Alberta’s oil sands are a reasonably sized source of oil located in one of Canada’s Prairie provinces, Alberta. Ezra Levant is a Canadian lawyer and blogger with an interesting opinion on the oil sands.
Environmentalists are constantly thinking about what they could be doing better to sell action on climate change. The folks on the other side, possibly including Ezra Levant, apparently are not afflicted with the same sense of self doubt.
How else can you explain a rebranding exercise being embraced by conservative commentators in Canada to market the produce of Alberta’s tar sands as “ethical oil”?
The case is being made in a new book by conservative activist Ezra Levant called: “Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands”.
From what I can glean in press reports, the gist of Levant’s argument is that yes, Canadian tar sands oil is really, really bad for the planet — it produces three times the greenhouse gas emissions as convention oil, poisons rivers and destroys ancient boreal forest — but it’s politically smarter than buying from the Middle East or Venezuela.
Or as Levant so subtly puts it:
“You can’t fill up your car’s gastank with solar panels or windmills or cold fusion or dilithium crystals. It’s Canadian ethical oil, or Saudi terrorist oil.”
It’s pretty clear to me that Ezra Levant cares more about politics than the environment. To Levant, Canadian ‘ethical oil’ is better than the alternative, Saudi ‘terrorist’ oil. But at what price does it come? Is it REALLY ethical if it means three times the emissions and destroying ancient forest?
For the larger part of my childhood, I grew up in and around these forests. It is NOT ethical oil if beautiful boreal forest is destroyed, no matter how great the political benefit.