the omnipresent plume of the pulpmill
I hate it when one has to wrestle with great moral dilemmas. Twice I had started to write a great blog article - bemoaning the fact that our local editor is apparently backing the "gassification" plant proposed for Kamloops. For those not in this circle - the plant is for waste disposal of creosote soaked railway ties. The argument against is that the burning of the creosote will be nasty for us citizens and result in three eyed trout that will be really hard to catch. The argument for is that science will save the day and that "What's good for General Motors is good for the USA" - or in this case what's good for the backers of the project is ultimately good for Kamloops.
The dilemma is that one can not be against the "gassification" plant without also being against the pulp mill's continued attack against the air quality of the valley. That's where the dilemma comes from. Back in the day I was quite happy to write software for major forest companies that fed the pulp mill and in effect I participated in saying that the cost to the environment was worth the sheckles that fed my family for at least three months out of every year.
The real debate going on right now should be about the direction that Kamloops wishes to go. One can never trust the science behind these plants as being definitive; history is too full of instances where things, once thought safe, turned out to be not so good for you - blood letting, DDT, thalidomide and Reality TV, to name a few. So if it's not a matter of science it has to come down to a matter of dollars and sense (yes sense not cents): Are the extra dollars in the economy worth the sense of unease that we are running an industrial waste operation within the boundaries of the city.
Myself, I think it would be a great project if they could reroute the emissions from the pulp mill through the burner and kill two birds with one stone and hopefully not provide us with too many three eyed fish in the process.