Digging Up Vancouver Island to Pave California


Californians just approved a whole lot of construction on election day; $222 billion will be spent on repairing crumbling highways, bridges, schools and flood control devices over the next ten years. Much of that is built of concrete and much of concrete is sand and gravel. Much of California is made of rock and sand, but quarries are the ultimate NIMBY industry for very good reason, and local supplies are diminishing quickly. They could grind up those hills we saw around Palm Springs earlier this year, but instead, Canada, via Polaris Minerals, will obligingly step forward and grind up Vancouver Island, put six million tonnes of it per year in former Prime Minister Paul Martin's very big ships and send it south, saving Californians from looking at it being dug up in their own backyard.


Canada Steamship Lines Panamax Freighter

Moving stuff in big ships is probably the most energy efficient method, and Polaris can only make this work by being close to water at both ends. They can't be right on the water on the Canadian end because it might be seen by kayakers and hippies, so they are building it inland:


and have built a huge tunnel to the docks to get it there discreetly.


Here is the overall plan:


Polaris promises that "Progressive reclamation will occur throughout operations,... All disturbed land will be reclaimed." and 12% of the project is owned by the local native people, and of course such a project could not have proceeded without proper environmental study. And, as we have said, ship transport is highly efficient.

Still, this TreeHugger thinks that we will never get out of this mess if people don't understand where things come from or where things go, that there is a cost to everything. If Californians want to build highways and bridges, they can approve a gravel pit on their own turf. If they see the environmental costs of their decisions perhaps they will think of lower-impact solutions- perhaps concrete roads and bridges have had their day. As for Canada, what a sad relic of a country. It was bad enough being a hewer of wood and drawer of water; now we are a boiler of oil and breaker of rocks. ::Polaris Minerals Orca Project via ::National Post