Why you should spend Thursday, Jan. 28, with Andrew Nikiforuk. A special Tyee event.By David Beers, Today, TheTyee.ca
On Jan. 28, in Vancouver, you have the opportunity to spend an evening with Andrew Nikiforuk, one the finest journalists, one of the finest minds, one the most courageous and public spirited people I have ever met........
We unfortunately do not have that opportunity but read the whole of this article @
'Slick Water' and a hero named Jessica Ernst
Andrew first met Alberta landowner and oil patch consultant Jessica Ernst in 2004 while reporting for the Globe and Mail's Report on Business on "unconventional" energy sources -- like fracked gas. It wasn't until the next year that the harm fracking can do became personal for Ernst. She'd discovered groundwater contamination on her own land 113 kilometres northeast of Calgary, and Andrew returned to write about that for Canadian Business.
He couldn't believe the level of fraud she had documented or how the Alberta Energy Regulator had banished all communication from her to thwart her efforts. In fact her story about pollution eerily previewed the trouble and controversy fracking would later cause across the continent.
To discourage any reporting on the case, flaks for the energy regulator phoned the editors of Canadian Business magazine in 2006 and told them that Andrew was just a third rate reporter who couldn't get a job at a rural newspaper. The intimidation didn't work because the editors knew Nikiforuk well: he had contributed to the magazine for more than a decade.
In fact, by the time Andrew met Jessica Ernst, he had not only been covering oil and gas issues in Canada for 10 years, he had published an award-winning book profiling a quite different resister to drilling in Alberta. It was titled Wiebo Ludwig's War Against Big Oil, and it won the Governor General's Award for non-fiction in 2002. Andrew went on to write The Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of the Continent, a national bestseller that won the 2009 Rachel Carson Environment Book Award. Next, Andrew made manifest the destructive ripple effect of climate change by writing about a forest devouring insect we know too well in B.C. Empire of the Beetle was nominated for the Governor General's Award for non-fiction. He followed with The Energy of Slaves, a fresh look at our fossil fuel dependence and delusion, and now he is out with his story of Jessica Ernst's fight: Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider's Stand against the World's Most Powerful Industry.