January 14, 2011

Ethical oil!

The logic put forward by Environment Minister Peter Kent and defended by Prime Minister Harper is puzzling. It goes like this: Canada is an ethical society, oil sands producers are Canadian; therefore, oil sands oil is “ethical oil.” The gaps in this argument could accommodate a bucket-wheel excavator. Would they then say that British Columbians produce ethical marijuana?

What we have with the oil sands—as with all unconventional oil resources, tar shale and coal-fired power plants—is a Faustian bargain: Economic growth in the short term, but climatic and environmental disaster over the long term.

With this ploy Harper and Kent have cast themselves as a couple of Mephistophelean shills. We must ignore their message and instead demand from them an environment plan that shifts us towards alternative energy sources.

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