About ten months ago I wrote about Trudeau’s train wreck. That time it was about a CN rail train carrying crude oil that went off the rails near the Saskatchewan-Mantiboa border. Now, of course, days after the event, the Globe and Mail has published a Reuters report which says that “Saskatchewan’s public-safety agency says crews are working in frigid temperatures as they continue to battle a fire that started when a freight train carrying crude oil derailed … [and] … The province says crews are taking precautions as Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning for the area with wind-chill values in the minus 30s C.“
How many disasters do we have to have after Lac-Mégantic in 2013 before we understand that moving large volumes of crude oil by rail is dangerous for the environment? Surely it must be clear to anyone with the brains that the gods gave to green peppers that pipelines are safer, more efficient and cheaper ways to move oil from where it is pumped or dug out of the ground to where you and I buy it to heat our home or fuel our cars.
I guess that those who oppose pipelines can ignore safety and the environment because they are confident that, soon, we will not have to use il at all. Now, there is good news for them: the same edition of the Globe and Mail reported that Harbour Air in Vancouver flew an electrically powered aircraft for eight minutes/16 kilometres on Tuesday. That is good news and I am happy to read it. But we are still a long, long way from electrically powered heavy trucks and long haul aircraft … even if we can develop enough green (non-carbon based ~ i.e. nuclear) electrical power generating stations to charge all the batteries.
My guess is that the people who want to put Canadians at risk and keep Albert’as oil ‘landlocked’ include …
… Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson (North Vancouver), his predecessor and now Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna (Ottawa Centre) the Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland (University-Rosedale (Toronto)) and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau (Montreal)) ~ all charter members of the Laurentian Elites. They all appear to live alongside Greta Thunberg in a sort of cloud-cuckoo-land where large trucks and diesel-powered trains, carrying the things people need, don’t have to travel long distances. They inhabit a world there small, electrical-powered cars are an affordable option, for some, right now, and where fuel oil and gasoline are readily available but not absolutely necessary as they are in many parts of Canada where carbon-based fuels are essential, not an option, and will remain so for generations. This is another symptom of the urban-rural divide in Canada. It’s one of the reasons that there are no Liberal members of Parliament between suburban Greater Vancouver and Winnipeg.
There is a pressing need, now, for a system of energy corridors, which will be needed for three or four generations, until 2100, at least, to “power” Canada and the world. Those corridors need to be more than just to seaports and refineries in Pacific, central and Atlantic Canada. They need to go North, all the way to e.g. Churchill and even to Tuktoyaktuk on the Beaufort Sea, and West to the Pacific coast and through Ontario and Quebec to Atlantic Canadian seaports, too. They need to carry oil and natural gas in pipelines and also electrical power generated by hydro-electric dams and by nuclear power plants and by gigantic offshore wind-power plants which (despite many current problems, might be able to meet much of the world’s demand for electricity) from where the oil is pumped or mined and where the large nuclear and wind plants are located to where the market demand exists … which is where you and I live.
The choice for the world is clear: we must all use less and less carbon-based fuels and we must use what we need more wisely. Eventually, science will give us abundant electrical power that doesn’t need coal, oil and gas. Eventually, we will transport our goods, around the world, in nuclear-powered ships and we will fly around the world in electrically-powered aircraft and rural villages and remote farms and settlements will have small modular (nuclear) reactors to provide electricity for heat, light and telecommunications. But for now, and that means until 2100, at least, we need oil and gas and we, Canadians, need to get it from Alberta, not from Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Canada needs a sensible vision for its socio-economic and environmental future; it needs someone other than Trudeau, Freeland, McKenna and Wilkinson at the cabinet table. Next time, which may not be too far in the future, vote for Canada, vote for your Conservative candidate.