are Convinced that Fracked Gas and Coal Exports Will Defy History

British Columbia's budget deficit stems from the same type of short-term mismanagement as Alberta's. About 150 years ago BC's aboriginal population enjoyed real wealth. They lived within vast tracts of virgin forest that were drained by countless crystal clear waterways teeming with life which were all surrounded by massive glaciers along with massive mineral and energy deposits...then came the settlers -us. At first the settlers settled in a few small pockets and traded with the First Nations, then they found the golden rocks that drove settlers crazy and led to the frenzy of exploitation, extraction and exhaustion of natural resources that continues to this day.

Of course those first settlers never considered the long term, they saw themselves specially anointed by their imaginary being with dominion over the 'endless' bounty they'd 'discovered' in this vast land inhabited by heathens. The settlers were drawn into BC's interior by their dreams of fortune, fame and gold but once they arrived they found lumber and salmon far easier to harvest than gold and set about selling every damned bit they could.

With BC being the vast resource rich land that it is no one, especially those raking in the money, thought about the mathematical certainty that on planet earth 'endless' always has an end. Sustainability wasn't in the settler lexicon, but MORE was, so on they went extracting and exhausting area after area, mile after mile, building their fortunes on nature's sequestered wealth. The settlers built roads then railroads to carry their plunder to the ocean for export. The decades rolled by, the settler's numbers ballooned, the once 'endless' forestry and fishery resources dwindled but still no one dared see what the future held.

Today the fisheries are plundered and we export farmed fish, the forests are leveled and we export most of what little is left as raw logs to the US and Asia where wages for processing are much lower, and we've found new resources to plunder, but we haven't learned a damned thing.

Today BC's main political parties agree, much as their predecessors did, that we can and should finance our lives by extracting nature's sequestered wealth as fast as possible. Today we see coal and fracked gas as the 'endless' resources, just as those 1st settlers saw the forests and fish. Today we don't care about the future anymore than the settlers did. Today we care about shopping, about the latest electronic gizmo, about a shiny new car to drive to work, about lottsa new clothes, we care about our wants not about the future.

Today BC's government has a deficit despite it having recently sold off the people's forests and railroad to provide the illusion of book balancing. Instead of wisely using the real wealth they found here just 150 years ago as a good farmer does his field they took everything and turned it into mansions and money. Now, just as then, BC's politicians are convinced that the mirage of fracked gas and the folly of exporting coal will allow the shoppers to keep shopping long enough for them to get rich on the corporate largess.

At least those first settlers had the excuse of worrying about having enough, about their children having enough, but it's really all about shopping now. We no longer export our natural resources to assure our survival, we export them to pay for the plastic crap we lineup for at the mall. Most of us are no longer driven crazy by dreams of yellow rocks, now we are driven crazy by credit card debt, by mortgages and rents on inflated real estate, by the new car the neighbor just leased, by...by our imaginary need for MORE.

So here we are, just like with Alberta's Tar Sands crud, the 'markets' are awash in fracked gas and coal and the plummeting of poorly planned government revenues. Just like Alberta, BC's solution is MORE. Round and round we go on history's resource extraction carnival wheel, when we stop nobody knows, but stop we will one way or another.