July 20, 2024
Canada simply can't have an adult conversation about oil and climate
The climate debate is failing in Canada because it isn’t realistic. We’re a big country shackled by small thinking. We lack leadership, judgment and nerve
The climate debate is failing in Canada because it isn’t realistic. We’re a big country shackled by small thinking. We lack leadership, judgment and nerve

Is anything more convoluted and contradictory than the politics of oil? Or more bizarre than our refusal to face it?

Consider this: Canada has the ability to get off imported oil. We produce about twice as much each day as we use. It would be difficult, but not impossible, to ensure that, as Green party leader Elizabeth May suggests: “As long as we are using fossil fuels we should be using our fossil fuels.”

Self-sufficiency would have real environmental and economic benefits. It would ensure security of supply, and bring all production under domestic regulation. We can’t control how Saudi Arabia, Nigeria or Venezuela handle their production, but an all-Canadian market would ensure every barrel had to meet domestic environmental standards.

The reason we don’t do this is largely political. It would require building pipelines that activists oppose on environmental grounds, even though the alternative, shipping crude by rail, is worse for the environment, and more dangerous. It’s also cheaper to import foreign oil, even if it’s from countries with lower environmental standards.

Since we won’t take the steps to be self-sufficient, we import oil, much of it from Saudi Arabia. The Saudis, as is well known, lack the respect for human rights that Canadians enjoy. Women are treated as second class, political dissent brings long prison sentences, torture is common, executions frequent. Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered for angering the Crown Prince.

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See Also:

(1) Trudeau should choose truth for a change

(2) ‘Any Conservative logo on a hay bale would win’: The frustration and apathy in Canada’s ‘safest’ ridings

(3) Why Canadians shouldn’t be smug about the political crises in U.S. and Britain

(4) The burglar suing farmer who fired warning shots is no victim

(5) Vote early, if not often

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