Quantcast

Fractured Land

Energy

Fractured Land

“Anyone who can throw a tomahawk and sue you is a force to be reckoned with,” said Bill McKibben, author, environmental educator and founder of 350.org, about Caleb Behn.

Caleb Behn is the young, eloquent and enigmatic subject of a new documentary-transmedia project Fractured Land. An experienced hunter trained on the land by his grandfathers, Caleb is a modern Dene warrior, and a law student at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada.

He is a part of a dynamic dialogue on sustainable, equitable energy development in Canada, a country whose antiquated resource extraction practices are systematically decimating a way of life reliant upon the air, water and land.

“One of B.C’s bright, emerging native political leaders,” said Mark Hume, The Globe and Mail, Caleb is among an inspiring new generation of Indigenous leaders, balancing their ancestral customs with the modern world to forge a path to a sustainable energy future.

Vancouver-based filmmakers Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis have followed Caleb to places of largely unseen beauty—from his traditional territories in Northern British Columbia, where he’s fished and hunted moose his whole life, to Maori lands in New Zealand, where he sought to learn how Indigenous law could be blended with the current legal system in order to protect our sacred ecosystems.

Now back in Canada, Caleb’s making a lot of noise—touring the country to speak about his experiences and concerns, and applying his legal education toward building bridges across divided communities.

Caleb has been an active voice in the recent Idle No More movement, using social media to engage in constructive discourse with other leaders and participants across the country and the globe.

Background: Caleb Behn and energy development in British Columbia

Both Caleb’s mother’s and father’s territories are deeply affected by decades of heavy oil and gas industry development.

His mother, from the West Moberly Nation of the Peace Valley region has seen development as early as 1922, with large-scale commercial development beginning in the 1950s, and growing rapidly since. The third proposed dam on the Peace River, known as Site C, would flood an 80 km stretch of the valley to power natural gas and mining operations.

Meanwhile, in Caleb's father's Eh-cho Dene territory around Fort Nelson, there are plans for 20 long-term licenses to draw a trillion liters of water out of surrounding rivers and lakes to use for natural gas "fracking" operations in the nearby Horn River Basin.

Fracking is a method of natural gas extraction that involves drilling deep into the Earth, to blast the shale with vast amounts of water, toxic chemicals and sand at high-pressures, to crack open the shale and release the gas.

The process has been flagged worldwide for poisoning water tables and releasing noxious gases into the atmosphere, severely damaging the health of residents living in the regions and causing unequivocal environmental destruction, including earthquakes.

In 2012, The David Suzuki Foundation reported that scientists have analyzed 40 years of satellite images of British Columbia, discovering a rapidly growing network of hydrocarbon infrastructure development, directly undermining the governments proposed goal to drastically reduce carbon emissions by 2020.

To transport the natural gas from British Columbia to Asia, as proposed, it must first be converted to a liquid state, which would require approximately 14, 500 GWh of electricity, enough to power 75 percent of all residences in the province.

This sophisticated web of hydrocarbon project development between Alberta and British Columbia is being referred to as “Canada’s Carbon Corridor.” The infrastructure required for these projects forges an archaic cycle of abuse of the region’s resources that threatens to lock Canada into an unsustainable and destructive social, economic and environmental path.

Canada has seen generations of endemic violence and abuse within Indigenous communities, a conversation that, according to Fractured Land interview subject Naomi Klein, best-selling author and activist, is inevitable when discussing resource development on traditional Aboriginal lands:

“I don’t think we can get ourselves out of the corner in which we find ourselves without a very deep discussion about the settling of this country and the genocide that was part of that. I don’t think we can talk about this without talking about residential schools. I think as soon as you start talking about this, all of these historical traumas come up.”

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Sign the petition today, telling President Obama to enact an immediate fracking moratorium:

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Bumblebees flying and pollinating a creeping thyme flower. emeliemaria / iStock / Getty Images

It pays to pollinate in Minnesota.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of icebergs on Arctic Ocean in Greenland. Explora_2005 / iStock / Getty Images

The annual Arctic thaw has kicked off with record-setting ice melt and sea ice loss that is several weeks ahead of schedule, scientists said, as the New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Sled dog teams pull researchers from the Danish Meteorological Institute through meltwater on the Greenland ice sheet in early June, 2019. Danish Meteorological Institute / Steffen M. Olsen

By Jon Queally

In yet the latest shocking image depicting just how fast the world's natural systems are changing due to the global climate emergency, a photograph showing a vast expanse of melted Arctic ice in Greenland — one in which a pair of sled dog teams appear to be walking on water — has gone viral.

Read More Show Less
CAFOs often store animal waste in massive, open-air lagoons, like this one at Vanguard Farms in Chocowinity, North Carolina. Bacteria feeding on the animal waste turns the mixture a bright pink. picstever / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Tia Schwab

It has been almost a year since Hurricane Florence slammed the Carolinas, dumping a record 30 inches of rainfall in some parts of the states. At least 52 people died, and property and economic losses reached $24 billion, with nearly $17 billion in North Carolina alone. Flood waters also killed an estimated 3.5 million chickens and 5,500 hogs.

Read More Show Less
Members of the NY Renews coalition gathered before New York lawmakers reached a deal on the Climate and Communities Protection Act. NYRenews / Twitter

By Julia Conley

Grassroots climate campaigners in New York applauded on Monday after state lawmakers reached a deal on sweeping climate legislation, paving the way for the passage of what could be some of the country's most ambitious environmental reforms.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
In this picture taken on June 4, an Indian boatman walks amid boats on the dried bed of a lake at Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, on the eve of World Environment Day. Sam Panthaky / AFP / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

Nearly 50 people died on Saturday in one Indian state as record-breaking heatwaves across the country have caused an increasingly desperate situation.

Read More Show Less
A man carries a poster in New York City during the second annual nationwide March For Science on April 14, 2018. Kena Betancur / Getty Images

By Will J. Grant

In an ideal world, people would look at issues with a clear focus only on the facts. But in the real world, we know that doesn't happen often.

People often look at issues through the prism of their own particular political identity — and have probably always done so.

Read More Show Less

YinYang / E+ / Getty Images

In a blow to the Trump administration, the Supreme Court ruled Monday to uphold a Virginia ban on mining uranium, Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less