Letter: B.C.’s future food shortage

We are so dependent on food supply from California that our own experts predict much higher prices and shortages to come soon.

To the editor:

With the drought, four years now, in California, a great part of our fresh food supply, maybe the Site C Dam project should be re-thought?

We are so dependent on food supply from California that our own experts about food, predict much higher prices and shortages to come soon. Are we ready for this? Sure, there are some foods that we can do without but in the long run what are our options if we are actually ‘cut off’ from this supply?

So, LNG Clark wants more power for her LNG projects and much more. Site C Dam is good for 1100 MW of power. We have an overabundant supply of natural gas that LNG Clark is in such a hurry to get off shore—more pipe lines—hurry!

We could install new state of the art power generating stations anywhere in the province where the need is, as long as we have a gas supply. Three new plants would be enough for the 1100 MWs of Site C Dam.

Whether our gas is burned here or in China makes no difference. One or two of the generating stations could be in the north along the Peace River, along the nearly 20,000 acres of ‘prime farmland’ that LNG Clark wants under water—forever.

Along with generation of power, there is usually left over extra heat—i.e. cooling towers or river water for cooling. This left over heat could be used to install massive green houses along the Peace River to grow the produce that California will be short of in the near future. Maybe we could ‘export’ some of this after we have fed the hungry people of Alberta and B.C.

Maybe Richmond area, where there are many new green houses, could use one of the new generation plants? Three generation plants would be a lot cheaper than the $12 billion Site C Dam.

Green houses also offer long term employment and produce, something that the dam does not. In places such as Europe, this waste heat from generation of electricity would be used for other purposes.

Depending on California for our food supply is not smart thinking. We could also raise organic, GMO-free trout and salmon etc. in factories along the Peace River, using the effluent from the fish to fertilize the plants we grow. We need to think outside the California box.

It has been studied that the continuing use of irrigation on California farms, is concentrating salt in the soil to a point that farming will not be sustainable for the future, making the farming practice a dead end project once the high salt content is reached and plants refuse to grow.

Remember, BC has 97 per cent non farmland and three per cent good farmland and with that math, we cannot afford to lose anymore. Here, in Kelowna, we continue to remove our farmland, just bit by bit, until we have no more left. When will we ever learn? Can we sit with a glass of wine (from California) and tell our grandchildren, yes, we used to have farmland but we built more shopping malls on it, too bad for you.

There is never any shortage until “I don’t have mine.”

Jorgen Hansen,  Kelowna


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