Writing in Foreign Policy, The Tyee's prolific environmental writer, Andrew Nikiforuk, blasts Canada for becoming a "rogue, reckless petrostate" due to its economic dependence on exporting oil. He holds Prime Minister Stephen Harper responsible.
Andrew Nikiforuk, contributing editor to the Tyee, has become a thorn not only to his primary target, the Alberta oil sands industry, but to Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Here he targets Harper and his Conservative Party, showing how the government's dependence on the exploitation of "the world's third-largest petroleum reserves" has politically transformed what was once considered "America's friendly northern neighbor" into "a dystopian vision of the continent's energy-soaked future."
Since the Conservative Party won a majority in Parliament in 2011, the federal government has eviscerated conservationists, indigenous nations, European commissioners, and just about anyone opposing unfettered oil production as unpatriotic radicals. It has muzzled climate change scientists, killed funding for environmental science of every stripe, and in a recent pair of unprecedented omnibus bills, systematically dismantled the country's most significant long-cherished environmental laws.
Canada, the world's sixth largest oil producer, pumps 1.7 million barrels daily and hopes to increase it to 5 mbd by 2030. Due to the increased price of oil, mining the oil sands - which in inherently energy intensive due to the in situ process of extracting bitumen by burning natural gas to create steam, has become profitable and is projected to "fill provincial and federal government coffers with about $120 billion in rent and royalties by 2020. More than 40 percent of that haul goes directly to the federal government largely in the form of corporate taxes."
Nikiforuk's basic assertion is that not unlike other major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia or Venezuela, the government is now dependent on exploiting its vast oil resources "(w)ith oil and gas now accounting for approximately a quarter of its export revenue". Under Harper, "Ottawa has become a master at the cynical art of greenwashing", e.g. "his government has spent $100 million since 2009 on ads to convince Canadians that exporting this oil is "responsible resource development."
And it's working. "With nearly three-quarters of Canadians supporting oil sands development in a recent poll, Harper seems to be selling them on the idea." Oddly, Nikiforuk doesn't seem to want to win any converts, describing "Canadians as generally a fat and apathetic people."
Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes
The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.
4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design
With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.
LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water
The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.
An Affordable Housing Model for Indigenous Americans
Indigenous people make up a disproportionately high percentage of the unhoused population, but many programs designed to assist them don’t reach those most in need.
Oregon Bill Would Ban E-Bikes for Riders Under 16
State lawmakers seek to change Oregon e-bike laws following the death of a 15-year old last summer.
Northeastern Waterways More Polluted After Wet Year
Intense rains washed more runoff into local bodies of water, while warmer temperatures contributed to the growth of an invasive bloom.
Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
City of Grand Forks, North Dakota
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
City of Birmingham, Alabama
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.