I’d like to respond to some of the concerns expressed in Don Brown’s thoughtful letter on oil, super tankers and the risks inherent in oil as fuel.
China is leading the world in the development of sustainable energy. If Canada does not increase the amount of oil it is supplying to China, the Chinese, while still being able to sustain their current usage, would naturally be more inclined to put energy and money into fast-tracking development of their sustainable energy industries, to all of our benefit.
Continuing to extract and transport tar sands or any other oil or frack LNG, on the other hand, is putting some of the most basic conditions for human (and all species’) survival on the planet at risk.
In the current issue of New Internationalist (newint.org), focusing on “Big Oil RIP?” in an article titled “Big Oil’s looming bubble”, the writer quotes an article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, international business editor of Britain’s conservative Daily Telegram, as saying, “staggering gains in solar power – and soon battery storage as well – (threaten) to undercut the oil industry with lightning speed. My guess is that the world energy landscape will already look radically different in the early 2020s (six or eight years).” (italics mine). In a subsequent article he wrote that the oil industry is “living on borrowed time.”
In September of this year the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the kingpins of the Oil Era, announced that it was divesting from fossil fuels. If, as this information suggests, fossil fuels, in fact, are living on borrowed time, perhaps we should concentrate our efforts not on making reforms to oil extraction processes that, however one looks at them, are still creating or potentially creating huge ecological disasters. Rather, let us put tax dollars and create jobs in the fields of sustainable energy development and lowering our energy footprint.
Right here in our own backyard would be just fine.