Critics Respond To Canadian Government's Shilling of Tar Sands as "Ethical Oil"
The comments came fast and furious to Canada's New Environment Minister's Job: Shill The Tar Sands as "Ethical Oil", some in particular found Andrew Nikiforuk's criticism of the term to be a bit over the top. Now cooler heads have added their opinions, including Emma Pullman at Desmogblog:
Calling the oil "ethical" is damaging to the debate because it shuts off debate. It creates a space where those who argue against tar sands oil are unethical, or hate freedom and democracy. Reframing the debate in this way fails to get at the true crux of the problem: we have a dirty oil addiction, and the oil industry is inadequately regulated to the detriment of people's health. Alberta's "Ethical oil" fails to get us out of this paradigm. It's still oil at the end of the day, and dirty oil at that.
Gillian Steward reports in the Star from the oil patch in Calgary:
[Environment Minister Peter] Kent's bait-and-switch argument was also used by U.S. politicians after they toured the Alberta oilsands last September. "Dirty oil and dangerous oil come from rogue regimes in the Mideast. The oil coming from Alberta in my view is not only acceptably clean, it is safe," Republican Lindsey Graham told CBC News. "Dirty to me would be oil that you buy from parts of the world where the people that sell it to you hate your guts and part of the money ends up in the hands of terrorists." Exactly what Premier Ed Stelmach wanted to hear from Alberta's most important customer.
More in the Star
More on the Tar Sands:
Tar Sands Not Most Destructive Project on Earth, But Very Far From Benign: Royal Society of Canada
Canadian Tar Sands Look Like Tolkein's Mordor Says UN Water Advisor