The route of the Trans Mountain pipeline in Chilliwack at Peach Ponds looking south towards the Vedder River. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)

LETTER: Pipelines should be used for desalination plants, not oil

‘Fresh clean water in the future will become the new gold’

The Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion (TMX), when completed and at capacity, will represent the fourth largest carbon stream on the planet.

This is an interesting fact considering the latest International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report estimates our remaining carbon budget to keep the average global temperature from rising past 1.5 degrees, at 400 billion tonnes (BT).

At our current annual rate of global consumption, aproximately 50 BT, this allows us another eight years at current consumption levels.

When and if the TMX ever comes online at full capacity, this will represent another 12.5 BT into the carbon stream. This will make it virtually impossible to meet our carbon emission targets.

We all dread the thought of denying the science and challenging the reaches of Mother Nature and global warming, especially after our latest bouts with fire, floods, and hurricanes.

So how do we turn this awful mess around? Exactly that, reverse the flow of the TMX and pump seawater inland to desalination plants.

Fresh clean water in the future will become the new gold. Israel has been doing it for years and now is able to supply its whole country, including agriculture with fresh clean desalinated water.

Other benefits of this new endeavour include emergency and off-grid hydro electric power, irrigation, and access water for fire suppression.

While the idea may seem a little far fetched and hard to chew for some, and even impossible for others, the reality of climate change and carbon streams is what needs to be swallowed.

Arthur Green

Hope

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