Pick of the Day: H2OIL

Remember how Canada was on everybody's shitlist at the recent Copenhagen climate change summit? I forget how many fossil-of-the-day awards we picked up, but it was at least five or six. As a country, when it comes to per-capita energy consumption, we probably face some challenges that not a lot of other countries do. To begin with, we have a relatively sparse population spread out over a relatively vast area. If you toss in all our northern territory, we're pretty much the same size as China, if not a little bigger. But whereas China has 1.4 billion people, we only have 1/40th of that or 34 million people.

As well, we have one of the most challenging climates imaginable. Not too many other places in the world do you find the temperature extremes (plus 40 degrees C in the summer, minus 40 degrees C in the winter) that are par for the course in large chunks of Canada.
Having said that, there's still tons of stuff that we as individuals, and communities, can do to lessen our energy consumption and lower our carbon footprint. We rag about them all the time in prairie dog. Better public transit and cycling options, sustainable housing and urban planning, eating locally grown and produced foods, recycling, stuff like that.

But as Peter Prebble observed in an article I wrote for our December 3 feature HOW THE CLIMATE LIARS F&@KED THE FUTURE even with the best of intentions, we're not going to solve the climate crisis on our own. Most of our greenhouse gas emissions are tied to our dependence as a society on carbon-based energy. And as bad as coal, oil and natural gas are, they pale in comparison with the environmental devastation that is being wrought through the development of the Alberta tar sands. That was the true target of all the animosity being expressed against Canada by environmentalists in Copenhagen.
Check out the documentary H2Oil which screens tonight at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 p.m. and you'll see why everyone's so upset. Here's the trailer. (YouTube)

No comments: