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“By a remarkable accident of geography, three of British Columbia’s most important salmon rivers are all born within literally a stone’s throw of each other in a rugged knot of mountains. The only other place I know like that is Tibet, where the Brahmaputra and Ganges are born in lakes on the lower flanks of Mount Kailash. That area is so revered that normally you are not even allowed to climb it. The idea of putting industrial infrastructure at the headwaters of those rivers would be anathema to Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain. Yet here we are about to embark upon coal-bed methane exploration and open anthracite coal mines right at the headwaters of our three greatest rivers in British Columbia. Not only are we prepared to do it, but we don’t, even in the calculus of our economic planning, have a metric for the value of the land left alone. In other words, no company that wants to do something there has to compensate Canadians for destroying something so unique. ... I was raised in the forests of British Columbia to believe those forests existed to be cut. That has made me a human being very different from my friends amongst the Kwagiulth, who believed that those same forests were the abode of the crooked beak of heaven and the cannibal spirits that dwell at the north end of the world.”

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WHO? Wade Davis in this interview

posted at 10:00 am
on May. 30, 2008

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