Andrew Nikiforuk Quotes.
The tar sands boom has become the world’s largest energy project, the world’s largest construction project, and the world’s largest capital project.
If Canada could simply apply the basic principles of sustainable development, such as the internalization of costs and ‘polluters pay,’ it would have long-term beneficial effects, both environmental and economic.
What slavery really demonstrated was that we don’t really know how to use energy wisely and that we can be incredibly abusive and barbaric.
Much of the U.S. Midwest is already running on bitumen. Do we want to extend this addiction? And at what cost? Or should we set other goals and say one to two million barrels of oil a day from the tar sands is all we really need to make the transition?
Oil has allowed us to think about economics as though energy doesn’t matter.
Bitumen, the new national staple, is redefining the character and destiny of Canada. Rapid development of the tar sands has created a foreign policy that favours the export of bitumen to the United States and lax immigration standards that champion the import of global bitumen workers.
Schools have never been about getting access to information. That’s the job of libraries. Schools and universities have nobler missions as gentle gatekeepers. Their role is to control ideas on the loose and to present the best and noblest ideas to the young.
Canada now calls itself an ’emerging energy superpower.’ In reality, it is nothing more than a Third World energy supermarket.
There are two perspectives on the oil sands. You have companies that want to make it the next Saudi Arabia. The other is that it’s a transitional resource to a low-carbon economy, and to regard it as anything else is to drain the continent’s financial resources.
The problem with cap-and-trade and programs such as carbon capture and storage is that they all assume that business as usual can continue. The financial meltdown and peak oil has pretty much demonstrated that business as usual’s not going to work.
The destructiveness of the tar sands is not inevitable. But Canadians and Albertans have become too tolerant of the politicians who compromise the nation’s energy security as well as the next generation’s future.
The tar sands has changed Canada in the same way the fur trade has changed Canada.