Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tell me something...

from Adbusters, Nov/Dec2011
... if you only had a loaf of bread, a brick of cheese, and 2 litres of water to last you a whole week, would you eat and drink it all in the first 3 days?
Well, it seems to me that we are drilling oil and scraping the tar sands as fast as we technologically can to take it to market. We (the industry) cheer if the price of oil goes up because then it's "economically feasible" to drill and scrape some more. "Economically feasible" for whom?
It's a limited resource, crude oil, one that's taken millions of years to come to being and will be burned off in less than a hundred years. A litre of gasoline, refined from a few litres of crude oil (millions of years in the making) may be used up in a few minutes, by a car driving to the local store for a loaf of bread.
Sure, most of us don't own shares in the oil companies (directly maybe not, indirectly, for sure yes through investments by pension funds, for example) but do they have the right to deprive future generations of this resource for the sake of satisfying shareholders quarterly expectations? Are we as Canadians responsible for keeping the Gulf area refineries running? Are we responsible for employing tens of thousands of people in the six U.S States that the Keystone pipeline will have to go through? Are we responsible for keeping the lights of Las Vegas on? How do we respond to the landowners along the pipeline route who are against this pipeline, for a variety of very valid reasons? How do we respond to the real concerns of First Nations groups whose land will be forever devastated by this resource extraction?
Haven't we learned our lessons from the past? Or are we going through another bout of collective amnesia, driven by  very, very short term goals.
If this is the free-market, supply-and-demand capitalism that we seem to worship, then it's time to find another altar to bow down to.

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