Sunday, July 28, 2013
Jog for the Bog
I didn’t realize today was International Bog Day. They had a fun run and festival at Burns Bog. I never used to realize the ecological importance of bogs. I remember hearing some environmentalists were rallying to save a bog a while ago and I said are you kidding me? It’s just a bog. It’s not like it’s an old growth forest.
Apparently bogs are very important for water and air filtration. Burns Bog is referred to as the lungs of the Lower mainland since it filters out the carbon and greatly improves the air quality. Which is pretty important since every summer we now see reports on air quality readings for those with respiratory problems. During the summer pollution tends to sit in the Fraser Valley as there isn’t much wind to blow it away.
Which again forces us to ask what they are smoking at City Hall to even consider putting a Garbage incinerator in Surrey. That’s more than shooting ourselves in the foot. It’s placing a noose around our neck to go bungee jumping. It most certainly isn't progressive.
There was a petition and booth about the coal trains at the festival. Aside from the huge ecological ramifications of mining and burning coal, transporting it brings air quality concerns for people with respiratory problems as well. The coal cars are open and exposed. Whenever coal trains go by, coal dust spread for miles. In Whitercok they have to keeping wiping off the patio tables from all the coal dust resulting from the increase in coal train traffic. Which will go off the charts if the Fraser Docks coal terminal is created. The one Metro Vancouver voted against.
Yet another problem with transporting coal trains through burns bog is that the dust will polite the bog. It will saturate it with carbon and prevent it from purifying our air like it’s supposed to. On Texada Island there isn’t enough water to hose down the coal to prevent the dust from spreading. Even if they do hose it down that just means it goes into the water supply and contaminates the seafood we eat.
Even if we cave in to the short term economic clear cut of transporting coal out of the Fraser Docks there’s nothing to say they won’t turn around and ship it out of Cherry Point in the States. As we become more educated as a society, we need to start using our brain and becoming economically sustainable and stop being so short sighted. Coal was fine in the Industrial revolution but times have changed. The CO2 levels are a real concern now. Failing to address that is just being irresponsible.
Burns bog is a really nice place to go for a walk. They’ve built a board walk in the reserve. Not only is it an important air and water filtration system but it is also teaming with wildlife. In a closed section it is an important migratory habitat for Sandhiil Crane that stand at five feet tall. The cranes migrate down to Oregon and California but nest in Burns bog. It is a crucial part of their habitat. Just like the Tsawwassen area is that they want to rezone for a shopping mall. The Burns bog Conservation Society has an awesome Crane T-shirt you can buy to support their cause. They are collecting paper cranes to go along with a petition to stop development in that sacred habitat.