Thanks for your thoughtful response Seth. It’s a nice change.
I agree that the change is coming but I think the difference between forcing the oil industry out of business and just letting it happened on its own in terms of its impacts on the planet amounts to a rounding error over the long run.
In other words, Keystone XL or the Trans Mountain expansion being built will essentially make zero difference 50 years from now and we’ll arrive essentially at the same place on roughly the same time line either way. The difference being that government mandated change will cost us a lot and most of that money and effort will have been wasted on half-baked ideas pushed by self-promoters. Just look at Ontario’s energy market. Billions have been wasted with little to show for it.
From an efficiency standpoint, the market is the best arbiter of change, not government though government has role to play in terms of setting <u>simple</u> and basic ground rules. If people have good ideas and fund it themselves then I’m all for it and would never stand in their way.
I don’t think we need to willfully destroy one industry in order to create a new/better one. Nobody needed to mandate the whaling industry out of existence or the horse and buggy trade. The market handled it quite efficiently because oil made sense at the time. It will be no different this time.
And there’s one issue which those pushing for rapid, mandated change fail to acknowledge or consider.
It is exceedingly difficult for a diversified economy to add just 1% of ‘real’ economic growth over and above what might have occurred without any effort. For some parts of Canada and US which rely heavily on the oil industry, we’re talking about replacing anywhere from 10–25% of economic activity over a very short period of time.
It simply won’t happen despite the promise of green jobs galore from environmental activists. It’ll take 1–2 generations to make the economic transition especially with choking amounts of debt at all levels of society: government, consumer and corporate.
And more pointedly, it seems we in Alberta are being asked to make a sacrifice by those doing the asking/telling! that they themselves won’t make. BC doesn’t want Trans Mountain expansion but since it gets almost all its oil from TM, you can be absolutely certain they do not want it shut down because, well, it would hurt they’re economy. We should be asking Ontario to shutdown it’s auto industry or BC to stop allowing bunker-oil powered ships to dock in Vancouver but that never seems to be part of the conversation and that’s hypocritical.
Thanks for listening Seth and well written article btw.