Left Coast By Design

Tag: Saturna Island

Solar Energy Spill

Censored Greenpeace Ad
While I was sitting here on Saturna Island this morning drinking my coffee, I noticed a sizeable tanker off in the distance pulling a smaller vessel “the wrong way.” Now not being all that nautical, I asked one of our hosts Richard (who’s pretty darn nautical if you ask me) what exactly I was witnessing. Apparently the smaller vessel is a tug and all oil tankers that pass through are required to have one tethered as a “just in case” measure.

Knowing that the transportation of oil in BC has been a hot topic, I took this as a sign that I should read up on the issue for my own general knowledge. Heck, the fact that an oil tanker had to tow a tug through local waters was enough to get me a touch concerned.

So after a quick bit of googling and reading, I came across a post by Stephen Rees which pointed out the above ad from Greenpeace was censored (for lack of a better description) by Pattison Outdoor and not put up on a billboard or two as originally intended.

Now I was further confused – what the heck was wrong with the message? While I’m still in the formation stage of where I stand on the issue of oil in BC (either the pipeline proposal from Enbridge or the one from Kinder Morgan), I gave the ad a good chuckle and thought it was rather clever. Who in their right mind wouldn’t like a “solar energy spill” or two with the whether we’ve been having? It’s not obtuse, it’s not insulting, it’s actually pretty darn straight forward and by no means unbalanced. Yet, it was given a no go.

What do you think? Would you care to see these on billboards, bus stops, and busses? I kind of feel I would – and hope that other advertising agencies used as much thought as the one Greenpeace used in this display.

A Weekend on Saturna Island


Courtesy of Tim Gage

I’ve only been to Saturna Island a handful of times, yet find that as soon as my feet carry me off the ferry I’m instilled with a sensation of peace and relaxation. Maybe it’s the fact I’m a “big city” boy whose idea of taking it easy meant kicking back in front of the TV, but there’s something even more special here where I find myself somewhat off the grid.

Now off the grid is relative. Sure we have power, but it’s pure – Marnie’s aunt and uncle have a full solar & wind generation system set up. And while I might be able to reach out to you via LCBD, we’re staying in one of a handful of houses located on the southeast exposure of the island and would likely have to hike for over an hour in any direction before we’d run into another person. There’s a pub and general store, but they’re much closer to the ferry terminal than us, so quite a bit of thought is needed before hopping in the car to head there.

So it’s just me and the goats (there’s quite a large population of feral goats on the island) and I’m okay with that. We’ll hang out, enjoy what we see in front of us, and reflect on all that we can do – relax, recharge, and refocus.

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