Category Archives: Your Thoughts

Shouldn’t We Know Better? – Talking with Dennis Woodrow Burden

It has been a number of years since I had begun looking into the reality of the Muskrat Falls Hydro Electric project on Grand River in Labrador.  Since about the same time as it seemed our provincial government were getting serious about it.
I didn’t believe it would ever go through.  Not in this day and age, I thought; mega dams are old technology and we know the difference now.  Even the USA has be reversing these projects and have dismantled close to 500 in the last decade, they are just to dangerous to keep.  Plus there are so many other advanced opportunities.  I looked at countries such as Germany and Scotland with their use of solar, wind, and tidal.  Sure, the Bay of Fundy pushes more water on one tide than all the rivers on the planet combined!  There is enough energy hitting the earth in one second to supply us with all our energy need for a full year.  So no, they wouldn’t go ahead with it, it will never happen, I thought.
But no, the Newfoundland and Labrador government was pushing this through and there was no convincing them that there was any other way.

Dennis and his DogTeam
No worries though, thought I, a federal loan guarantee? Never! We would need to convince Nova Scotia that buying energy from us instead of buying from Quebec at a fraction of the cost is the way to go. Nova Scotia will never fall for it. Yet somehow, Harper’s “almost-guarantee” and Nova Scotia’s “maybe” is all that our government needs. A Danny William’s quote comes to mind, “We will go it alone!”
So, with all the talk of money and buyers and loans and promises those of us who are most worried about the project feel like we are banging our heads against the wall because no one seems to hear. Dam this river and the destruction will reach much further then the delta at Lake Melville. This project will sacrifice untouched wilderness, cripple communities, change currents, pollute the ocean, and that is just to start – and why? Not for one good reason, not one.
Let’s say it does go ahead, because most people swear to me that I can do nothing to stop it.  So let’s say they are right.  Once the damming at Muskrat Falls is complete, the seasonal changes get all switched around, the animals go out of balance, the locals stop eating the fish and the methane starts releasing into the atmosphere – the damage will not end there because the project is not a local project.  They need to ship this energy south, and that is not an easy task either.  Next, Nalcor will drive a transmission line down through one of the last pieces of untouched wilderness on the planet, and then across the straights with billions of tons of crushed rock to keep the icebergs away.  Haven’t we already heard enough about industry trying to deface this part of our province with talk of uranium mining in the straights area? It’s like people possessed by money have this terrible grudge against whatever is left on this Earth that’s pure.  As if they just want to kill it all.
Friends, the ocean is on her death bed, and the governmental of Newfoundland and Labrador are doing their best to assure us that they understand the full extent of these problems.  How much do you figure they spent on that ad, “The Power is in Our Hands!”?  If you watched that campaign without knowing what is happening behind the scenes, it would sound like an admirable environmental message from an inspiring government! Of course, the more you look, the more corrupt it becomes.
Sometimes it is still like a bad dream, I just cannot believe that we living on this very fragile rock (the only place we can find to support lives like us), yet we seem to be putting our greatest effort into clogging up her veins and just seeing how far we can go before we end up killing her.
We could have all our energy needs free from the sun, from the wind, from the movement of the sea.  No energy is without a price to the earth, but messing with water, the lifeblood of the planet, needs to stop.
The hemp plant could supply us with almost everything else we need!  Over half the oil sucked out of the Earth goes into making plastic, yet the hemp plant could replace all our plastic’s 50 000 industrial uses.  If the technology’s there, why are we not using it?  Well, I guess we know that answer.  Who of us will be the one to tell the oil companies to stop, or even slow drilling?
I once figured we live in this great country where you could cry “injustice” and the courts would give you justice! How naive.  Money speak so loudly and possesses the mind so deeply that our society conveniences itself that we are all better off when we are taking from the Earth every bit she can suffer.  Like seeds of evil, it runs deep and no one can hear.
I have tried reaching David Suzuki, Fifth Estate, Ecology Action Centre, among others and no one is strong enough to take this up.  The media too has been silenced.  So where do you go?  What do you do?  It is so frustrating!  There are days I feel like leaving it all behind, take my dog team as deep into the bush as I can go and hope that industry doesn’t reach me, at least in this lifetime.  But then it’s the kids to think about.  Maybe, like all animals, I have this built in instinct to further our species.  I don’t know what happens next.  Would Nalcor and this corrupt government, how much are they ready to sacrifice for this insane project?  There has to be a law somewhere; crimes against humanity … or something.  But I know I have to keep fighting for what is right and I can only hope that others will join me.
We are living on a very fragile planet.  Animals are going extinct at alarming rates as climate change threatens everything from the air we breath to the predictability of our weather that we take for granted.  The ocean is warming, the ice caps are melting, and science shows us that the ocean currents could actually stop … yet we carry on like a bunch of maggots, only seeing the retreating ice as an opportunity to drill for oil on the newly exposed northern lands.
I get this anxious and kind of desperate feeling, how can we go on like this?  How can we push these projects through.  How can we look at out kids and say we were there and did nothing?  How can we not scream out and tell everyone we see that is is wrong?  Humans, we are suppose to be the intelligent ones!
From: Dennis Woodrow Burden
Port Hope Simpson, Newfoundland and Labrador
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Why I Am Here (by: Dennis Woodrow Burden – Port Hope Simpson, Labrador)

