Sunday, February 22, 2009

Alberta's dinosaur legacy

Why is the political right always so wrong? Latest example concerns Alberta's oil sands development. Have you ever seen the oil sands?

Alberta politicians like Premier Ed Stelmach brag that Obama is "speaking Alberta's language":

"Balancing the environment and the economy, investing in carbon capture and storage and technology. They're all things that Alberta has been talking about. That's good news for Alberta, good news for Canada and good news for all North Americans."
Really? The difference that 'Steady Eddy' does not see is that Obama talks about taking a broad approach to energy and the environment. Obama stresses that no one strategy will work - an effort has to be made on many fronts - but the emphasis needs to be on weaning us off gas, oil, and coal and pushing for more sustainable and cleaner sources of energy. See

In truth, our Premier takes the opposite approach to Obama. Out of short term self interest, he and his colleagues emphasize one thing - spending public resources on how to make extracting oil from the tar sands cleaner instead of how to wean us off fossil fuels. They continually grovel to oil companies, thinking of new ways to give them tax breaks and incentives.

Just like their Republican counterparts, in Albertastan it's all "Drill, baby drill!"

That's like screaming,

  • "Typewriters, baby, typewriters!" at the dawn of the computer age*
  • "Carbon paper, carbon paper!" when photocopiers came out
* See Tom Freidman on Meet the Press

The whole world suffers from such short sighted thinking. We need to take a broader approach and think of the

  • Energy of the future (The Economist, June 2008)
  • The best thing that rich-world governments can do is to encourage the alternatives by taxing carbon (even knowing that places like China and India will not) and removing subsidies that favour fossil fuels.

By clinging to fossil fuel, Alberta's dinosaur politicians are leaving us all a sad legacy.

Further reading

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.