Sunday, August 21, 2011

Addicted to Oil

Protesters are gathered in the thousands in Washington D.C this weekend and many of them are being arrested. The reason? They want to keep Canadian oil/tar sands out of the States. They are actually against the Keystone pipeline which will carry 900,00 barrels of the bitumen through several states on the way to a refinery in the south. Talk about crude.

I'm not a fan of Alberta oil produced through the excavation of these oil sands in Alberta, to say the least. The landscape is devastated, water is tainted, the air is fouled. The ads on TV and in newspapers and magazines tell us that the oil companies are doing a great job of mitigating harm to the environment. But environmentalists and aboriginal people living down stream tell us otherwise. The tar sands are one of the principle reasons are international reputation is mud when it comes to greenhouse gases.

Here's the thing though. Some Americans don't want our gunk going through their real estate. Yet they are happy to buy gasoline and other oil products from Canada, as their most secure and largest foreign supplier.

Many church groups and parachurch agencies in the U.S. are among the protesters. I wrote to the director of one of them, a great guy named Peter Sawtell whose Eco-Justice Ministries has been doing an exceptional job of upholding creation care issues for years. I reminded him that while we may be the drug pushers, Americans are the middle class kids nervously buying the product on street corners in the shady part of town. Until they address their addiction to what we have, protests will seem a little hollow.

Have you been following this story over the weekend? What are your thoughts? Are the oil sands a necessary evil, or just plain evil?


johnny said...

I guess it's a fine balance. We need fossil fuels, although if we can reduce our demand for it by using alternate sources of energy, all the better. If we are going to have the tar sands, as long as there are the most stringent of safeguards, I guess it's at least something.

But ideally, we would look at much cleaner sources. Hopefully there will be improved technology to tap into those sources.

lionlamb said...

A fine balance and seeking alternatives. Both important Johnny. thanks