ROTHENBURGER – Would the 2010 railway-tie hysteria be different now?

Biochar, created by gasifying old tires, biosolids and wood chips. (Image, City of Lebanon, Tennessee.

BACK IN 2010, a man named Kim Sigurdson was the most unpopular man in Kamloops.

Sigurdson had the temerity to propose a solution to a major environmental problem — the accumulation of used, creosote-soaked, railway ties.

Local environmentalists ranted, railed (if you’ll excuse the pun), rallied and protested, local politicians (including MLAs Kevin Krueger and Terry Lake, and Mayor Peter Milobar) got cold feet, and Sigurdson finally threw in the towel and went home to Winnipeg.

Chalk one up for the enviros.

But it was a false victory built on mass hysteria that painted a picture of toxic smoke bellowing into our air shed with a basic message that we were all gonna die.

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Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at


About Mel Rothenburger (6753 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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