||June 2009 issue||
Hydroelectric development in Bute Inlet
The green gold rush
Modern-day prospectors are banking on a hydroelectric
development in British Columbia’s Bute Inlet, but debate over the project’s environmental impact is exposing a deep
schism over the province’s crucial next step
Excerpt of story by Terry Glavin with illustrations by Gérard DuBois
When Wall Street collapsed into a hair-raising mortgage crisis last year, the world’s investment banks started
toppling like dominoes, and now the global economy is in the midst of a wave of horrible shudders and contractions.
The planet’s temperature, meanwhile, is lurching upward. These are not the best of times.
Environmental progress has come to be seen as a luxury we can afford only when times are good: smelter owners
build better smokestacks, automakers manufacture more fuel-efficient cars, people have the bucks to buy them, and
so on. But this time is different.
While vast government bailouts are rushing in to staunch the bleeding where free-market forces have failed, enormous
volumes of private capital are funding the race toward a new “green power” global economy, aided by at least US$400 billion
in government investment around the world. There’s real environmental progress — and opportunity — out there.
For the rest of this story, visit your local newsstand or go to our store to buy this issue.
Can Geo POLL
What geographical frontier would you like to explore next?