Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The last straw

You go through life, trying not to cause too much of a fuss. Something comes up, and you think to yourself something along the lines of "That's not right", but it doesn't seem important enough or close enough to you for you to take action. Then something else comes up. And something else. Finally, one day, something happens that pushes you over the edge, from inaction to action. Today might be that day for me.

CBC got a hold of a consultant's report for SaskPower, recommending Elbow as the best location for a nuclear power plant in Saskatchewan. I don't like this at all. I've had misgivings in the past about nuclear power - no matter how much the engineers work on making systems "fail-safe", there is always a way for something to fail. Humans are not perfect, and we create imperfect systems. Murphy will always find a way to prevail. I think this could be the last straw for me, that finally moves me from thinking and talking about environmental issues into becoming more actively involved.

Yes, I know that there are risks involved in just about everything, that nothing in this life is 100% safe, and that you can't live life in fear of the sky falling. I'm not saying that I'm worried about a meltdown, or terrorists blowing it up, or anything like that - but when I'm living directly downstream of it, I wonder what the odds are of something being released into the water supply. According to the CBC article, 40% of our province gets drinking water from Lake Diefenbaker - that doesn't feel like what I would consider an acceptable risk. And then there's the whole issue of waste storage that I don't even like to think about...

So, what am I going to do about this? I don't know the best way to voice my opinion to those in power (no pun intended). I need to do this constructively - I know that the power needs of the province are rising, so I can't just say "don't do this", I need to say "do this instead". There are alternatives - there's a wind power project in Beechy that sounds promising - but I don't know what I can do myself to promote them. And I can't just sit back and hope that the government will not go ahead with the project - the energy minister sounds like he's in favor of it.

I'm open to suggestions...