The following is his statement about why my friend Dennis decidedDennis and his ax to attempt removing Nalcor’s presence at Muskrat Falls starting with this first pole today December 18, 2012.  He was quickly arrested and removed from the site.  Dennis was later released and a court date is to be set.  I had the pleasure of meeting and standing with Dennis earlier this Fall.  A peaceful, respected and intelligent man.  However eventually we all have to wonder how long we will follow the law, when that same law doesn’t seem to be protecting what we all hold to dear.  Please read, read again and share. ~denise

Why I Am Here – Stop the destruction of Muskrat Falls, Labrador, Canada!

by: Dennis Woodrow Burden – Port Hope Simpson, Labrador

I have studied this project for quite a while now and I can`t find one good reason to do it. All over the planet they are doing some great things with wind and solar, there is absolutely no need for this destruction! There are better ways! So I decided to try and get that message out there. I went to Muskrat Falls on September 3, 2012 and did a little protest with a few friends, stood in front of the camera and spilt my guts, that was very hard for me to do and we get what? 5 seconds of air time?

Nothing about the corruption that’s going on around us! Just a comment about “mumbo jumbo” and “tree huggers” makes the news. And then it’s Danny Williams, with the dollars, turn. Seems to me he stands there in front of the camera and lies to us for hours if he wants too, yes, then some good news…I heard Danny Dumaresque on “Talk with Sue”, I was smiling hard and telling all the boys, “They gotta stop it now Danny spilt the beans on them last night” Still it continues!

Then it was off to sin johns (St. John’s, NL) with my daughter, couldn’t pass up the opportunity! So it was a protest on the steps of Confederation Building (November 5, 2012), thanks to the folks who showed, but you guessed it, another 5 seconds! What do they do then? Yup, they spend a million, more maybe, on a commercial (the power is in our hands). I believe that is the biggest bunch of lies ever – it isn’t green!!

Back home for a while now, had Boil Up Protest on the St. Lewis Causeway (November 18, 2012). Some people showed and more would have if they would have known, god love them the message is getting out.

But time is of the essence, 1/2 a billion spent on it already, unsanctioned though!! So I guess it’s now or never. No next week or tomorrow it’s today it’s now! We know the difference! There are better ways, this is just wrong! We have to stop it! It can`t continue! It’s just a slaughter of our home (planet Earth), its suicide yup, seems we have this terrible grudge against her, our mother earth. Let’s take every bit of fresh water left – dam it, poison it, sell it to us and send it off to the oceans.

Labrador is what?? Labrador is 1/3 water covered, it doesn`t stop with the Grand River!!! It isn`t green, we know that some dams are far worse than coal fired generators of the same capacity. Yes far worse for global warming (our greatest threat). All you hear about these days are the riches that abound in this great land called Labrador. All across this once proud country certainly, the plan is “lets dig it out, faster is better, forget tomorrow. Let’s import people to help with the slaughter! Oh the riches, the riches, the riches” Why is it we are running a 600 billion dollar deficit?????

I could go on and on about the wasted dollars, but I would probably be a fan of money spent in solar or wind. 20 billion could be better spent yes! Let’s invest in the future if we are going to invest!

About the disgusting way Labrador has been treated at the hands of the NL government, do we really need the power??? Is Hollyrood, just another big bad Quebec fairytale??? Dams are not green and there is more work (jobs) associated with solar.

I`m sick of the way we humans keep crawling over her (mother earth) like a bunch of maggots. Sick of the corrupt governments greed and lies! I`m sick from the polluted atmosphere! We live in a time where in most major cities you need to wear a mask to venture outside! Sick of global warming (our greatest threat), it has changed our oceans temperature so much that massive storms are on our doorstep! Our oceans have become home to the great pacific garbage patch (some reports say its 15,000,000 square kilometers in size or in some media reports up to twice the size of the continental USA, A similar patch of floating plastic debris is found in the Atlantic).

A study done by National Academy of Science estimated 6.4 million metric tons, 14 billion pounds, of trash enter the oceans every year (1975) I`m sick of that too! 1.7 trillion dollars spent on weapons last year, sick of that too! It makes me sick that I have to wonder if the seals, the birds, the fish, the moose I kill are edible anymore! And I hear governments are spraying the sides of the highways to kill the vegetation in hopes the moose will leave the area (sick isn’t it)! We need to stop this insane thirst we have for destruction there are better ways! Imagine if we would have went with solar 100 years ago, but the oil companies with the dollars put a stop to that in a hurry…

