We’re officially an environmental “fossil” according to the Globe and Mail today. What is it going to take for Canada, land of vast expanse of beautiful wilderness and landscapes, of bountiful natural resources, quits squandering our heritage and our future and wakes up and takes some initiative?
Canada has the ultimate opportunity to vault into the future and be the next supplier of tomorrow’s energy capabilities as well. We currently export oil, gas, uranium, generated power and refined petroleum in large quantities. We are reaping a very healthy profit from current high energy prices. The world has started to shift towards more alternative energy. It is currently an emerging market, one that will ultimately in various forms displace the current energy systems. Not immediately, and possibly not in our lifetimes even, but it will happen. Our current systems are inefficient and damaging. There is no reason to preserve them if better alternatives present themselves.
Those alternatives are presenting themselves. Not just solar, geothermal, biofuels, wind and tidal power. Leaps in efficiency and distributed generation. Better ways to use current energy sources more efficiently and less polluting in operation. Those are being pioneered in many places, and deployed aggressively in many nations, while Canada sits idly by, resting on our profitable laurels rather than investing those profits to lead the way into the future.
I’ve written to the Alberta government as noted before in this blog, and I’ve written to our environment minister, Rona Ambrose, asking that we lead environmentally and technologically into a cleaner future. The idea that doing so in any way undermines our current resource industries, especially in Alberta, is naive in the extreme. The growth curve on these technologies, and the time to mature them, is far beyond any reasonable business outlook on our current corporations and industries. US demand for our energy products will not disappear in a decade, but there will be increasing demand, some of which will not be fuelled by our current energy systems. It is this new, emerging market of both conscience and efficiency that will be high margin and growing as we move forward, and right now that market will be served by companies in the US, Israel, China and other nations in the Europe and throughout the world.
Canada is not encouraging the deployment or creation of these companies in our borders, so we will be importing the technologies and expertise, and we will lose our lead in energy supply and technology.
I had thought companies like Shell and BP were leading the thoughts in having solar divisions (the largest in the world, in addition to Sharp) and biofuels, but now they have divested those companies into spin-offs and divestitures to better reflect a profitable business to wall street. Short term gain for long term sacrifice. If you’re a shareholder, congratulations, but remember to sell. Consumers are finally forcing the car companies to get efficient-minded rather than having 8000 pounds of material driven by in excess of 350 horsepower. To move a single individual to and from work. A bit of a waste. Europe is leading the way in forcing the efficiency. And low and behold, the car companies CAN indeed make an efficient car, far superior to the offerings most of us use for transportation today.
I resent being labelled a fossil of the environment in this wonderful country of Canada. Mr. Harper and our government (and that ALSO includes the Liberal government that likewise did nothing for Kyoto or alternative energy industries) must take some initiative and get their corporate supporters to realize that the government pushing the regulations in will create a global opportunity more than it will cause any real damage. The other nations of the world are moving to better products and more efficient systems, and we are left, here in the past, slowly turning into an archaeologic dig of the future.
Currently playing in iTunes: Summertime Blues (Live at Leeds) by The Who