05 December 2009

Paving over the answer to climate change

Burns Bog is being drained of its lifeblood – water. Precious farmland is being covered by preload, heritage homes are being demolished, the Fraser River ecology is being disrupted, and wildlife habitat is fragmented.

And for what? Yet another unnecessary freeway.

The South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) runs from DeltaPort Way through Delta’s richest farmland, through bogland along the south side of the Fraser River, cuts through the banks of the Fraser in North Delta destroying heritage homes, then through Bridgeview in Surrey where the destruction of homes has left people homeless. It finally connects to 176th Street (Hwy 15) and stops near Barnston Island in Surrey.

The government argues this freeway is necessary to reduce congestion and will improve the quality of life for businesses and residents.

But will it? As the SFPR snakes its way through Delta and Surrey it passes fifteen private and public schools. How can increased noise and air pollution improve their quality of education?

The government reports state there will be increased jobs in the health industry due to increased respiratory and cancer related illnesses caused by pollutants from the road. Is that a worthy trade-off to you?

Is this how you want your taxpayer money spent?

You already paid $73 million to protect the bog. Now you’re going to be paying over a billion dollars to ruin it. This freeway will ruin the bog and ruin our chances of reducing climate change.

Burns Bog, located in Delta, British Columbia, and other peatlands worldwide, play a large role in reducing climate change. Peatlands, such as Burns Bog, are massive carbon sinks, storing as much carbon as all terrestrial biomass, twice as much as all global forest biomass, and about the same as in the atmosphere (UN report, 2007). The 2007 UN report continues to state that, “degradation of peatlands is a major and growing source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions from peatland drainage, fires and exploitation are estimated to currently be equivalent to at least 3,000 million tonnes per annum or equivalent to more than 10% of the global fossil fuel emissions.” Despite these frightening statistics, the destruction of Burns Bog continues.

It is not too late. We can still stop this atrocity but we need your help. Sign our online petition here, and send a letter to your government representative telling them you oppose this freeway. Better and cheaper alternatives have been made and ignored. Building a 4-lane highway is not the way to go “greener.” Write your own thoughts or use the letter template provided below. Simply sign your name to it. No postage required.

Download the letter template by clicking here.

For a list of government officials names and addresses click here.

For more information on the South Fraser Perimeter Road please visit http://www.burnsbog.org/, http://gatewaysucks.org/, http://www.thereisanotherway.com/ and http://www.gatewayprogram.bc.ca/

View photos of the construction already underway on Flickr by clicking http://www.flickr.com/photos/45258465@N05/

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