Imagine if we would have used that amazing hemp plant. The hemp plant was one of humankind’s first cultivated plants and there is quite a lot to educate oneself about this greatly historical plant. With the help of the hemp plant we, as a society could eliminate smog from current fuels, create a cleaner energy source that can replace nuclear power, remove radioactive waste from the soil, and eliminate smog from our skies in more industrialized areas. The hemp plant could assist in eliminating non-biodegradable plastics and cars by reintroducing Henry Ford’s 100 year old dream of building cars made from hemp with a plastic hemp car body that can withstand a blow 10 times as great as steel without denting, weighs 1 thousand pounds less than steel, hence improving gas mileage, can run on a vegetable oil based all natural hemp fuel, and has a completely biodegradable body. Nationwide hemp production could eliminate deforestation by converting current paper to hemp paper which can be recycled up to 8 times where as our current wood pulp is only recyclable up to 3 times, and we could thrive from eating hemp seeds and feeding it to our animals and livestock. Industrial hemp can make our future roads, highways and freeways from hemp based concrete, which lasts for centuries. Society can benefit from the hemp plant’s attributes such as oxygen production, hemp’s dense root structure, and hemp’s nutrient and nitrogen production back into the soil. Chemicals in cannabis can be used in medicines and are estimated to treat around 250 diseases and illnesses, from which studies have shown inhibits the growth of cancer cells in rats, as well as a long list of other ailments. Finally, we could make an estimated 50,000 products ranging from building composites, cellophane, and dynamite to shampoo, textiles, twine and yarn. If the US grew industrial hemp it could stop wars, save the environment, boost our economy, improve general health and wellbeing, virtually end our reliance on any foreign entity, and save humankind from itself. But no the oil companies with the dollars and their corrupt governments made it illegal to grow this plant!!

Is it human destiny do destroy our habitat and die??? Have you ever looked at other planets and wondered if we have been there also???? Maybe the dollar maggots know something I don`t, another planet we can jump on when we`ve finished raping this one?? I guess the problem is that we don`t know how to put solar in a barrel, so damn the rivers and sell you some poison.

It’s not just Labrador and Newfoundland who is going to pay; it’s all across Canada who will pay in dollars! And all across this planet who will pay in loss of habitat, OUR habitat, OUR home!!

Amazing things have been done! We put a man on the moon 50 years ago, ice hockey in mid- August, cars that drive themselves. I could sit at my desk and kill another innocent human being on the other side of the planet with this amazing piece of technology called “the drone” if I had money enough. Oh and don`t forget the amazing little thing called the wireless remote. Remember not having to get off the couch to change the channel anymore, so we can send energy by wireless right???? Yes, we could, just stick two probes out through the window and suck it outta the atmosphere. It’s there and it’s free! Imagine, we could continue to live here if we just do it right!! Yes I look at other planets, the ones with no life giving necessities and wonder, have we been there???

So I stand here today and chop down this pole. I will be charged, yup, but that is how strongly I feel about the corruption around us! How strongly I feel for us, the inhabitants of this planet. For my kids and unborn grandkids! And for me, knowing that I tried will bring some comfort I hope. We owe this to the future, there has to be smarter choices made today! Our kids need somewhere to live!

I do this for Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence as her hunger strike continues. It’s just a phone call you know…..hey there is a junkie smoking a joint on the side walk here and before you hangs up the phone the neighborhood is crawling with cops………yet, you can stand there and scream all day about some corrupt Government stealing a billion dollars from the people and no one hears…..that is the sick world we live in today!!

I do this for the NunatuKavut elders Ken Mesher, James and John Learning and the sacrifices they make for the next generations.

And I do this in memory of Burton Winters of Makkovik, Labrador. The little guy who the system failed, cripes that was ugly, it’s like they didn`t care! That’s not my Canada! I do this against our corrupt greedy lying government! Yes I will stand here today and strike my blow for humanity; I will chop down this pole! And I beg all humanity to live up to their responsibilities! HELP!!!!!!

I have a wish, a wish that our corrupt governments would look to the future and stop the greed that has infected them, to find the better way, be human and want a better world for our kids. A world where they could drink from the streams, play outside without wearing an oxygen mask, eat from the oceans and not have this continuous struggle against the sick powers that be! Maybe it’s just a wish, a hopeless dream. Maybe it’s too late already. But I will stand up! I owe it to my kid…and also I want their kid’s kids to know I tried!!

How desperate do we have to get….can you not hear our cry….stop killing my planet!!

Dennis Woodrow Burden – December 2012

Here is Dennis’ original document: Dennis Woodrow Burden Why I am Here Dec16

Are you concerned about the Muskrat Falls Project?

It is time to be heard!

I am collecting your statements of concern about the proposed Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Project.  Too many people in Newfoundland and Labrador cannot speak out because of their professional situation or relations; therefore many of the rest of us feel alone in their concerns.

Government is getting a “get on with it” message from those with no worries about retaliation for their opinions.  So we need to be all the louder! Let’s tell the government and the people of our province that we are many and we cannot support development at Muskrat Falls.

Share Your Concerns:  I encourage you to share your concerns in just a few lines in the comments here, and write a letter to your MHA and your Premier!

Please include: your name, community, occupation and your statement of concern in the comments below. (If you cannot leave all of this information, please share why.)

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