From Earth Common Journal VOL. 5 NO. 1
Breaking the Cycle: Changing Alberta in the Present to Save the Future
Looking to the Future
If both Alberta and the Canadian federal government were forecasting into the future, they would see that "nearly a decade of evidence that shows the high crude prices counted on by the oil sands industry aren't compatible with healthy global economic growth." (Rubin, 2015, para. 6). Although the fossil fuel industry is beginning to recover from the 2014 collapse, there are many signs that warn of a potential recurrence in the near future. Not only do current talks between Iran and the United States promise to once again affect the global oil supply, as early as 2016 (Yep, 2015, para. 5), Alberta's resistance to changing the status quo is no longer prudent.
Global moves to reduce emissions and the deleterious effects of the energy industry on the environment, is "troubling for Alberta's oil industry, as well as future provincial budgets, [as countries make] the global move towards reducing carbon emissions" (para. 8). Although there is not currently "a binding global agreement" (para. 8) in place, a number of countries have already taken steps toward reductions, particularly in the coal industry. This move has hurt the coal industry as a whole. So it is especially shortsighted on the Canadian and Alberta governments' part to put blinders on to what is happening in the coal industry and assume that the oil and gas industry will not be the next target. Jeff Rubin (2015) notes in his article on the province's reliance on oil and gas revenue that
According to the International Energy Agency, the fight against climate change means world oil demand will need to peak in the next five years and then start falling considerably in order to keep atmospheric carbon from reaching even more dangerous levels (para. 9).
With a struggling energy sector, many global models for renewable resources and sustainability, in addition to local innovations, and a new NDP government that promises to change the norms in place from decades of PC leadership. Things are aligning for the province to begin to turn away from such a deep investment in the oil industry and begin to support renewable resources, sustainable practices, and the innovations that have the potential to revolutionize the province's energy industry and prepare for the future.
A.R. Foss is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Applied Communications in Professional Writing, from MacEwan University. She has worked as a writer and editor for The Western Sentinel and as a copy editor for NAIT, and is now freelancing. She has published an article in each edition of the Earth Common Journal since its inaugural year in 2011.
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