Environmentalists claim the habitat of much wildlife, including humpback whales, is under threat from the proposed oil project
How one young activist is challenging the oil industry over Great Bear Rainforest pipeline
9th March, 2011
A remarkable young environmentalist is standing in the way of a controversial Canadian oil pipeline which campaigners fear could become the next Exxon-Valdez or Deepwater Horizon disaster. Eric Keen reports
Alone in his shack, tucked deep within a maze of British Columbian fjords, one young naturalist is waging war against a consortium of the world's largest oil companies. His arsenal: gum boots, binoculars, and data – lots of it.
Enbridge, Canada’s largest pipeline corporation, has submitted a federal proposal that could establish twin lines between the Albertan oil sands and the B.C. port town of Kitimat. From there, supertankers measuring three by one football fields in size would take the oil through the coast’s winding channels and onwards to its chief clients: to the south, the United States, and China overseas. But first they have to get past James Pilkington.
For the last three summers, this 27-year old Ontarian has lived among ravens and orcas on a rock overlooking Caamano Sound, a fjord-wreathed body of water in the rugged upper reaches of British Columbia. Being a day´s boat ride from the nearest store, James sleeps under a tarp, goes weeks without seeing another soul, and protects his food from the coastal wolves and bears using barrels suspended from the trees by a system of ropes.
What is it that drives this man to such ascetic,...
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