Archive for July, 2011

Ethical Oil?

Relaunching his website Ethical Oil. org this week,  Alykhan Velshi, a Canadian born lawyer, argues the oil in Canada’s Tar Sands is “Ethical” while the majority of the other large oil suppliers around the world produce “Conflict Oil”.

Velshi, also a ministerial assistant and political policy analyst, expands on Ezra Levant‘s book Ethical Oil The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands. In the book Lavant questions the accountability the West has taken in it’s unquenchable desire for oil. By supporting nations with atrocious human rights violations we choose; Environmental Degradation, Forced Labour, Repression of Woman, Aboriginals and Gays.  The argument goes that here in Canada we have a superior record on these issues and therefore the oil that is being extracted here is somehow a better choice for us and the world.

It would be naive to believe that Canada is some kind of ideal Oasis of peace and equality for all. I can say for sure every Canadian believes Human rights are a necessity that must be met. We are free to disagree with the government, to protest and write blogs and books, and lobby for what we believe in (or whoever makes the highest bid).

While the choices millions of people make each day create the need, the financial toll continues to rise as does the Ethical burden.

The ads are smart. The images and juxtaposition of ideas speaks to all of us who  want to make fair choices and respect people and the land. The problem with it is the only choices offered are Ethical Oil or Conflict Oil, but not No Oil.

Still some people will maintain that the oil sands do not pollute, cause cancer, increase greenhouse gases and generally harm as many people as they help.

One thing is clear; big corporations control what is happening now and what will continue to happen. If people demand cleaner energy then it will have to be created. Instead of finding reasons to continue down a path of known destruction, we can choose a future with forward thinking innovation that is holistic and sustainable.

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